Court challenge to early morning Heathrow jumbos
Wandsworth and Richmond councils are heading to court next week in a bid to curb the number of early morning flights in to Heathrow.
Wandsworth, Richmond and Windsor and Maidenhead councils challenged the Government's night flight arrangements in 2005 after it was discovered that many of the planes flying before 6am were in the wrong noise category, including the popular Boeing 747-400 RR.
Lawyers for the group will argue that, by failing to act on the mistake, the Government failed in its duty to protect residents from excessive noise at night The councils' lawyers are arguing the 747s should have been banned from flying into Heathrow before 6am.
On average there are about 16 early morning arrivals each day between 4.30am and 6am.
Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister said: "We are aiming to achieve some much needed relief for residents in the 4.30am to 6am period. Those aircraft types which break the rules should be grounded.
"The flaws we have unearthed should have been corrected. Instead, ministers have been content for the airlines to maintain their full quota of flights.
"The current Heathrow expansion plans will bring even more early morning flights in the period just after 6am.
"There are currently no controls at this time of day. If we win it could mean the Government having to set limits for the first time at a time of day when many people are still asleep."
The judicial review will be heard by Mr Justice Sullivan on three days from May 20.
The challenge is also backed by Hounslow council as well as Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon and the GLA.