'Premature' motion over airport night flights withdrawn, but councillor will fight another day
PUBLISHED: 11:59 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 11 January 2019
A bid to firm up opposition on night time flying at Norwich Airport has been withdrawn, but the councillor behind it has insisted he will be waiting in the wings to relaunch it.
As Norwich International Airport continues to look at ways of expanding, concerns were raised over its intention to extend its operating hours beyond its current 11pm cut-off point.
Tony Adams, Broadland councillor for Hellesdon south east, prepared a motion calling for the full council to strongly oppose any proposal that could change the airport’s 11pm to 6am flight restrictions.
The motion was due to be tabled at full council on Thursday, however, Mr Adams withdrew it before it could be voted on.
He said: “I withdrew it on the grounds that there was a feeling it was a bit premature, as the airport is yet to apply to change its hours
“However, as soon as any application to do so has been lodged I will revive the motion and I have the impression there will be overwhelming support for it.”
In its draft masterplan for the next 30 years, Norwich International Airport made its intentions clear, arguing that the current restrictions limit its potential.
The plan, which is still a draft at this stage, touts the possibility of flights continuing until 1.30am, allowing the airport to unlock commercial opportunities it is currently missing.
However, to do so, it would be required to apply to Norwich City Council to alter its current restriction.
Mr Adams added: “As a council, Broadland will only be a consultant, but I believe it’s important that we object in the strongest possible way.
“I do not believe the motion would have gone through this time around, however, there is no doubt in my mind that it would have overwhelming support if the airport is minded to make the application.”
Ahead of the meeting, a spokesman for the airport said operating through to 1.30am would create new opportunities in the chartered holiday market.
They said: “Even with longer operating hours, only a small number of night time services is forecast, and any changes would require continued close dialogue with the local planning authority and our neighbours in the community.”