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South-west France airport announces the end of night flights

2024-04-04 09:17:03

The chairman of Toulouse-Blagnac airport – the largest airport in the south-west and among the 10 busiest airports in France – has announced that night flights will be suspended this summer.

Philippe Crébassa announced that there would be no scheduled flights between midnight and 6am, starting this summer.

The decision follows a long-standing campaign from the Collective against air pollution in the Toulouse area or CCNAAT (Toulouse area organisation against aviation noise nuisance), which says that during the summer season there are on average 3,740 passenger night flights, which cause serious noise nuisance to local residents.

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The night flight ban does, however, have several important caveats – including permission for flights that have been delayed to take off or land at Toulouse between midnight and 6am. Freight flights are also exempted, which means that the weekly 3am flight from parcel firm Chronopost will continue.

Emergency medical flights or government-related flights will also be permitted to use the airport at night if necessary.

“It’s a step forward, but we’re aware of the limits of these announcements,” said Chantal Beer-Demander of CCNNAT. “For us, the only solution is a real ban, as was the case at Nantes, Paris-Orly or Strasbourg… A controlled closure of airspace, except for health and government flights, with heavy fines for late flights.”

Toulouse is France’s fifth biggest airport, with around 9 million passengers a year. It accounts for around 70 percent of traffic in the entire Occitanie region of southern France.

The city is also the centre of France’s aerospace industry, with Airbus a major employer in the area.

Although France has more than 70 passenger airports, just a handful – including Toulouse – account for the vast majority of air passengers and only 15 airports break even financially.

The rest, mostly small regional airports centred around budget airline flights, rely on government subsidies to stay afloat.

READ ALSO Are France’s regional airports under threat?

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