People living under the Heathrow flight path will see no improvement to the night flight regime until at least 2017.

The Government’s position on night flights, announced last week, was that it would consider an extension to the ban on rare movements made by older, noisier aircrafts.

The announcement means a decision to bring forward about 20 flights between 6am to 8am into the night has been halted.

Peter Willan, chairman of Richmond Heathrow Campaign, said: "The bad news is that the large number of responses to the Government consultation on night flights from organisations such as Richmond Heathrow Campaign and individuals, who sought a ban on all Night Flights or at least a reduction in noise, have only resulted in there being no change between 2006 to 2017."

The Government said it wanted to ensure stability at the south-east airports while the Airports Commission weighs up the options for aviation capacity in the country.

MP for Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith said: "I receive letters every day from residents disturbed by night flights.

"It is the number one concern, and I’m disappointed therefore that we will see no improvement to the night flights regime until 2017."

He said the average 16 landings per day between 4am and 6am could "easily be absorbed" after 6am if efficiencies were sought.

He added: "For the sake of the hundreds of thousands of people affected, that’s what we must continue to press for."

Heathrow said it recognised it had downsides for people living nearby.

A spokesman said: "While Government sets the night flight regulations that airports adhere to, we are taking significant steps to tackle noise pollution by encouraging airlines to use cleaner, quieter aircraft.

"We are committed to ensuring this reduction continues and have set stretching targets to do this."