The government has announced that night flights will continue at Heathrow airport until the airport is expanded.

Following a consultation, the government announced yesterday (July 13) that there will be no change to the number of flights allowed between 11.30pm and 6am, until October 2022.

Richmond and Wandsworth councils have been fighting to reduce night flights, arguing that the government has chosen to gamble with the health of Londoners, rather than challenge the airline industry to change.

Richmond Council leader, councillor Paul Hodgins said: “Put plain and simply, the Government consultation was pointless.

“They were proposing virtually no changes to begin with and it looks like they haven’t listened to people’s feedback at all.”

According to the councils, there is increasing scientific evidence which shows that night flights impact adversely on human health, leading to a variety of conditions.

“The World Health Organisation guidance is clear -it states that Heathrow already steps over the line when it comes to night noise,” added Cllr Hodgins.

“The number of planes that depart and arrive from the airport at night is unacceptable, to protect people’s ears and sleep we need an all-out ban.”

The current regime for night flight restrictions is due to expire in October 2017 and despite objections raised at a consultation held earlier this year, the new five-year plan the new proposals did not include any changes.

Wandsworth Council leader, cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The Government’s consultation on night flights has been exposed as a sham.

“Heathrow’s vested interests have been protected while the health and well-being of Londoners living under the flights paths has been sacrificed.”

According to the proposed plans there will be around 16 flights per night during the summer and 18 in the winter and changes to the “noise quota” regime which the government says will encourage the use of new quieter aircraft.

A Back Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow is listening to local people who are concerned over noise by, for example, this week launching the Quieter Homes Scheme which will help hundreds of residents and their families.

“But the government should not forget that most residents support Heathrow expansion because of the huge benefits that will come to local communities such as 10,000 apprenticeships and 77,000 new local jobs.”