Calls to ban night flights at Lisbon airport

in World · 01-11-2019 01:00:00 · 4 Comments

The environmental association ZERO has called for an end to flights between midnight and 6am at Lisbon airport, due to the harmful effects of aircraft noise on residents.

In a statement, ZERO - Sustainable Ground System Association states that there is “widespread non-compliance” with the early morning air traffic limits provided for in the “exception regime” in force since 2004, which allows for 26 daily flights to take off and land between midnight and 6am.

According to the association, not only have the limits been exceeded, but complaints have been registered from residents of Lisbon, Loures and other neighbouring municipalities at Humberto Delgado Airport about the noise of aircraft and difficulty in sleeping.

ZERO believes that the “exception regime” should be repealed “to ensure that people are resting, especially at night”, and that the measure will enter into force in April 2020 when “new daylight saving time is applied”.

The reduction in noise during the daytime “should be considered in a second phase”, adds the association, noting that the population of Lisbon “is exposed to much higher noise levels” than the values recommended by the World Health Organization.

In the statement, ZERO said it was awaiting responses to a complaint lodged with the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and that the Inspectorate General of the Environment confirmed in a surveillance action this year that it had “violated the night flight exception regime”.

The newspaper Público reported, citing an official source from ANAC, that the regulator has filed several administrative offenses against carriers that have exceeded the noise levels permitted by law at Humberto Delgado Airport.

In the same statement, ZERO announced that it will send letters to the mayors of Lisbon and Loures to “try to understand” whether or not they agree with the end of the flight exception regime.


Airport designed decades ago and the urban sprawl that has accompanied is the recipe for the current problem. Flight numbers have increased several fold. Regulators have not responded properly. Residents in the flight path can´t sleep with windows open. Children are having their sleep rythyms interrupted. I´m afraid there is no solution that will make any difference. If flights are cancelled during the proposed period, traffic will have to increase other times just shifting the adverse affects.

Proposing time limits is the only option. Engineers could also help affected parties by recommending ways to mitigate the impact of noise, at all times of day. Insulation windows, ear protection, etc. Many, when aware of the impact the problem, may decide not to buy property or open a business in the area, choose to send children to more quiet schools, or avoid the area all together as a designation ´HARMFUL NOISE LEVEL ZONE, USE EAR PROTECTION´.

By João from Lisbon on 03-11-2019 12:35

How can this government grow the economy with more regulation. The EU Is over regulated, no wonder we are falling behind so many countries!

By Anna from Madeira on 02-11-2019 12:41

I really appreciate... People in Lisbon love to sleep with their hard day work.. And don't want anymore disturb.. If it is permanent otherwise, the summer season had gone. May be may be I hope it doesn't happen next year in summer too..

By Ganesh Parajuli from Lisbon on 01-11-2019 06:22

Isn't there already a curfew? I've had to wait 6 hours for my flight in Porto because public transport stops at night. So I have to make it for my 7AM FLIGHT somehow.

This is why I like Dubai Airport. There are no issues there for operating 24 hours. No, noise complaints.

By Ahmad Shumayal from Other on 01-11-2019 11:56
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