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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 18:01 GMT
Airport given overnight approval
Aberdeen Airport
Aberdeen Airport has been granted 24 hour status
Aberdeen Airport has been given approval to open overnight despite residents' concerns.

Councillors on Wednesday narrowly voted to let planes take off and land 24 hours a day.

The issue of extending the terminal's opening hours has been hugely contentious, mainly on the grounds of noise disturbance concerns.

Councillors voted by 21 votes to 18 to scrap the 2330 GMT curfew, saying it was vital for the local economy.

The new 24-hour ruling will not apply to helicopters, only fixed wing aircraft.

The airport's current operating hours are from 0600 GMT to 2230 GMT, extending to 2300 GMT for late departures and 2330 GMT for late arrivals, if carrying passengers.

This is a significant milestone for north east Scotland
Andy Flower
Airport managing director

A maximum of four flights will now be scheduled to fly outwith these hours each night.

The decision was welcomed by operators BAA Aberdeen, who described the decision as "one of the most important developments in the airport's history".

Aberdeen Airport's managing director Andy Flower said: "This is a significant milestone for north east Scotland and Aberdeen Airport's ability to drive future economic prosperity to the benefit of the city and the region as a whole.

"The flexibility this decision provides spells an end to the frustration felt by travellers and airlines alike as flights to Aberdeen were turned away

"It represents a turning point in our collective ability to market the city and the north east to airlines.

"Of course, we are aware of the local concerns about these plans and we will work hard with our airline partners and our communities to minimise any negative impact as a result of the new arrangements."

Night flying

Last month, Aberdeen City Council's planning committee voted in favour of the application for a two-year trial period.

However, the matter was referred to the full council after an amendment was put forward suggesting night flying should be allowed for delayed flights only.

The row over Scotland's third largest airport has been going on for years.

The airport recently notched up record passenger numbers because of several new services from the north east.

But BAA said further growth was limited by strict landing and take-off restrictions.




SEE ALSO:
Airport opening plan vote put off
17 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Passengers on the up in airports
09 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Direct flights give firms a lift
04 Jan 05 |  Scotland
BAA sees increase in passengers
10 Dec 04 |  Business
Airport soars past million mark
11 Aug 04 |  Scotland


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