Bristol Airport operates 24 hours a day and aircraft do arrive and depart during the night.
We are aware that aircraft noise in the night is more noticeable, with otherwise low ambient noise levels, and this period is acknowledged as a sensitive time. Bristol Airport therefore operates night flying restrictions, with set limits on the number of aircraft movements that can occur and the level of noise these movements can make. The night flying restrictions form part of our planning permission with North Somerset Council.
In summary, the restrictions are split into two seasons, summer and winter, based on the change to and from British Summer Time. The night period is from 23:30 hours to 06:00 hours. The restrictions include:
- A summer period limit of 3000 movements
- A winter period limit of 1000 movements
Each aircraft movement is also assigned a Quota Count based on its noise level. The sum of all these quota counts is calculated and restrictions are applied including:
- A summer period limit of 1260 quota count
- A winter period limit of 900 quota count
The Quota Count points for each aircraft are published by the Civil Aviation Authority. Aircraft of a quota count of 4 or more (the noisiest aircraft) are banned from being scheduled. We also have a night time noise limit for departing aircraft of 85dB, as recorded at our centreline noise monitors, which is more stringent than our daytime limit of 90dB.
Statistics on our night period movements and quota count totals are published in our annual monitoring report.