The boss of the world’s busiest airport for international passengers has urged night-time restrictions at Heathrow to be abandoned.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, has said new, quieter aircraft mean that the current rules on noise at Britain’s busiest airport are unnecessary.

He told The Independent: “Unlike Dubai, where we’re 24/7, the airports in the UK are closed for about a third of the day. So you imagine: all that investment, all that amazing infrastructure sitting idle for a third of the day.

While Heathrow is technically open 24 hours, it has has some of the strictest limits of any hub airport in Europe, to reduce the noise nuisance for local residents.

Takeoffs and landings between 11.30pm and 6am are capped at 5,800 annually, an average of 16 per night. Noisier aircraft are banned entirely.

Around a dozen flights are scheduled to arrive each day between 4.30am and 6am, mainly from Africa, Asia and Australia.

The first departures of each day are scheduled for 6am: Austrian Airlines to Vienna, TAP Portugal to Lisbon and Swiss to Zurich. The last of the day is the 10.45pm Aeroflot flight to Moscow from Terminal 4 – although if delays build up there are sometimes later departures.

The Dubai CEO said the impact would be minimal is if quiet, modern jets were used.

More on The Independent.

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