Pyjama protest over night flights
Protesters donned pyjamas and dressing gowns today as they called for night-time flights to be banned.
Residents living on the flightpath of Heathrow airport gathered in Hounslow, west London, to urge the Government to ban flights between 11pm and 6am.
Around 30 demonstrators wearing nightwear took part in the event in Lampton park to voice anger that air traffic noise was ruining their sleep.
John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said: "You don't need an alarm clock living under the flightpath. The first plane coming over at 4.30 in the morning is your alarm clock. It wakes you up. Then you're half awake listening to a plane coming over every five seconds until 6 o'clock, when a barrage of planes come across.
"We have to put up with flights during the day, there's no reason we should have to put up flights during the night as well."
Ministers are expected to consult next month on a new night flight regime for three designated airports - Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The current agreement with airlines runs out in October 2014.
Similar demonstrations were being held today across Europe, including Belgium, Italy and Germany.
Campaigners in Hounslow were encouraged to wear nightwear and displayed the message "ban night flights" on pillows.
Seema Malhotra, Labour MP for Feltham and Heston, who is backing the campaign, said: "We've got to protect residents' right to sleep. We know the airport is an important local neighbour. We know the employment and benefits that come from that. There's also a point where you have to say what are the needs of local residents.
"There should be a protected time at night so people know there's a time when they are going to be able to get to sleep."