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Environmental Policy | Aircaft Noise | Future Development | Airline ResponsibilityCarbon Balance Flights | Airport Surface Access

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Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy sets out a commitment of responsibility through the development and improvement of management systems.

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Aircraft Noise

  • The majority of commercial aircraft are guided by Exeter's Air Traffic Control (ATC) onto the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at between 8 and 20 miles from the airport.

  • Exeter's ATC also deal with air traffic in a 2.5 mile radius around the airport but they will not necessarily have contact with the pilot of a light aircraft.  Light aircraft also operate in the area from other airfields such as Dunkerswell, Branscombe, Farway and Eaglescott. Please see the Managing Aircraft Noise document which has answers to frequently asked questions.

During landing, take off and when undertaking training or other manoeuvres, aircraft use the established routes for Approach, Departure and Circuits.


  • RAF aircraft also fly through the region from bases in the UK.
    Complaints about military low flying activity should be directed to:   01780 417 558

  • For Police Helicopter issues telephone: 0845 277 7444

  • For unacceptable aircraft noise issues where the aircraft activity is not associated with this airport please contact the Civil Aviation Authority.

  • If unacceptable aircraft noise is from an aircraft using this airport please report the incident on the Contact Us page of this website. These issues will be taken to Consultative Committee which meets regularly to discuss environmental and noise issues. 

The Consultative Committee works to the Department for Transport Guidelines for Airport Consultative Committees and has representatives from Local Parish, District and City Councils. Issues for consideration may also be addressed to:
Exeter International Airport Consultative Committee,
The Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL

The Airport Consultative Committee meeting minutes are posted on the Community page.

There is no restriction on night flights at Exeter but the majority of these are the two nightly Royal Mail flights which enable first-class postal deliveries. Businesses and households rely on these flights for overnight mail delivery and the transfer of urgent parts and medical supplies.  Some leisure travel also
requires inbound flights after midnight due to aircraft capacity constraints.  This enables affordable holidays in peak summer months when there is a 30% increase in demand.

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Future Development

The airport's future development is detailed in the Airport Master Plan.

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Airline Responsibility

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines. IATA's environmental policy was established to support efforts in carbon reduction, alternative fuels, fuel efficiency, local air quality, and noise. Also see

Flybe, the largest operator at Exeter, is at the forefront of the efforts to reduce the environmental impact of air travel and with their strap-line Low Cost but Not at Any Cost, promotes sustainable growth in the aviation industry.

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Carbon Balance Flights

Exeter Airport offers passengers the opportunity of using a CO2 calculator.  Following the calculation, passengers are invited to contribute to schemes that will minimise the effect of their flight's carbon emissions. The South West company will invest funds in sequestration or energy efficiency projects that absorb or prevent the release of the CO2 equivalent to the Carbon Footprint of the flight.

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Airport Surface Access

Local planning and highway authorities, infrastructure providers and transport operators are aware of the need to improve the surface access to/from the airport.

Alternatives to car usage are offered and the airport assists by funding the Sunday bus service.

The Airport Master Plan (Section 8.2) stated that the airport's surface access strategy objectives were:
  • To increase the ease of access to the airport by public transport
  • To ensure that there is adequate, reasonably-priced car parking to minimise the number of 'dropped off cars' at the terminal to reduce trip generation
  • To work with local agencies to support the development of a sustainable integrated transport plan
  • To develop a green travel plan for airport staff

The benefits to the environment and local community can be summarised as:
  • Reductions in car use, reducing congestion and air pollution
  • Ensuring that the communities close to the airport can benefit from better public transport.