Hounslow Council has vowed to continue its battle to ban night flights altogether after plans to double them were shelved.

The Airports Commission recommended allowing 35 planes to land before 6am each morning, compared with 16 at present, in return for alternating the runway used each week.

But transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin yesterday postponed his decision on the proposals and said the existing restrictions would remain in place until at least 2017.

Hounslow Council's deputy leader Amrit Mann today welcomed Mr McLoughlin's announcement but said the council would not stop campaigning to outlaw night flights.

"It's good news the Government has delayed a decision to endorse the commission's proposals to increase night flights," he said.

"However, for the sake of our residents' quality of life, we will not relent in our battle to ban night flights at Heathrow.

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"I suppose this is a delay at Heathrow we can be quite happy with as it allows us to continue our fight for a better not a bigger airport."

Mr McLoughlin said yesterday he would make his decision on night flights after the Airports Commission revealed its final reccommendations next summer on plans to increase aviation capacity, including a possible third runway at Heathrow.

The transport secretary also said he would wait until then before deciding whether to introduce an independent noise regulator for airports, as recommended by the commission.