A SLEEPLESS resident is on a one-man mission to stop Southend Airport’s controversial night flights - lodging more than 1,000 complaints himself.

David Smith, of Bryne Drive, Southend, even sends a monthly report to Stobart Air chief executive Glyn Jones outlining the disruption he faces.

The 70-year-old says the flights are both ruining his sleep and impacting his mental health.

He now struggles to stay awake during the day due to his lack of rest.

Mr Smith is calling for the flights - which launched in October 2019 - to be scrapped altogether and has submitted 1,232 complaints himself.

He said: “I live a few hundred yards from the runway, so am constantly hearing the take-offs and landings.

“It’s got to the point I don’t even want to go to bed where I know I’m going to be woke up - and it’s not just me experiencing this. You sit there wondering how many hours sleep will you get.

“I’ve lived here since 1984 and have never had any issues with the airport besides the night flights killing your sleep.

“You struggle to even concentrate where you get woken up every night.”

The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower. They run from 11pm and 6.30am.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, said: “I more than empathise with the resident who has rightly complained about his quality of life being diminished.

“For my part, I have consistently expressed the view that I believe these flights are unnecessary and should be rescheduled.

“In my latest correspondence with the local authority, I asked them for their support in this matter.

“The number of complainants has grown throughout the constituency.”

Southend Airport have insisted night flights have remained at an average of three flights a night since 2019 and spoke of the employment opportunities this has brought to the area.

A spokesman said: “The existing Section 106 agreement, agreed with three councils, allows for limited cargo and night operations.

“In 2019-20, there were, on average, fewer than three movements per night, a situation which has not changed in 2021. It also controls the aircraft types permitted.

“The airport has always been and will always be compliant in all respects with these controls, within which we have developed a cargo operation employing well over 200 local people during an exceptionally challenging time.”