Dear London City,
Your flight path proposals will have a profound effect – for the worse – on the lives of tens of thousands of Londoners…..and you are simply not telling them. You are planning to concentrate the planes using the airport on narrow corridors, meaning that the unlucky communities will suffer all the noise.
It is deeply inequitable. It reminds me what has happened on the roads. These days traffic noise these is largely a main road problem. This is because, over the years, it has been diverted from ‘residential’ roads on to main roads. It has been concentrated on these main roads.
I wrote in my book Why Noise Matters, published by Earthscan in 2011, “The policy in the UK, and in many other European countries, has been to direct through-traffic away from so-called ‘residential’ roads on to ‘main’ roads. I would suggest this is deeply inequitable, made more so by the fact that it is the people living on main roads who are less likely to own and drive cars or be able to move away. They are victims of other people’s noise.”
And now you are proposing to do the same with your planes. I know you are arguing that the changes are not significant because the planned flight paths are not noticeably different from the current routes. Tell that to Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted, Catford, Brixton and Vauxhall! And the other areas that will be under the concentrated flight paths.
Of course, we know you are not going to tell them anything. You’ve said to us you will not be holding public meetings, or even leafleting the areas. Your current consultation brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘minimalist’. You have informed your consultative committee (which you must know is widely seen as one of the weakest and least responsive in the country). And have put your plans on your website: http://www.londoncityairport.com/content/pdf/LCY-LAMP-Consultation-Document.pdf. But is thought they you may not even have informed some of the local authorities affected about the proposals.
Now I suspect I know what you are thinking: HACAN is ‘anti-airport’ and is simply jumping on these proposed flight path changes to have a go at the airport. But that is to miss the point: the issue here is much deeper than what anybody thinks about the airport. It is about fairness, equity, treating people properly; concepts that existed long before you began your short life just over 25 years ago.
You are badly failing the fairness test. You may also be acting contrary to government policy which suggests airports seek to give respite to communities which are overflown.
I suspect you will argue that your minimalist consultation is doing all that the Civil Aviation Authority, which is overseeing the process, requires you to do. We’ve already raised this with the CAA and will do so again unless you start informing people what’s in store for them. I urge you to do so.
Chair HACAN East
HACAN East suggested letter of objection to London City Airport re: its plans to concentrate flight paths
London City Airport are conducting a consultation on airspace changes, which started on 4th September. It ends on 27th November. It aims to concentrate flight paths, in line with the intentions of UK air traffic control service, NATS. Concentrating flights along narrow corridors is more efficient for air traffic control. Instead of a swathe of perhaps 2 miles wide along which planes are directed, they can now follow a 100 metre track. This means fewer people in total are overflown; but for those unlucky enough to live under the new concentrated route, the noise can be deeply unpleasant. London City airport chose not to give any warning about the changes to local councils or local residents. It is not leafleting any areas, nor holding public meetings to explain the proposals. The areas particularly affected are Bow, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Colliers Row, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. It is deeply inequitable. Local campaign group, HACAN East, will be holding a public meeting. They also have a simple template letter people can send in, to express their views. The lengthy consultation document is hard for laypeople to clearly understand.
London City wouldn’t get away with it in Ascot
London City Airport has refused to hold public meetings to inform people of the changes it is proposing to its flight paths in its current consultation. It confirmed to the campaign group HACAN East that it did not intend to hold any meetings.
The Airport is proposing to concentrate aircraft using the airport into much narrower corridors than they use at present (1). Residents in those areas have not been informed of what is planned. There has been no door-to-door leafleting. Areas in the firing line include Bow, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Dagenham and Hornchurch north of the river. In South London Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall look like being the worst affected.
John Stewart, who chairs HACAN East, said, “There have been big protests recently in villages around Gatwick and in the Home County towns of Ascot and Sunningdale about new flight paths that Gatwick and Heathrow airports have been trialling. But at least they were only experiments and, in their final plans, both airports are committed to give their residents some respite from the noise. City Airport, by contrast, is concentrating all its flights over particular areas. And, to rub salt into the wounds, are not telling residents what’s in store for them. London City wouldn’t get away with this in Ascot.”
Stewart added, “London City is being disingenuous when it argues that the routes are not changes significantly. They most certainly are for the people who will get all the planes.”
The consultation started on the 4th September and end on the 27th November.
Notes for editors:
(1). The key consultation document is http://www.londoncityairport.com/content/pdf/LCY-LAMP-Consultation-Document.pdf . The maps are indistinct but the main ones to look at are on:
Page 22. which shows how places like Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted and Colliers Row would be impacted by take-offs on the days the west wind blows (about 75% of the time in a typical year)
Ilustration from Page 22 to show the sort of concentration being planned.
Page 23 which shows how places like Dagenham and Hornchurch would be affected by take-offs when an east wind is blowing
Illustration from Page 26 to show the sort of concentration being planned.
Page 33 which shows how places like Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall will be affected by landings during an east wind
For further information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650
London City Airport is planning to concentrate its flight paths over certain areas. But it is not telling anybody. The areas particularly in the line of fire are Bow, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Colliers Row, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. It is deeply inequitable.
Copied below is a letter that people can email to the airport: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to adapt it as you wish and to encourage others to also email in.
“I strongly object to the way you intend to concentrate the flight paths in and out of London City Airport over particular areas. It is creating noise ghettos and is deeply unfair.
“I also object to the fact that you are refusing to tell directly the communities that will be affected what is in store for them. You are holding no public meeting and are doing no leafleting. Most people don’t even know what is on your website.”
If you want to read the full consultation, it is at http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement.
It started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014.
Campaigners call on CAA to suspend consultation on City Airport flight paths
Campaign group HACAN East has written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ask it to suspend the current consultation being carried out by London City Airport into flight path changes in East London. HACAN East argues that the tens of thousands of residents who are in line to get more planes over-head if the flight path changes go ahead are not being told about them. London City is proposing to concentrate the flights taking off from the airport in a narrow corridor, but its location is not being made clear enough. Areas directly under the favoured flight path will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row – but the airport is not leafleting these areas. People will just not realise the full impact till it is too late. New computer technology can now guide aircraft much more accurately [like satnav for planes, enabling an aircraft to fly a very exact route] when landing and taking off. It gives airports the option of varying the routes the planes use in order to give all residents some respite from the noise or of concentrating all the planes on one route. London City has chosen to concentrate the aircraft.
London City Airport accused of creating a “noise ghetto” with proposed concentrated flight paths
London City Airport have started a consultation on airspace changes (4th September to 27th November) as it wishes to alter flight paths. The change will be because instead of less accurate navigation by aircraft, they now can fly using a very accurate form of satnav for planes. This is referred to as RNAV, meaning precision navigation, by which aircraft can all fly a course accurate to within a few hundred metres. The effect is concentration of flight paths, so most fly the exact same route, and anyone living under that route gets all the planes, and all the noise. Campaign group HACAN East has accused London City Airport of failing to spell out to tens of thousands of residents in East London that they are in line to get many more planes overhead if proposed flight path changes go ahead. The consultation does not make this clear. Areas directly under the favored flight path – and the concentration -will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row. The effect will be to create a noise ghetto. Air traffic controllers like concentration of flight paths. However, it is often better – less unfair – to share out the noise burden, so many people get some flights, rather than a few getting them all.