London City Airport expansion plan gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create ‘noise ghettos and misery’
Date added: February 4, 2015
Newham Council has granted planning approval London City Airport’s plans for an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft. A new six-storey four-star hotel with up to 260 bedrooms will also be built on site. The expansion will increase the number of take-offs and landings at the airport from 70,000 a year to 111,000 and will almost double the number of passengers to 6 million a year by 2023. The number of aircraft stands will increase from 18 to 25, and the newer, larger planes they will accommodate will expand the airport’s reach from destinations in western Europe to Russia and North Africa. It has been described as a boost for London’s aviation capacity, while the arguments for and against a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick (or neither) continue. There are claims for a large number of jobs, and Newham believes many will be for their residents – and there are claims of huge economic benefit for the local and UK economy. The expansion involves the tripling of the size of the terminal to 51,800 ft square and will see the number of flights increase from 38 to 45 during peak morning and evening rush hour times. Building work, subject to final planning approval being given by Boris, is expected to start by the end of 2015, with the first new aircraft seen on the runway in 2016.
Newham backs London City Airport expansion
4 February 2015
by Michael Donnelly (Planning Resource)
Plans for the expansion of London City Airport have been approved after planners concluded that a predicted increase in noise from the development would be ‘not significant’.
The applications for the expansion, considered by the London Borough of Newham, were for full consent for the demolition of existing buildings and structures at the airport to provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities and outline consent for a new 260-bed hotel.The approval will also enable the airport to operate up to a permitted 111,000 annual flights, from the 70,000 currently flying.According to a planning report, a total of 1,362 responses were received from local residents, comprising 21 in support and 1,330 objecting to the application.The report said a key objection to the plans was additional noise. But it said the development would result in “not significant increases in noise exposure”.However, it added, it recognised “that there will be an increase in the number of people exposed to noise, as the population around the Airport will continue to grow”.The compensate for this, the report recommended an “improved sound insulation scheme must be secured through the S106”.
The approval was subject to 131 separate planning conditions to reduce the potential impact of the development. These include:
• A limit of six million passengers passing through the airport a year, with quarterly reports submitted to the council
• The noisiest night time construction piling work can only take place during 32 weekends
• A noise barrier to be constructed on the south side of the site during the construction period.
Local community benefits will include funding to bolster transport services including a bus turnaround at the new Custom House Crossrail station.
The plans could yet be called in by London mayor Boris Johnson or communities secretary Eric Pickles.
City Airport £200m expansion gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create ‘ghettos and misery’
4.2.2015 (Evening Standard)
Go-ahead: CGI plans for the £200m City Airport expansion
A £200million expansion of London City airport was today hailed as a “vital boost to London’s aviation capacity” as it was given planning approval.
Newham Council last night gave the green light to an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft at the airport in east London.
A new six-storey four-star hotel with up to 260 bedrooms will also be built on site.
The expansion will increase the number of take-offs and landings at the airport from 70,000 a year to 111,000 and will almost double the number of passengers to six million a year by 2023.
The number of stands for aircraft will increase from 18 to 25, and the newer, larger planes they will accommodate will expand the airport’s reach from destinations in western Europe to Russia and North Africa.
It has been described as a boost for London’s aviation capacity while uncertainty hangs over proposals for further runways at either Gatwick or Heathrow.
The development will create 2,000 new jobs, at least 35 per cent of which will be given to people in Newham and strengthen the airport’s position as a preferred choice for business travellers.
The expansion involves the tripling of the size of the airport terminal to 51,800 square feet and will see the number of flights increase from 38 to 45 during peak morning and evening flight times.
It is expected to double the contribution to the local and UK economy from the airport from £750million to £1.5billion by 2023.
Building work, subject to final planning approval being given by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is expected to start by the end of the year, with the first new aircraft seen on the runway in 2016.
Expansion: it is hoped the plans will be a major boost for the capital
Airport chief executive Declan Collier said it was a major boost to London’s economy and would provide an urgent increase in air capacity the capital “desperately” needs.
He said: “Expansion will allow us to increase the flight capacity over the next few years that London so badly needs now.
“This is a great result for the capital and will be a catalyst for significant inward economic growth and regeneration.
“It will deliver a world-class international gateway to Newham and London and generate additional short-haul aviation capacity for the UK.”
London City airport’s expansion has been met by opposition by campaigners concerned about air and noise pollution.
Tamsin Omond, representing neighbours, said: “The impact on people already suffering from very high levels of air and noise pollution will be immense.
“More air traffic over one of the most densely populated areas in London does not seem to be to be a development that will make people live, work and stay in this part of London.”
Robert Barnstone, from the anti-expansion group Hacan East, said: “The expansion will create noise ghettos and misery for hundreds of thousands of people living below the flight path.”
The airport and council planners say they do not expect an increase in noise levels because the new fleet of Bombardier C Series aircraft would be quieter but admitted homes will be affected by the increase in flight numbers.
Some earlier news stories about London City Airport:
3rd February: Newham to hear City Airport expansion application
On 3rd February Newham Council will hear City Airport’s application to expand. This, despite the fact that the latest public consultation on the application only closed on 23rd January. Clearly Newham council officers are quick readers! The agenda is with the Planning Officers report, in which they recommend to grant the planning application both for the hotel and the infrastructure, can be found athttp://mgov.newham.gov.uk/ieAgenda.aspx?M=10678.
Campaign group back’s Boris’s bid to have final say on flight numbers at London City Airport
January 14, 2015
Campaign group HACAN East supports Mayor Boris Johnson’s bid to have the final say over flight numbers at London City Airport. The group is backing Boris to have the final say over the number of planes which are allowed to use the airport., and he wants to have the authority to veto any future proposals to do away with existing cap of 120,000 aircraft a year. The Mayor has said this in his response to the airport’s current consultation on its plans for expansion. HACAN East chair John Stewart, said, “We fully support the Mayor’s request. It is a nonsense that one London borough, Newham, should decide how many planes can use the airport when the impact of the airport affects vast swathes of London.” The current consultation does not involve any request by London City to increase flight numbers. What it wants is permission to build an extended taxiway and bigger parking stands so that larger aircraft can use the airport. It also wants to double the size of the terminal and provide more car parking spaces. The consultation closes on Friday 23rd January, with Newham expected to make a decision later in the year.
HACAN East’s official response to London City Airport’s flight path consultation
November 26, 2014
London City Airport has a public consultation on changes to its flight paths, which ends on 27th November. The consultation has been widely regarded as inadequate, as there is insufficient detail, and among those criticising the consultation are several councils. The community group representing people under London City Airport flight paths, HACAN East have published their consultation response. It says concentration of flight paths, without respite, is inequitable and will subject thousands to significantly more noise. They say this concentration without respite is contrary to Government policy, as the CAA itself states: “When seeking opportunities to provide respite for those already affected by aircraft noise it is important that decisions about respite should always be made after considering the specific local circumstances and through engagement with the local community.” HACAN East also complains that the quality of the consultation has been poor. The airport did not directly tell local authorities, MPs, GLA or local residents, and refused to hold public meetings in, or leaflet, the affected areas. They are unimpressed at the claims flight path changes would contribute much in savings of carbon emissions.
Packed public meeting in Wanstead calls on London City airport to reconsult over flight path changes
November 4, 2014
There is growing anger in areas affected by London City Airport flight paths, because of the inadequate consultation they have launched – it ends on 27th November. On 3rd November, there was a packed meeting in Wanstead, which called on the airport to re-consult. Over 200 people crammed into Wanstead Library and gave London City Airport a very tough time over its failure to consult local people, and even their local councillors, over its plans. The airport wants to concentrate departing flights in a narrow band over Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Collier Row and Havering. Planes arriving over South London will also be concentrated. Most councillors knew nothing about the plans until contacted by HACAN East. The plans are on the airport website, but the airport has not put out leaflets or held any public information sessions. Roger Evans, the GLA member for Redbridge and Havering said, “The decent thing to do is to re-run this consultation.” The CAA has been criticised for allowing this poor consultation. People have been encouraged to write to the CAA and the Government calling for a fresh consultation, and sign a petition against concentrated flight paths.
People in Waltham Forest have criticised London City Airport for not informing residents on proposed flight path changes
October 17, 2014
London City Airport has a current consultation on the use of high-tech satellite navigations (RNAV) in planes, which would result in a narrower flightpath over Wansted, Leytonstone, Leyton and Barking. Under the plans, most planes travelling to and from the airport would use a ‘flight corridor’ over Waltham Forest and Redbridge, leading to concerns over noise disturbance. Campaign Group HACAN East called on the CAA to stop the process, which it says has not directly consulted people living in either area. Now the deputy leader of Waltham Forest council has written to the head of City Airport and urged him to contact residents. The airport is claiming there is hardly any change, as it is just that planes will follow routes more accurately. The reality is that they will be concentrated along a narrow line, at the centre of the previously wide path swathe. HACAN East is organising a public meeting on 3rd November in Wanstead, as the airport has neither leafleted affected areas, nor arranged a meeting.
Open letter to London City Airport asking that they consult properly on flight path changes, and treat people fairly
October 12, 2014
London City Airport is proposing to concentrate flight paths, in the same way that other airports have been doing recently. This is how air traffic controllers, NATS and the CAA want airspace to be used in future, in order to fit more aircraft into our already very crowded skies. However, London City Airport decided not go give any prior notice to anyone about the changes, except their Consultative Committee, or any warning about the substantial increase in aircraft noise for those unlucky enough to be under one of the new concentrated routes. It seems even local councils were not notified. Local community group, HACAN East, have now written an open letter to the airport, to complain. HACAN East says the flight path proposals will have a profound effect – for the worse – on the lives of tens of thousands of Londoners. This is deeply inequitable. While the airport makes out that the proposed changes are not significant as the planned flight paths are not noticeably different from the current routes. That is incorrect. There is now a concentrated line. Thousands living in Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted, Catford, Brixton and Vauxhall are very well aware there is a significant change. And that these are seen as unfair.
HACAN East suggested letter of objection to London City Airport re: its plans to concentrate flight paths
October 12, 2014
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.
Planning system ‘too democratic’ says City Airport chief Declan Collier
September 15, 2014
The CEO of London City Airport, Declan Collier, has said that because so many groups are consulted during the planning process in the UK, it takes twice as long to get a decision than it does in Europe. He said: “We are all frustrated by the delays. In the UK, the problem is that the planning system is too democratic, it takes too long to consult and to make a decision.” Mr Collier is paid to make the most profit he can for his airport, and so he promotes the usual opinions about allegedly huge costs to the UK if it delays building more runways etc. The aviation industry has never been shy about making extravagant claims about the supposed benefits it brings the country, while being coy about the difference between profits for the industry, and benefits to the UK as a whole. On the democracy issue, in December 2013 David Cameron said: “It is frustrating sometimes that we can’t do things faster in Britain but we have a planning system, we have democratic accountability for that planning system, we have a need for everyone to have their say and make their point. That’s very important in the British system.” In a country as crowded as the south of England, planning decisions need to be democratic, and to be seen to be so.
Campaigners call on CAA to suspend consultation on City Airport flight paths
September 8, 2014
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
September 8, 2014
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.