The Mayor of London said residents must have a break from flight noise, and the airport should take its air pollution and environmental responsibilities more seriously.
The airport, in the Royal Docks, Newham, East London, wants more people to use it, particularly holiday travellers – it expects a record 5 million passengers this year, up 40 per cent in the past five years.
It consulted on its draft plan from June until late September, and is currently assessing responses.
Residents are concerned the expansion plans would end the 24-hour break from overhead flights at weekends.
And the Mayor said he could not support the plans in their current form because “it would not be in the interest of Londoners”.
Mr Khan said noise from planes remained a “fundamental issue” as changes to flight paths three years ago meant some areas were being flown over too often.
He said breaks from flights – overnight, and for 24 hours from lunchtime on Saturday – “must not be eroded” and the airport should use new technology to give residents more relief, not just to maximise profits.
The Mayor also said it should set higher targets for public transport access to reduce the air pollution it causes, and questioned plans to expand parking by 20 per cent.
And Mr Khan said the airport must consider emissions from flights in its carbon reduction plans.
The airport’s current target of net zero emissions by 2050 does not include flights – only airport terminals, landing vehicles, and other ground operations.
In a letter to its chief executive Robert Sinclair, the Mayor said: “The airport’s ambitions are clear, but the draft master plan raises significant concerns.
“The airport must takes its environmental responsibilities and its impact on Londoners seriously.
“It is essential for the airport to recognise that unfettered growth is not an option and that it must be proactive in addressing its noise, air quality and carbon impacts.”
Mr Khan joins the London Assembly’s Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green groups, as well as the Mayors of Newham and Tower Hamlets in opposing the draft plans.
Newham, Tower Hamlets, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Lewisham and Hackney councils have also criticised the current proposals.
Alan Haughton, a Blackwall resident and campaigner with Hacan East, a group opposing the airport’s expansion, welcomed Mr Khan’s letter.
He said: “It’s a very strong response from the Mayor. He obviously gets that London City Airport is acting irresponsibly with what it has put in its draft master plan.”
Mr Haughton said the airport should now provide more details of proposed changes to flight paths so residents could better understand the noise impact.
He said: “The airport need to stop. They need to kill this dead in the water – no one wants it.
“They need to scrap all expansion plans and all plans for weekend flights – until we have clear concise flight paths everything else must be on hold.”
A spokesperson for London City Airport said consulting on its plans had been the “ideal opportunity” to gather views on its future.
He said: “We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, both to local residents and to London as a whole, and our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates this commitment.
“In the event that the airport were to submit more detailed proposals in the future, these would be subject to full assessment of environmental impacts, as part of our rigorous focus on sustainable growth.”
Tower Hamlets Mayor’s letter to London City Airport consultation, opposing changes that will negatively impact residents
The Mayor Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has sent a letter to the London City Airport consultation, to express his concerns about the airport’s expansion plans. This is in addition to the more detailed response sent by the council itself. Mr Biggs says: …”the negative impacts of increasing flights at LCA would be unacceptable in terms of increasing noise levels and exacerbating climate change. The level of noise coming from aircraft needs to be tightly regulated and we believe lower thresholds for disturbance need to put in place. … To protect residents from noise disruption LCA must retain the current 24 hour closure of the airport at weekends between 12.30pm Saturday – 12.30pm Sunday to provide respite for our residents from the noise. To limit the level of disturbance caused to our residents the restrictions on early morning, late night and weekend flights should also be retained, …In Tower Hamlets we have declared a climate emergency and 40% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable levels of air quality. I would like to see further commitments by the airport on its plans to limit the amount of emissions from airport operations.” See the full letter.
Redbridge councillors agree to oppose ‘detrimental’ London City Airport expansion plans
Redbridge Councillors have agreed to oppose (43 : 10) London City Airport’s expansion plans and express serious concern about the “detrimental effect” of noise and air pollution on the health and wellbeing of Redbridge residents. Proposing the motion, Councillor Sheila Bain and Councillor John Howard spoke about the “profound noise and environmental impact” the proposals will have on residents, particularly those living directly under the flight paths. The motion also asked councillors to note a lack of evidence to support the claims that noise pollution, air quality and emissions will not be affected and the lack of adequate consultation by London City Airport with residents affected by the proposals, most of whom are unaware of the consultation taking place. Councillor Paul Donovan said: “City Airport needs to think again, listen to what people are saying and realise that whilst they may need to make more money, that the environment, health and welfare of those of us living below these flight paths is more important.”
Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”
Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights – until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport’s Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”. “The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport,” said Hacan East chairman John Stewart. Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth – pollution from aircraft – would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.
RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS
London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes. It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today. The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents. Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September. The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”. The airport will not be helping with that.