Fears over London City Airport plans

(1.10.2007   Tower Hamlets Eastend Life)

Residents in Tower Hamlets are concerned about plans by London City Airport to
increase the number of flights it handles by 50% over the next 3 years.   Airport
bosses have applied to Newham Council for permission to raise the annual number
from 80,000 to 120,000, by increasing the frequency of daytime travel.   Tower
Hamlets Council has outlined its concerns about the plans to Newham Council, which
include air pollution, aircraft noise, climate change and traffic related pollution.

Stepney resident David Bayat is concerned the proposed expansion will result
in more noise and air pollution, and he said many other people in the area were
anxious too.   Mr Bayat, chair of Whitechapel and St Dunstan’s & Stepney Local
Area Partnership (LAP 3), said: "I am concerned about the dramatic noise that
we already have as a result of the increase in movements at London City Airport.

"It is important that residents register any concerns with Newham Council."  
Mr Bayat added that recently planes had been flying lower over Cable Street in
Whitechapel and Stepney when they were coming into land at the airport.

Rupa Haria, spokeswoman for London City Airport, said: "Aircraft heading for
London City can only have a very minor impact on Whitechapel. Additionally, aircraft
departing from London City Airport are very unlikely to overfly Whitechapel.

"A significant number of aircraft heading for Heathrow do overfly Whitechapel
every day.   A very substantial proportion of passengers travelling via London
City starts and finishes their journeys in Tower Hamlets."

A spokeswoman for Newham Council said: "We will carry out an assessment of the
proposals’ impact upon ecology, noise, transport, air quality and socio-economics.
It will be determined by November 26."   Newham Council has sent out consultation
letters to residents and businesses within half a kilometre of the airport.