East and south east London residents are prepared for a battle over London City Airport

30.7.2008   (Fight the Flights press release)

London Borough of Newham Meet To Decide London City Airports Application to Expand
London City Airport’s (LCA)  application to expand flights by 50% to 120,000 flights
per year is to be considered by the London Borough of Newham   (LB Newham) today,
30th July at Stratford Town Hall.   Fight the Flights, campaigners  and local residents
will be present to voice their concerns and request  a public inquiry into the
The Case Officer has recommended approval, despite an unprecedented amount of
objections received by the council and  the  opinion  that the application is deeply
flawed  by the estimated evidence it uses for noise levels and employment figures
which can only be viewed with scepticism.
Campaigners and residents  are furious that no actual, reliable noise data has
been collected by the  airport for over 6 years, despite it being a requirement
of the Section 106.  
This makes   a mockery of claims by the airport, and the London Borough of Newham  that  LCA
has to operate within ‘strict controls’.   Neither LB Newham nor LCA have made
any effort to take accurate, reliable and consistent noise readings for the purpose
of this application.   Residents are already paying the price  with the introduction
of more  noisier jet planes operating out of LCA.  
A 50% increase in flights will mean a 50% increase in noise and  will  make the
areas in and around the airport unliveable due to the noise  and air pollution.
In addition  LCA currently claim to have ‘created’ over 2,000 jobs and claim they
will ‘create’ a 1,000 more.   We find this claim to be purposely misleading.  
The airport in reality directly employs just over 400 people. The other jobs
added on to this figure are those in the local community which LCA claims to have
created by it’s presence in East London whilst overlooking the effect of other
businesses such as the ExCel Centre on surrounding job growth.  Job growth is
not guaranteed, and LCA have failed to provide LB Newham with annual  evidence
of how many Newham residents they actually employ which again was a requirement
of the last planning approval.
If  Newham Planning Committee approve the 50% increase in flights  at today’s meeting  they
will be sentencing  46,000 additional residents to excessively high noise levels
in the most densely populated area of England,  on the basis of flawed data.    The
noise management programme which the LB Newham advise residents will insulate
homes against the effects of the increase of noise does not extend to any properties
built or given planning permission after 1997 due to building regulations from
that time.
Fight the Flights will continue to look to the Government Office for London (GOL)  and
the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ the application and instruct a public inquiry.  
GOL are currently monitoring the application and will be making a decision  in
the coming weeks.
Campaigners are not ruling out following the plans of the Heathrow protestors
and  will consider other  ways to get Newham Council and the Government to  listen
and respond, such as taking direct action  if they continue to feel that their
concerns are not being  taken seriously.  
Notes to Editors
1. Fight the Flights is a coalition group of resident campaigners from across
the boroughs in South and East London who are objecting to the expansion of flights
from London City Airport.
2. London City Airport wish to increase flights to 120,000 this year and to 176,000
in their next application. This is part of the airport’s masterplan.
3. LCA is situated in Newham,  the most densely populated area in the country,
in the middle of the regeneration areas for  1000s of new home to be built under
the Thames Gateway plan.   It also  has the highest levels of mortality in under
30s with asthma in the country, the worst housing shortage of the London Boroughs,
and is the second most socially deprived borough in England.
4. LB Newham has consistently failed to  enforce the Section 106 conditions which
were applied to the airport at the time of the  last planning application.   A formal
complaint has been submitted by a resident on this issue and the Council have
admitted their failure to enforce the section 106.

Fight the Flights