Uproar as Newham Council gives go-ahead to City Airport Expansion

9.10.2008   (Fight the Flights,   and HACAN)

Approval given despite admission from the airport that its noise figures are

There was uproar in Newham Town Hall last night as the Council gave the go-ahead
for a 50% increase in flights at City Airport despite the admission by the airport
that all the noise measurements it has taken since 2000 are unlikely to be accurate.  
Airport representatives told the Council’s Planning Committee that, because of
technical difficulties, they had not been able to take accurate noise measurements
for the last eight years.

Objectors to the expansion, which included representatives from Friends of the
Earth, Greenpeace, Plane Stupid, the Camp for Climate Change, the Heathrow campaign
group HACAN as well as the local campaign Fight the Flights, will be consulting
with their lawyers today.

Veteran campaigner John Stewart, who chairs HACAN, said, "In all my 25 years
of campaigning I have never seen such a pitiful performance by councillors.   Most
of them didn’t seem to have a clue about the issues.   They were clearly not up
to deciding a planning application of this importance.   It was inept.   It is no
wonder that people got so angry and frustrated."

When the Planning Committee voted by 5 to 1 in favour of the application, pandemonium
broke out in the hall.


For further information:

John Stewart on           0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

Annie Griffin,     Fight the Flights           07899896042


Press Release dated 9/10/08
see also

Green light for City airport flights 50% expansion

9.10.2008   (Financial Times)

By Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent

London City airport won planning permission on Wednesday night to increase the
number of take-offs and landings by around 50%.

The airport, which chiefly serves the financial services industry in the City
of London and Canary Wharf business districts, has grown rapidly in recent years
with passenger volumes rising by more than 20% a year in both 2006 and 2007.  
It was already bumping up against its existing limit of 80,000 movements a year,
but on Wednesday night the local planning authority, the London Borough of Newham,
approved a 50 per cent increase to 120,000 movements annually.

Growth of both commercial passenger numbers and corporate jet movements has been
hit hard by the turmoil in global financial markets, however.

Passenger traffic is still forecast to rise from 2.9m to 3.2m this year thanks
to rapid expansion in the first half, but it is forecast to be flat in 2010.  
Corporate jet movements are already falling and are expected to decline from 15,000
to 14,500 this year.

"We could see some return to modest growth in 2010, but we have been finding
it very difficult to forecast in recent months," said Richard Gooding, chief executive
of the airport.

As growth in demand resumes the airport expects the higher limit on flight numbers
to allow passenger numbers to rise to more than 3.9m with the number of jobs at
the airport increasing by 1,000 to more than 3,000.

The airport has already invested heavily to create facilities to cope with higher
numbers and in recent months has added four more aircraft stands. It has opened
a new pier and has almost doubled the size of the departure lounge.

It has a growing network of European and domestic short-haul destinations, as
business travellers take the opportunity to avoid the increasing congestion at
the main London airports.

Both Air France and British Airways have greatly increased their operations at
the airport with competition growing between the three main airline alliances.
Next year BA plans to open the first long-haul route from London City to New York
JFK using all-business class A318s, the smallest jets made by Airbus.

AIG, the stricken US insurer, sold its 50% stake in London City two weeks ago
to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), its partner in the purchase of London
City airport two years ago.

• Gatwick, the UK’s second-largest airport, is to be sold by BAA in response
to pressure from the Competition Commission, which is preparing to call for the
break-up of the airports group. Analysts have estimated a Gatwick deal could be
worth £2bn. It is the world’s busiest single runway airport and handled 35m passengers
last year.