Campaigners blast ‘brazen’ expansion of City Airport

9.7.2009   (Evening Standard)

by Peter Dominiczak

A council’s decision to allow the expansion of London City Airport has been criticised by green campaigners.

The airport will accommodate nearly 50,000 extra flights per year after the project
is complete.

Newham council confirmed the planning application last night and claimed it will
pump an additional £26million into the local economy.

However, campaigners have criticised the decision to increase the number of flights
in and out of the airport to 120,00 from 73,000.    
Friends of the Earth, who have challenged the council over the plans, expressed its disappointment
and questioned whether the local community will benefit.

One of its London campaigners, Jenny Bates, said: “Giving the go-ahead to expansion
of London City Airport is in brazen conflict with the urgent need to tackle climate

“Some councils are streaking ahead by taking steps to reduce air pollution and
cut carbon emissions, but Newham is straggling behind by approving more flights
from the airport.

“There are often exaggerated claims made by the council about potential job increases,
but it often doesn’t help the local unemployed population who need it most. It
is not too late though. Campaigners will have to consider their legal options

She added: “The Mayor [Boris Johnson] should be standing by his pledge to make London the greenest city in the world
and pushing for cleaner transport alternatives such as improved fast rail links.”

A Newham council spokesman said that early morning flights will not be increased
and said that there will be strict restrictions on night and weekend operations,
adding: “This decision will pump an additional £26 million into the local economy,
create new jobs for local residents, boost tourism in the area and also create
the potential for further investment in local infrastructure.”

He said that residents’ concerns had been taken into account and that flights
would be capped at 120,000 per year.


 Reader views (2)

London City Airport is not a small airport and it’s growing and having a really
negative effect on the local communities. The council have just created a bigger
campaign to stop expansion and to try help to create a healthy safe community.

LB Newham don’t care for the health of the community only for big business. Only
3 councilors voted on this “3”, as all the other Labour councilors have interests
in LCY’s business. Is this really a fair vote? Locals and residents in the surrounding
communities and boroughs don’t think so.

– Concerned In Newham, Newham


Some of the fringe groups need to get serious.

Reduction in Carbon emmissions is mainly going to come from buildings, not a
small airport. Only last month Newham Homes reported on a project for solar water
heating for some of the Council’s tenants.

– Alan Griffiths, Forest Gate, LONDON. UK



for comment from the local community group, Fight the Flights, see
see also
Reuters   10.7.2009
London City Airport set to up flights by 50 percent

 London City Airport is to be allowed to increase its flights by 50 percent by
the end of next year, a move likely to boost development in east London ahead
of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Borough of Newham said it has agreed to raise the number of flights in and
out of the airport, located just two miles from the Olympic site, to a maximum
of 120,000 per year from the current 80,000.
The increase is expected to boost the number of passengers per year to 3.9 million
from 3.3 million, said an airport spokeswoman.
She said the expansion will create an estimated 957 new jobs but will not require
additional construction.
Employers’ group the CBI said the expansion would be vital to the regeneration
of east London and to the Olympics.
London City Airport, designed primarily to appeal to business travellers, has
10 airlines serving over 30 destinations across the UK and Europe.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Editing by Steve Addison)