London City Airport’ ‘illegally’ operated over 60,000 noisy flights since 2009

16.12.2013  (campaign group, Stop City Airport Masterplan)

London City Airport has operated over 60,510 flights breaching legally binding noise limits with Newham Council since 2009 – a shocking 21.44% of all flights over the period.

There are around 70,000 flights per year at the airport – 70,502 in 2012.

Research compiled from the Airport’s own Performance reports between 2009 – 2012 shows 60,510 of the total 282,151 flights (21.44%) have operated above the very maximum noise level of 94.5 PNdB allowed at the airport.  [ link ]

One aircraft, the Avro RJ100, has operated 43,264 flights, breaching the noise factors every year since 2009, yet remains operating at the airport. Neither Newham Council, nor the Mayor of London have taken any action against the Airport.

Furthermore a Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy (NOMMS) for aircraft agreed in 2009 is still not operational. [ link ]

Newham Council is currently consulting on further London City Airport expansion plans.[ link

The research is embarrassing for London City Airport’s owners Global Infrastructure Partners who are currently lobbying to get a second runway at their other airport, Gatwick. As part of their Airports Commission submission GIP Gatwick claims to have followed the usual CAA practice employing ANCON 2.3 noise modelling, whereas Heathrow used the American FAA INM model. 

In the case of London City airport, GIP are using the same modelling as Heathrow to justify its expansion, even though to the Airports Commission, they claim that approach uses theoretical assumptions for flight profiles and noise impacts whereas the CAA model deals with actual flight and noise data. [ link ]

Alan Haughton @stopcityairport said

“London City Airport and it’s hedge fund owners Global Infrastructure Partners are treating East London residents with utter contempt. These breaches are nothing short of illegal, clearly breaking the lawfully binding Section 106 agreement. Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich residents are all suffering from increased noise from the Airport even without these breaches – yet remain powerless.  Thousands more homes will enter the significant community annoyance threshold if the current planning application is approved”


An online copy of this Press Release will be available from 10am Monday 16/12/13 at 


The Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy

IN the July 2009 section 106 agreement the Airport agreed to draw up a draft Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy (NOMMS). The NOMMS is to embrace the following features along with any alternative arrangements which may be agreed with Newham Council from time to time:

  • a combined monitoring of noise and track-keeping in order to identify any deviations from the standard routes which should be followed by aircraft and to perform noise categorisation functions;
  • the provision of data for noise contour validation purposes;
  • the provision of data on ground noise;
  • provison to record noise levels produced during aircraft departures and arrivals;
  • provison to ensure appropriate access to data by Newham Council;
  • a strategy to prevent the loss of noise monitoring data collection through the failure of the noise monitoring system or because of external influences such as local construction and to ensure maintenance of the existing noise and track-keeping system;
  • a scheme to encourage airline operators to use quiet operating procedures and to observe air and ground noise abatement procedures;
  • a system of incentives and penalties for airlines which may include financial penalties (not for track-keeping infringements) as well as operational penalties in order to (a) minimise noise disturbance from aircraft using the Airport (including any aircraft overhaul facility),           (b) ensure good track-keeping by aircraft using the Airport and (c) control maximum noise levels of aircraft using the Airport;
  • arrangements to minimise noise disturbance from any aircraft overhaul facility or from aircraft at the Approved Ground Running Location or generally from any ground noise from aircraft subject always to to safe operation of aircraft;
  • regular meetings and consultation with the Airport Consultative Committee and any other statutory body nominated by the Council;
  • provision for a calculation procedure in accordance with the INM to calculate the 57 dB Contour, the 66 dB Contour and the 69 dB Contour ;
  • provision to minimise as far as practicable the impact of development outside the Airport on the integrity of the NOMMS;
  • maintenance of the existing glide slope (5.5 degrees);
  • limiting the use of Auxiliary Power Units before departure and after landing.
  • encouraging consistent with safety the minimum use of reverse thrust on landing