London City airport to introduce £600 fines for the noisiest planes breaching noise limits

London City Airport is going to fine airlines £600 each for breaching noise limits, after a surge in complaints from residents (due to the concentrated flight paths that started in February 2016).  It has started a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online. The noise is now concentrated, as planes try to cut fuel use, to save money; therefore the same people get overflown all the time, creating highly unpleasant noise pollution. Many residents, from Leyton to Lewisham, have complained about the noise since the changes. This new charging emerged at a hearing at the London Assembly, when AMs questioned London City airport and Heathrow staff about the environmental impacts (noise, air pollution, carbon emissions) of their airports. Tessa Simpson, environment manager at City airport, told the Assembly yesterday: “We have set noise levels that are some of the most stringent in the country.”  They have to, as the airport is located in, and surrounded by, densely populated areas.  The money will go into a “community fund” to be “shared amongst community projects.”



Tough new noise fines to hit flights at City Airport after surge in resident complaints

By SOPHIA SLEIGH  (Evening Standard)


London City Airport is going to fine airlines for breaching noise limits after a surge in complaints from residents.

The airport, based in the Royal Docks, has launched a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online.

Bosses revealed the airport had seen a spike in complaints since launching concentrated flight paths in February 2016. The paths were changed after new air traffic control technology was brought in to cut carbon emissions — flights follow streamlined routes to burn less fuel.

Hundreds of residents, from Leyton to Lewisham, have complained that the changes caused an increase in noise pollution, so the airport is now fining airlines £600 per rule-breaking flight.

Tessa Simpson, environment manager at the airport, told the London Assembly yesterday: “We have set noise levels that are some of the most stringent in the country. If they exceed those, we fine them a certain amount.

“That money then gets put into a community fund and that’s shared amongst community projects.” The airport is restricted by planning laws as to when it can operate, including an eight-hour closure overnight. Planes also have to fly in at a specific angle to minimise noise impact.

Liam McKay, director of corporate affairs, said the community fund would launch in a few weeks and be given to groups living under the flight paths.

Asked if there had been an increase in complaints following the introduction of the concentrated flight paths, he said: “In 2016 it’s fair to say that complaints spiked. I believe last year we had less than one noise complaint per day.

“We finished on around 320 noise complaints and [in the] year to date I think we’re tracking 390 — so an increase. But for context I believe there is a number from a single resident.”

He added that the airport was “determined to minimise the effects of our operation on local communities”.

Jennette Arnold, Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, said residents had “constant” noise, adding: “When you talk about one or two persistent complainants they have every right to be persistent.”

Caroline Russell, chairwoman of the Environment Committee, said: “People are getting desperate because of a lack of sleep.”


There does not appear to be anything on the airport’s website about these £600 fines.     

It is not easy to work out just what constitutes a breach that will be fined. The London City Airport noise pages are at

There is information at

about £30,000 spent earlier by the airport, through its “30th Anniversary Community Sponsorship Fund”,  in 2017.

Most airports have these sorts of funds, for money obtained from planes that break noise limits. The noise rarely (if ever) goes to those troubled, angered and upset by the plane noise.   Details of the Heathrow one here. 



See earlier:

London City Airport sets record as tourists boost numbers

By JOANNA BOURKE (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 27 March 2018

London City Airport had its busiest week ever as the Docklands hub, traditionally a favourite for business flyers, was boosted by increasing numbers of holidaymakers.

A total of 101,336 customers either departed from or arrived at the Square Mile’s favourite airport in the week to 25 March, on 1,525 flights.

That is 2% higher than the previous record set in 2016.

In addition, last Thursday the company recorded its best-ever day, when 18,607 people came through the doors.

The 31-year-old airport was boosted by strong performances from British Airways and Flybe. Popular destinations included Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh.

Chief executive Robert Sinclair said it was benefiting from more holidaymakers using it. Traditionally it has been a base for business flights as it is close to Canary Wharf.

The airport is expecting around 55,000 passengers to travel over the course of the Easter holiday weekend.

Sinclair said Brits were impressed by “industry-leading punctuality, ease of use and convenience”.

The latest performance will be welcome after recent disruptions hit flights, caused by the Beast from the East’s snow.

Last month some departures were cancelled after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb in the Thames.

The airport, owned by a consortium of international investors, including Alberta Investment Management Corporation and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is undergoing a £480 million revamp, to complete in 2022.