Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”
Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights – until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport’s Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”. “The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport,” said Hacan East chairman John Stewart. Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth – pollution from aircraft – would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.
Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion is greeted by campaigners
16 August 2019
By Mike Brooke (Newham Recorder)
Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights until it shows how it will tackling noise and climate emissions.
City AirportConsultation Master Plan suggests more daily flights, early morning and late evening.
But the airport remains firm and insists that the consultation – on plans to almost double the number of landings and take-offs – continues until September 20.
The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive.
The letter “throws down the gauntlet to the airport”, say campaigners from Hacan East which represents households in the flight paths across east London.
“The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated,” its chairman John Stewart said. “Newham is the planning authority for the airport.”
Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle pollution.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz says in her letter to airport chief executive Robert Sinclair: “The council would struggle to support London City Airport’s justification to increase the number of flights. Residents are gravely concerned about the high level forecasts.”
Newham has the most deaths in London attributed to pollution with 96 people a year dying prematurely from respiratory diseases, the mayor points out.
The local authority has set up an air quality and climate emergency task force to achieve “carbon neutral” by 2030 and “carbon zero” by 2050.
“The consultation is fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information,” the mayor’s letter to the airport boss states.
“We expected to see ’emissions from airborne aircraft’ detailed in your aims to achieve the level 3-plus neutrality that you claim to seek by 2020.”
She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”.
The airport says it is giving proper consideration to the mayor’s views, but the consultation remains open for people who want to have their say.
A spokesman said: “The draft master plan is an opportunity to share views on how the airport can respond to the significant demand for air travel in London and in particular east London.
“We recognise the challenge of climate change in our draft master plan. Our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates our commitment to a change in sustainable aviation.”
The 12-week consultation proposes to scrap the 24-weekend break, which would add more early morning and late evening flights.
Assembly calls for changes to City Airport airspace to prioritise Londoners over profit
14 August 2019
By Luke Acton (Newham Recorder)
City Hall’s environment committee has called on airspace decision-makers to prioritise the health and wellbeing of Londoners over the commercial interests of City Airport.
The call comes as a national effort gets under way to modernise the UK’s airspace to improve things like efficiency. The Civil Aviation Authority is the body in charge of that process.
With airports responsible for designing airspace routes under 7,000 feet, City has released a draft document outlining what it wants the new design to do.
Among the “musts” is the maintenance or enhancement of safety and airspace that provides “sufficient capacity to support future demand”.
Among lower priorities, things the new design “should” achieve, is minimisation of CO2 and noise, as well as lower air pollution.
Different groups and organisations are now responding to the plan. Assembly Member Caroline Russell is a Green Party politician and chairwoman of the environment committee.
She said: “According to the Civil Aviation Authority, there are already 331,000 people overflown by flights arriving at City Airport, and 416,300 overflown by departures, all under the altitude of 4,000 feet.
“The damaging effect of aircraft noise on Londoners’ lives can no longer be ignored.
“The London Assembly is recommending that any changes to airspace and flight paths at London City Airport prioritise the health and wellbeing of overflown Londoners, over and above the commercial interests of the airport.”
A spokesman for London City thanked the committee for its response, adding that air capacity is vital for jobs, to support business and to encourage trade and tourism.
“As London’s most central airport, we know we have a responsibility to be a good neighbour, which is exactly why we are participating in this airspace modernisation programme, which is anticipated to result in quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.
“We have also previously highlighted evidence to the environment committee of the extensive work we are doing with airlines, manufacturers, air traffic control services, and other stakeholders, to actively limit noise and mitigate its effects.”
The airspace document comes as City is also consulting on its draft master plan, which calls for more flexibility for early and late flights, and during the 24-hour weekend break.
HACAN East new major campaign against London City’s expansion plans, asking people to fill in postcard responses to the consultation.
HACAN East has launched a major campaign against London City’s expansion plans. It is encouraging people to fill in postcards opposing the expansion plans, and send them in to Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION. People can also download and display posters. The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City. HACAN East wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening. The postcards say: I SUPPORT the 24 hour London City Airport weekend flight ban. I DO NOT want up to 40,00 more flights. I DO NOT want more early morning or late evening flights. I DO NOT want more climate damaging airport expansion. Overall, I DO NOT support the plans in the draft master plan.
Caroline Russell: Action is needed on aircraft noise
Caroline writes in a blog that in parts of London, people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it. For some, the onslaught from Heathrow planes is made worse by the addition of London City planes using narrow, concentrated routes. The noise has significant health impacts for many. A report by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which Caroline chairs, concluded that the Government and CAA should regulate noise disturbance more stringently. They should use lower thresholds for noise disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City. The WHO guidance is that 45dB is the threshold for health impacts, but the UK government persists with 54dB as the ‘disturbance’ threshold. Also that flight paths should be rotated, to give relief to those under concentrated flight paths – and flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts, including avoiding overlapping flight paths. Increasing exposure to aircraft noise is unacceptable, and must be challenged
What is driving London City Airport’s expansion plans? John Stewart comment
John Stewart, from Hacan East, has looked at why London City Airport is planning huge expansion. The airport Master Plan wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. He says the airport is aiming to promote itself as a major player on the aviation scene, and a key driver of the regional economy, not just a niche business airport. It now often holds receptions at the party conferences, and is raising its profile to get backing for its growth plans. The current owners bought the airport for £2 billion in 2016, and want to make a good return. Business passengers used to be about 60% of the total, but now 50% – with the plans suggesting 36% by 2035. Most business passengers fly in the morning and evening, so leisure flights use the hours in the middle of the day. It can’t offer budget flights because Ryanair and EasyJet planes are too big to use the airport. London City has set out to change to portray itself as a key driver, maybe even the key driver, of the economic development of East, NE and SE London. It is pushing this to MPs and also local authorities in its regions in order to convince them it is in their interest to back expansion.
RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS
London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes. It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today. The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents. Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September. The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”. The airport will not be helping with that.