City Airport very clearly failed to consult the residents who will be affected by its plans before the closing date of the consultation. Now it’s time to take action – if we work together, we can win this.
What can you do?
1. Write to the Civil Aviation Authority to object to how the consultation was carried out. This is now the most important activity – below is a template you can use. Feel free to adapt it (it will have the most impact if you use your own words) but don’t worry about copying it straight if you’re short on time or inspiration! The key thing to remember is to focus on your concerns with how the consultation was carried out, rather than why you disagree with the actual proposals.
Send your email to this address: email@example.com or alternatively you can mail it to:
Airspace Business Coordinator,
Safety & Airspace Regulation Group,
CAA House, 45 – 59 Kingsway,
London, WC2B 6TE
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I would like to raise my concerns over London City Airport’s recent flight path consultation for the following reasons:
1. The proposed changes are not minor as they would greatly impact the quality of life of tens of thousands of people in a significant way:
– The flight path under discussion may well already be being used, but our understanding is that the proposals would increase traffic on this route by c. 40%.
– Additionally, the airport is not even operating at fully capacity yet and should there be any expansion, the problem will become even worse.
2. London City did not make any serious attempt to consult residents who would be affected by its proposals:
– The consultation documents were posted on an airport website and residents could not be reasonably expected to pick up information in this way (who regularly surfs an airport’s website?)
– It only told its Consultative Committee about the plans. It did not directly tell local authorities, MPs, Greater London Authority members or local residents.
– Airport representatives only attended public meetings when they had been organised by residents, and only then in two areas (Wanstead and Leytonstone).
– Only one press release was sent out to borough newspapers, at the end of August and in a week when there was a Bank Holiday. This is not adequate engagement with the media.
3. Minimal effort has been been made to explain the changes in a manner accessible to the layperson:
– The documents in themselves were quite technical.
– The only maps apparently available are on page 14 of a pdf, buried on City Airport’s website.
4. There has been minimal attempt to engage with the offline community:
– Older residents have expressed concern that the consultation documents could only be found online, as they either did not have internet access and/ or the skills to locate them.
– No materials were provided for this group of residents eg. posters, leaflets or copies of the consultations document left at public institutions such as libraries.
It is my strong view that the consultation which City Airport has carried out thus far is not adequate and that the airport should have been required to carry out the wider consultation (as laid out in paragraph 6.1 of your guidance). I would request that you review this situation urgently and require City Airport to undertake the consultation afresh.
I look forward to hearing from you.
[Address – either put your road or first part of your postcode]
2. Follow us on social media. You can add us as a friend on Facebook (we’re ‘Flight Path Changes’) or follow @PathChanges on Twitter. We’ll post the latest updates to both Twitter and Facebook and we are planning more activity on Twitter which you can get involved in so if you’re not already signed up to Twitter, then this could be a good reason to give it a go!
3. Tell your neighbours – as City Airport won’t do this then it’s really down to us to make as many people aware as possible. You can help by talking to your neighbours directly, or following us on Twitter and retweeting us. Also, if you’re a member of a local community group then tell them about the campaign!