The story so far…what happens now…how you can get involved

The details are in the posts on the website including some the archives but, in summary, the story is this:

In 2014 London City put a technical consultation document on its website saying it wanted to concentrate its landing and departure flight paths.  This means that the flight paths would be concentrated over areas like Bow, parts of Leyton, Leytonstone,Wanstead, Dagenham and parts of Havering.  In South London they would be concentrated over Eltham, Catford, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Brixton.

London City only told the supine Consultative Committee about its plans.  It refused to hold public meetings, or even leaflet, the areas which would be affected.  But HACAN East and local residents groups held public meetings.  Thousands of people signed petitions.  You can still sign this petition: chn.ge/1yg7iky   Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Havering councils, as well as the London Assembly, wrote to the airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (which oversees the consultation) demanding a reconsultation.  John Cryer, the MP for Leyton and Wanstead, put down an Early Day Motion in Parliament, signed by most East London MPs, calling for the consultation to be done again.

What happens now

The consultation has now closed and the Civil Aviation Authority is considering what next.  But local people are keeping up the pressure.  Our call is for a new consultation to be run which includes the option of sharing out the flight paths rather than concentrating them all in a few areas so everybody gets some respite.

How to keep update and how to get involved

If you want to get the latest news or get involved keep checking this website or follow us on twitter @HACANEast.  Also follow the group that has been specifically set up to fight the changes:  Flight Path Changes; twitter @PathChanges.

 

Civil Aviation Authority seems to question City Airport’s claims over flight path consultation

The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) seems to be questioning London City Airport’s claim that it worked with the airport in agreeing the recent controversial consultation into the airport’s plans to concentrate its flight paths.  In response to a Freedom of Information request from Alan Haughton of Stop City Airport, the CAA said “There is no written agreement between the CAA and London City Airport (LCY) in relation to the level of consultation required in respect of this potential airspace change.”

It goes on: “it remains the change sponsor’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate level of consultation is undertaken. The CAA will then consider this as part of the decision making process when a formal request for an Airspace Change is made under Stage 5 of the Airspace Change Process.”

The full response from the CAA can be read at: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/241022/response/598383/attach/html/3/20141219Reply.pdf.html …

Now that the consultation has closed the CAA has the power to order City Airport to consult again if it feels it was not done satisfactorily.  Three local councils – Redbridge, Havering and Waltham Forest – as well as the London Assembly have written to the CAA urging it to do so.  And Wanstead and Leyton MP John Cryer has put down an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for a fresh consultation.

It is not clear at this stage when the CAA will make its decision.

 

 

 

 

Deadline for City Airport’s expansion planning application put back…..again

The deadline for the latest consultation into City Airport’s long-running planning application to expand has been put back once again.  It now is 23rd January.  This is to allow people to comment on the impact of the proposals on a new housing development – the Gallions Quarter Scheme.

City Airports wants to build taxiways that will accommodate larger planes.  It also wants to extend the terminal, create more car parking spaces and get permission for a new 260 bedroom hotel.  The application was first submitted in July 2013.

To read the application go to www.newham.gov.uk/pa  and enter the Planning Application numbers 13/01228/FUL and 13/01373/OUT

Flight Path campaigners deliver a special Christmas message to London City Airport

Press Release

 16/12/14 for immediate use

 Flight Path campaigners deliver a special Christmas message to London City Airport
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Campaigners against London City Airport’s plans to concentrate its flight paths delivered a Christmas message to airport chiefs today.  Eleanor de Kanter and Adam Voss handed in a gift at the airport with the message “To City Airport, Merry Christmas!  From the residents you forgot” adding, “PS We must meet up in the New Year.  We’ve got so much to catch up on!”

City Airport has come in for widespread criticism in recent months over its refusal to consult local residents over its plans to change its flight paths.  The airport wants to concentrate the flight paths over narrow corridors but refused to leaflet or hold meetings in the affected areas.  Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Havering councils, along with the London Assembly, have all asked that it carries out a fresh consultation in the New Year.

John Stewart, chair of the campaign group HACAN East, said, “The pressure on City Airport will increase in the New Year.  As Eleanor and Adam showed today, residents who face the prospect of a lot more flights will refuse to go away.”

The Civil Aviation Authority, which is now looking at the responses to the consultation, has the power to order City Airport to consult again.

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you can do now to keep the pressure on London City Airport re: its proposed flight path changes

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: airspace.policy@caa.co.uk 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.

Regards,

[NAME]
[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!

 

Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, John Cryer, takes London City Airport flight path changes debate to Parliament

The pressure on London City Airport to rethink its controversial flight path changes has increased as John Cryer MP brings the debate to Parliament.

Here we reprint the story in the Wanstead Guardian by Douglas Patient. 

An MP has taken the debate on flight path changes, that “will cause misery” for people living beneath it, to Parliament.

The public consultation ended last week and London City Airport is due to make an announcement on plans before Christmas.

Under the proposal, most planes travelling to and from the airport would be installed with new navigation technology, enabling flights to use a narrower flight corridor over Leyton, Leytonstone and Wanstead.

But the plans and consultation process have met intense criticism, the latest of which has come in the form of Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, John Cryer, who put forward the early day motion in the House of Commons on Friday.

The motion read: “That this house notes with concern proposed measures by London City Airport to revise flight paths in and out of the airport; recognises that, under the proposals, air traffic will be concentrated over a narrower corridor, affecting many residents profoundly; further notes the lamentable lack of engagement with elected representatives and residents’ groups; and calls on City Airport to devise a more equitable solution to address the distribution of aircraft noise.”

It was seconded by five other MPs serving London, and signed by two more, by far the most popular motion of the morning.

Speaking about the issue, Mr Cryer said: “Dozens of residents have been moved to contact me regarding the misery this will cause and I have written twice to the airport chief executive, asked for an adjournment debate and put down an early day motion condemning the proposals and the frankly inadequate consultation.

Strong calls for rethink on flight path.
New flight paths will affect ‘tens of thousands’.
Campaigners fear noise ghetto will result from…
“I am pleased to see councillors in Wanstead and Waltham Forest taking action against these unwanted changes.”

Redbridge council passed a motion calling on a fresh consultation to take place, and campaigners organised two public meetings in Wanstead and Leytonstone over the last few weeks.

London City Airport has said that it has been following Civil Aviation Authority guidelines on consultation “to the letter”.

Councils put pressure London City Airport to reconsult on flight paths

Local councils have added more pressure on London City Airport to reconsult on their controversial plans to concentrate their flight paths.  Redbridge Council unanimously voted through this motion calling for a fresh consultation.  Waltham Forest have written to the airport along similar lines.  And last night Havering passed this motion:

“Given the need to assess in detail any potential impact of the proposed changes to flight paths from City Airport as part of the London Airspace Management Programme, this Council calls upon:

  1. a) the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to extend the consultation period in respect of the proposed London Airspace Management Programme to 31st January 2015 in order to inform opinion and give Havering residents a greater opportunity to engage in the consultation process.
  2. b) City Airport operators to provide greater detail to local stakeholders in terms of flight numbers, noise levels and Co2 emissions as a result of the legal mandate which requires all aircraft to be equipped with Area Navigation technology and to operate in revised airspace by 2020.

 If you are interested in the full debate which took place at the Havering Council meeting, it can be viewed here (20:47): http://www.havering.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

HACAN East’s official response to City Airport’s flight path consultation

London City Airport’s Flight Paths Consultation

Response from HACAN East

We support the principle of airspace being used more efficiently but we object to these proposals.

We object to the proposals to concentrate the flight paths being introduced without planned respite.

  1. Concentration without respite is inequitable

The plans will result in the residents living under the concentrated flight paths getting nearly all, if not all, the aircraft flying over them.

London City Airport argues that, since the chosen corridors are more than a mile wide, the routes will vary a little but the strong suspicion is, as the technology improves further, the aim will be to direct all the planes down the centerline of the chosen route.  Tens of thousands of people will be impacted.  North East London already has problems with noise from City Airport but in South London it tends not to be a problem because the routes are so dispersed.  The proposed plans to concentrate will create a problem.

Indeed, London City is clear in its consultation document of the impact:

As we are seeking to replicate rather than redesign our existing routes, we expect that flights will still be seen in the same areas as today. The main difference would be that aircraft will follow the routes more consistently than they do today. This is due to the improved track-keeping ability of RNAV. Improved track keeping means that there will be less dispersion of aircraft either side of each of the routes; this would mean a reduction in the overall area regularly overflown, but an increase in the concentration of over-flights in some areas.

It is disingenuous for the airport to claim that the changes will be minor.

  1. Concentration without respite is contrary to Government policy

London City claims that it is following Government policy in concentrating without offering respite.  Our view is that it is mistaken.  It is worth quoting at some length the Government’s advice to the CAA on concentration and respite:

While the CAA should follow a policy of concentration in most cases, the Government recognises that there may be local circumstances where the advantage lies in dispersing traffic, for instance when considering multiple routes, and NPRs where relevant, for the purposes of providing noise respite over areas which may be considered to be noise sensitive.

Respite

It is important that any decisions about whether to concentrate or disperse traffic take account of the local context alongside the operation and generic environmental objectives presented in this Guidance. This local context may become apparent through appropriate consultation with the local community (see Chapter 9 of this Guidance). The Aviation Policy Framework reaffirmed the Government’s view that it

is important to consider exploring options for respite wherever feasible for those already affected by noise, especially where frequency of movements has increased over time.

  1. The Government therefore encourages airports and airlines to work with the CAA, NATS and their local communities to consider creative solutions to protect and enhance the use of respite as a means of mitigating the impact of aircraft noise.

7.10

One such example is with the shift to PBN which is expected to be introduced widely in the UK over the coming years. The Government would therefore like to encourage airports, along with NATS and the CAA, to consider how PBN could be used to introduce an element of alternation for respite purposes, providing that this brings a noise benefit and where this is appropriate given local circumstances.

7.11 Other opportunities for arrivals such as varying joining points and reducing the amount of airborne holding are also encouraged as are trials which seek to understand the benefits and impacts of respite measures on local communities.

7.12 When seeking opportunities to provide respite for those already affected

by aircraft noise it is important that decisions about respite should always be made after considering the specific local circumstances and through engagement with the local community.  

The full document is at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/207856/air-navigation-guidance-draft.pdf

We would argue that London City has not followed the guidance, in particular where it says: “One such example is with the shift to PBN which is expected to be introduced widely in the UK over the coming years. The Government would therefore like to encourage airports, along with NATS and the CAA, to consider how PBN could be used to introduce an element of alternation for respite purposes, providing that this brings a noise benefit and where this is appropriate given local circumstances”.

  1. The quality of the consultation has been poor

London City has only put its consultation documents – quite technical documents – on its website and told its Consultative Committee about its plans.  It did not directly tell local authorities, MPs, Greater London Authority members or local residents.  It refused to hold public meetings in, or leaflet, the affected areas.

London City argues that its consultation adhered to the guidelines laid down by the CAA – http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/20130819PBNSIDReplacementReviewProcessFinal.pdf

This is open to some doubt.  It revolves around the airport’s interpretation of the extent of the changes which are being introduced.

The basic CAA guidance for consultation on route changes is laid out in paragraph 6.1 of the document:

6.1 The introduction of replicated SIDs to replace existing conventional SIDs requires an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) as defined in CAP 725 (Introduction paragraph vii (c)). In this instance the use of Local Airport Consultative Committees (LACC), together with any additional stakeholders deemed appropriate (e.g. local environmental groups etc), may target consultation to those directly affected thus avoiding un-necessary consultation with stakeholders who will not be affected by the introduction of a PBN replication of a conventional SID.

If the proposed changes are minor, less extensive consultation is required.  Paragraph 11.1:

“11.1 Depending on the degree to which RNAV 1 / RNP SIDs are able to replicate conventional SIDs, it is expected that, in most circumstances, consultation can typically be satisfied through established consultative committees / forums, with additional representation agreed at the Framework Briefing. Therefore, LACCs, regular airport operators groups (such as airport Flight Operations Sub Committees), and interested parties, without the need to include all the authorities and environmental groups as detailed in CAP 725 Stage 2 paragraph 9, may form the consultees stakeholder group”.

We argue that, because the proposed changes impact the quality of life of tens of thousands of people in a significant way, the consultation London City has carried out (as laid down in paragraph 11.1 of the CAA guidance) 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 the guidance).

We shall be writing to the CAA about this.

  1. The emissions benefits are uncertain

It is correct that making more efficient use of airspace should reduce the emissions from each aircraft.  However, if the Point Merge scheme has the effect of  pushing stacks much higher up (in altitude), it could increase emissions as it is accepted that emissions at higher altitudes have a more serious affect on the atmosphere and climate in terms of heating, the principle of radiative forcing.  Before any new scheme is given ahead, the overall impact on greenhouse gases needs to be fully assessed.

John Stewart

Chair HACAN East

 

 

HACAN East’s submission to the CAA why the City Airport flight paths consultation should be reconsulted on

London City Airport’s Flight Paths Consultation

 Reasons why the consultation should be done afresh

We believe that the consultation was neither carried out with regard to natural justice nor according to the official guidelines set down.  We also argue the consultation was not consistent with current Government policy.

The background

London City is looking to concentrate its flight paths.  The result is that residents living under the concentrated flight paths will get nearly all, if not all, the aircraft flying over them.  When the east wind is blowing (about 27% of the time in a typical year), planes landing over South London will be concentrated in a narrow corridor over Eltham, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall.  There will also be concentration on easterly take-offs over East London.  During westerlies, the take-offs will be concentrated over Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Collier Row and Havering.

London City Airport argues that, since the chosen corridors are more than a mile wide, the routes will vary a little but the strong suspicion is, as the technology improves further, the aim will be to direct all the planes down the centerline of the chosen route.  Tens of thousands of people will be impacted.  North East London already has problems with noise from City Airport but in South London it tends not to be a problem because the routes are so dispersed.  The proposed plans to concentrate will create a problem.

Indeed, London City is clear in its consultation document of the impact:

As we are seeking to replicate rather than redesign our existing routes, we expect that flights will still be seen in the same areas as today. The main difference would be that aircraft will follow the routes more consistently than they do today. This is due to the improved track-keeping ability of RNAV. Improved track keeping means that there will be less dispersion of aircraft either side of each of the routes; this would mean a reduction in the overall area regularly overflown, but an increase in the concentration of over-flights in some areas.

It is disingenuous for the airport to claim that the changes will be minor.

  1. The consultation against the laws of natural justice

London City has only put its consultation documents – quite technical documents – on its website and told its Consultative Committee about its plans.  It did not directly tell local authorities, MPs, Greater London Authority members or local residents.  It refused to hold public meetings in, or leaflet, the affected areas.  Considering the potential impact the changes could have on the affected residents, this is against the laws of natural justice.

  1. The consultation did not adhere to the official guidelines

London City argues that its consultation adhered to the guidelines laid down by the CAA – http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/20130819PBNSIDReplacementReviewProcessFinal.pdf

This is open to some doubt.  It revolves around the airport’s interpretation of the extent of the changes which are being introduced.

The basic CAA guidance for consultation on route changes is laid out in paragraph 6.1 of the document:

6.1 The introduction of replicated SIDs to replace existing conventional SIDs requires an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) as defined in CAP 725 (Introduction paragraph vii (c)). In this instance the use of Local Airport Consultative Committees (LACC), together with any additional stakeholders deemed appropriate (e.g. local environmental groups etc), may target consultation to those directly affected thus avoiding un-necessary consultation with stakeholders who will not be affected by the introduction of a PBN replication of a conventional SID.

If the proposed changes are minor, less extensive consultation is required.  Paragraph 11.1:

“11.1 Depending on the degree to which RNAV 1 / RNP SIDs are able to replicate conventional SIDs, it is expected that, in most circumstances, consultation can typically be satisfied through established consultative committees / forums, with additional representation agreed at the Framework Briefing. Therefore, LACCs, regular airport operators groups (such as airport Flight Operations Sub Committees), and interested parties, without the need to include all the authorities and environmental groups as detailed in CAP 725 Stage 2 paragraph 9, may form the consultees stakeholder group”.

We argue that, because the proposed changes impact the quality of life of tens of thousands of people in a significant way, the consultation London City has carried out (as laid down in paragraph 11.1 of the CAA guidance) 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 the guidance).

  1. The proposals were contrary to current Government policy

London City claims that it is following Government policy in concentrating without offering respite.  Our view is that it is mistaken.  It is worth quoting at some length the Government’s advice to the CAA on concentration and respite:

While the CAA should follow a policy of concentration in most cases, the Government recognises that there may be local circumstances where the advantage lies in dispersing traffic, for instance when considering multiple routes, and NPRs where relevant, for the purposes of providing noise respite over areas which may be considered to be noise sensitive.

 Respite

It is important that any decisions about whether to concentrate or disperse traffic take account of the local context alongside the operation and generic environmental objectives presented in this Guidance. This local context may become apparent through appropriate consultation with the local community (see Chapter 9 of this Guidance). The Aviation Policy Framework reaffirmed the Government’s view that it

is important to consider exploring options for respite wherever feasible for those already affected by noise, especially where frequency of movements has increased over time.

  1. The Government therefore encourages airports and airlines to work with the CAA, NATS and their local communities to consider creative solutions to protect and enhance the use of respite as a means of mitigating the impact of aircraft noise.

7.10

One such example is with the shift to PBN which is expected to be introduced widely in the UK over the coming years. The Government would therefore like to encourage airports, along with NATS and the CAA, to consider how PBN could be used to introduce an element of alternation for respite purposes, providing that this brings a noise benefit and where this is appropriate given local circumstances.

7.11 Other opportunities for arrivals such as varying joining points and reducing the amount of airborne holding are also encouraged as are trials which seek to understand the benefits and impacts of respite measures on local communities.

7.12 When seeking opportunities to provide respite for those already affected

by aircraft noise it is important that decisions about respite should always be made after considering the specific local circumstances and through engagement with the local community. 

The full document is at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/207856/air-navigation-guidance-draft.pdf

We would argue that London City has not followed the guidance, in particular where it says: “One such example is with the shift to PBN which is expected to be introduced widely in the UK over the coming years. The Government would therefore like to encourage airports, along with NATS and the CAA, to consider how PBN could be used to introduce an element of alternation for respite purposes, providing that this brings a noise benefit and where this is appropriate given local circumstances”.

We are asking the CAA to require the consultation to be done afresh.

John Stewart

Chair HACAN East