Campaign group HACAN East has written to the Civil Aviation Authority to ask it to suspend the current consultation being carried out by London City Airport into flight path changes in East London (2). HACAN East argues that the tens of thousands of residents who are in line to get more planes if the flight path changes go ahead are not being told about them. London City is proposing to concentrate the flights taking off from the airport in a narrow corridor. Areas directly under the favored flight path will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row. City Airport is currently consulting on the proposed changes but is not leafleting the areas that will be worst affected (1).
The changes are part of a wider reorganization of the airspace across London and the South East which is been overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). New computer technology can now guide aircraft much more accurately when they are landing and taking off. It gives airports the option of varying the routes the planes use in order to give all residents some respite from the noise or of concentrating all the planes on one route. London City has chosen to concentrate the aircraft.
HACAN East chair John Stewart said, “Quite simply, London City is creating a noise ghetto. No wonder they are afraid to spell out to the residents what is in store for them. Nobody is telling the residents what will be in store for them.”
Stewart added, “We have written an official letter to the CAA, which oversees the consultation, calling for it to be suspended.
Notes for Editors:
(1). The consultation documents can be found at http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement. It started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014. Responses to the consultation should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(2). Letter to the CAA
I am writing to you to express our concerns about the shortcomings in the current LAMP consultation being carried out by London City Airport.
We believe they are serious. The consultation makes it clear that the future flight paths will be concentrated over particular areas yet there is no guarantee in this consultation that the residents who will be impacted will be made aware of this fact and offered the opportunity to respond.
London City identifies the key stakeholders who are being consulted as “The London City Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) which includes representatives of Local Authorities, community representatives and other organisations that have expressed an interest in the activities of the airport; members of the National Air Traffic Management Committee (NATMAC) which includes representatives of all types of airspace users; airlines that operate from London City Airport”.
As far as we are aware neither the consultative committee nor the local authorities have plans for a door-to-door leaflet drop to the tens of thousands of residents who will find themselves living under the concentrated flight paths. We are not even certain it is their job to do so. It is probably the role of the airport. We are also not aware of any public meetings being organized in the affected areas. For example, we believe parts of Leytonstone will be badly affected. Who has told the residents?
If your powers allow you to do so, we would urge you to order all stakeholders to be fully consulted during this consultation or to suspend it and require a fresh consultation to take place.
Chair HACAN East