HACAN East campaigners present special cake to City Airport to mark its 30th BirtHday

On 26th October to mark its 30th Birthday HACAN East campaigners presented a special cake to London City Airport.  Key ingredients: no further expansion; end concentrated flight paths; no more noise and pollution

City 30 group at airport.jpg

HACAN East also released this very human video where local people are giving a heartfelt message to the airport: https://youtu.be/6dMy7cGUVo4

London City at 30: what we are looking for now

On 26th October London City will be 30 years old.  Below are extracts from a blog we have just published - the full blog can be found on our blog page

 "I first remember walking along the North Woolwich Road in 1978, the year I came to London.  The lively pubs my uncles – seamen from Scotland – had talked about were lively no more.  Much of the area was on its last legs.  The docks, which had provided so much employment for the area, were to close down just three years later, in 1981.

Only people who have never experienced the pain of unemployment would dismiss lightly any development which brings jobs.  As a boy I heard stories from an earlier generation of my family who had experienced the utter despair of not having a job during the Depression in 1930s Glasgow.

 It was this mission to create jobs and prosperity in East London that drove many councillors to back the expansion of the airport in the 1990s.  It was a noble aim but it did leave a litany of broken promises made to residents about the noisy neighbour in their midst.

So, three wishes as you move beyond thirty.

1. No further expansion – it is essential that the current cap on the number of planes allowed to use the airport remains. 

2. No concentrated flight paths – the concentrated flight paths have created noise ghettos in areas across east and south east London.  A solution needs to be found which provides some relief for the people of the noise ghetto.

3. No increase in noise and pollution – planes are becoming a little quieter and cleaner.  The way to ensure residents benefit from that is to make sure that the current cap on the number of flights permitted to use it each year remains.

And one more thing.  Moving forward, no more broken promises?

Campaigners present CAA with 'flight paths' cake

On Friday 28th July HACAN East campaigners handed a 'flight path' cake to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to remind them of their opposition to City Airport's concentrated flight paths (at a time CAA looking at City Airport's report into the first year of operation of the flight paths).  The CAA is expected to make recommendations in September regarding the flight paths.  The CAA very much entered into the spirit of this fun event, but with a serious purpose.

HACAN East community campaigner  Amina Gichinga presents cake to CAA's Tim Johnson

HACAN East community campaigner  Amina Gichinga presents cake to CAA's Tim Johnson


City Airport is consulting on the introduction of new and quieter planes and lower noise limits.  This is quite a technical consultation.  Essentially, it is a proposal to more accurately measure the noise of the planes. 

You can see the details at https://www.londoncityairport.com/aboutandcorporate/page/aircraft-noise-categorisation-scheme.  The consultation runs from 2nd June to 14th July.  Responses can be emailed to ANCS@londoncityairport.com .

The new system is due to be fully operational in November 2019.  Although by then bigger planes will be using the airport, they should be quieter than the jet planes currently in operation and the total number of aircraft permitted to use the airport will be cut from 120,000 to 111,000.

HACAN East calls for nighT flight ban at Heathrow

In response to the Government consultation on night flights at Heathrow,   HACAN East has called for a ban on night flights for at least seven hours (from 11pm – 6am).  It would improve people’s quality of life and their health.  Most of our members are living over 25 miles from the airport, yet many complain of being woken up by night flights.  This shows the extent of the problem-  more people are overflown by Heathrow night flights than any other place in Europe.

The Government is proposing to extend the current night regime for another five years.  On a typical night 16 flights are allowed between 11.30 pm and 6 am.  The first flights lands at 4.30 am.  There are no scheduled departures.  Thee are no night flights at London City Airport.

The full response is below: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/HACAN-East-response-to-night-flight-consultation.pdf

Night Flight Consultation

 Response from HACAN East

HACAN East gives a voice to residents in East and South East London, many of whom live under the flight paths to both Heathrow and London City airportsThis response has been agreed by our Management Committee.

Q1a. How strongly do you agree or disagree with our proposed environmental objective for the next regime.

We would like to see a ban on night flights for at least seven hours (from 11pm – 6am).  It would improve people’s quality of life and their health.  Most of our members are living over 25 miles from the airport, yet many complain of being woken up by night flights.  This shows the extent of the problem-  more people are overflown by Heathrow night flights than any other place in Europe.

Q2a. How strongly do you agree or disagree with our proposal for the length of the next regime?

 We would agree that 5 years is about right given the uncertainty surrounding the third runway at Heathrow.

 Q3a. How strongly do you agree or disagree with our proposal to introduce a new QC/0.125 category for aircraft between 81 and 83.9 EPNdB?

We strongly agree with this proposal

 Q3b. How strongly do you agree or disagree with our proposal for all aircraft quieter than this to remain QC/0 but count towards the airports movement limit?

We strongly agree with this proposal

Q3c. Do you have any additional comments on proposals for the Quota Count System?


Q4a. How strongly do you agree or disagree with the proposal for movement limits to remain unchanged at Heathrow?

We strongly disagree.  As we have argued in response to the first question, we believe there is a powerful case to be made out for a seven or even eight hour night.

We have not responded to the questions specifically relating to Gatwick and Stansted.

 Q10. Do you have any further views on our proposals, or their potential impact on the Government's ability to fulfil the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty?

No comments on this.


HACAN East gives broad welcome to Airspace Consultation

Airspace Policy Consultation

 On February 2nd the Department for Transport (DfT) launched its Airspace Consultation.  It is a national consultation.  The closing date for responses is 25th May.

 On the same day the DfT launched its consultation on a 3rd runway at Heathrow.  For more details of that consultation visit the website of HACAN, our sister organisation:  www.hacan.org.uk   

 HACAN East broadly welcomes the Airspace Policy Consultation.  Below we summarise the key points.

 You can find the consultation at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/589099/uk-airspace-policy-consultation-executive-summary.pdf  (summary).  Responses to be emailed to airspace.policy@dft.gsi.gov.uk

 Remember, in order to respond, you don’t need to be an expert.   Just say what you think and explain how aircraft noise affects you.  But also feel free to use the points below.

 Key points

 The concentration of London City Airport’s flight paths in February 2016 caused a lot of grief across many communities.  The introduction of concentrated flight paths at Gatwick also resulted in a huge number of complaints.  The reaction of residents at London City and Gatwick to their concentrated flight paths was one of the things that persuaded the Department of Transport to produce this Airspace Policy Consultation.  And it contains much that residents under London City flight paths will welcome.

 It is proposing much more public engagement before new flight paths are introduced or changes are made to existing flight paths.  This is to be welcomed.

It says that multiple routes are an option to avoid concentration over particular communities.  This is welcomeIt argues that noise should be the key issue when flying planes below 4,000 ft and only one of the factors between 4,000 and 7,000 ft.  That would be a continuation of the current situation.  On the basis of where complaints come to us, HACAN East argues that noise should be the main consideration up until at least 6,000ft.

 It proposes an Independent Noise Authority, ICCAN.  It proposes a fully independent body; advisory rather than regulatory.  Funding would come from Government to pay for a Board and a Secretariat.   It would be housed within the CAA but independent of it.  Local communities generally welcome the setting up of an Independent Noise Authority but will want guarantees that it will be truly independent and will have teeth.

 It is proposing new metrics to replace the 57 decibel contour as ‘the onset of community annoyance’.  This 57 decibel contour has been much criticized as not reflecting reality.  For example, places like Leyton and Leytonstone are outside the 57 contour yet ircraft noise is clearly a problem.  The DfT proposes replacing it with a 54 decibel contour and even, on occasion, with a 51 decibel contour.  These are overdue changes which will reflect more accurately the areas where noise is a problem.   


No change proposed for night flight regime at Heathrow

The Government is proposing no change to the number of night flights at Heathrow.  The consultation document, released last week by the Department for Transport, argues that the current regime should continue for the next five years.  It will then be clearer whether a third runway will be underway.  Permission to build a third runway is expected to be conditional on a tougher night flight regime being introduced when it opens.

At present an average of 16 flights each night are allowed to land at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am.  There are no scheduled departures during this period.  The first flight lands at 4.30am.

The consultation is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-gatwick-heathrow-and-stansted

A Briefing from our sister body HACAN on the consultation is available at http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Night-Flight-Consultation-2017-HACAN-Briefing.pdf  (pdf)

Survey confirms Waltham Forest the 3rd most overflown borough in London

Research carried out by the campaign group HACAN has confirmed that Waltham Forest is the third most overflown borough in London (1).  Although Hounslow and Richmond occupy first and second place, the survey revealed that only three of the top 12 most overflown boroughs are in West London.

HACAN calculated the combined impact of Heathrow and London City aircraft on each borough.  It didn’t factor in the heights of the planes; only the number flying over each borough.  It follows up a similar study carried out in 2009.  It also put Hounslow, Richmond and Waltham Forest in the top three positions.

HACAN chair John Stewart said, “Our survey once again shows that aircraft noise is not just confined to West London.  It has become a London-wide problem.  Somewhere like Waltham Forest is bombarded by planes from both Heathrow and London City airports.”

HACAN found that the most significant change from the 2009 survey was the reduction in the number of flights over some of the inner London boroughs such as Camden and Islington.  This was matched by an increase in flights over the South East London boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth.  It put it down to the introduction of concentrated London City flight paths over these boroughs plus the fact that aircraft coming into land at Heathrow appear to be crossing the Thames further east than was previously the case.

The study comes out at the start of an important year for aviation.  In a few weeks the Government is expected to release its consultation document on a Heathrow third runway as well as a consultation on future airspace strategy.




HACAN East is to hold a Public Meeting in Catford about the impact of London City Airport’s concentrated flight paths.  The impact on South London has been considerable, affecting communities in Eltham, Lee, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall.  Before the decision to concentrate the flight paths planes from City Airport were dispersed across a wide swathe of South London and resulted in few complaints from the area.  All welcome! 

7th December, 7.30pm – 9pm

St. Laurence Church,37 Bromley Road, Catford, SE6 2TS   http://www.stlaurencecatford.org.uk/

Nearest stations: Catford and Catford Bridge.

Speakers include Len Duvall, the London Assembly member for Greenwich and Lewisham