The first meeting of the HACAN East Parliamentary Group was held in November in the House of Commons. It was chaired by John Cryer MP (centre). Amongst the attendees were Jon Cruddas MP, Redbridge councillor Sheila Baines, HACAN East chair John Stewart, and Clyde Loakes, deputy leader of Waltham Forest.
UNLIKE DIAMONDS, FLIGHT PATHS ARE NOT FOREVER
There is no doubt that the Civil Aviation Authority’s backing last month of London City’s concentrated flight paths was a huge blow to very many people.
But I suspect that is not the end of the matter. There may be renewed pressure on London City to offer some respite.
The pressure could come from three directions:
Local discontent will not go away. And may intensify as thousands more homes are built under or close to the flight path in East London over the next few years. These homes may be well-insulated and many of the newcomers will have some awareness that they will get aircraft noise. However, it is expected that, London City could come to impact at least 74,000 people which would mean it would overfly more people in the UK than any airport except Heathrow and Manchester and almost twice as many as Brussels or Schiphol. Will they all really keep quiet if they get no predicable break from the noise?
Flight paths at airports across London and the South East will be altered. Before Christmas NATS, the air traffic controllers, will publish a major report looking at how the flight paths changes at the different airports can mesh together. It is probable that NATS will not expect to see changes to London City’s flight paths but the wider changes will be so fundamental that nothing is guaranteed.
Heathrow is committed to introducing respite. Heathrow’s new flight paths are not expected to come in before 2025 (when a third runway would open if it is given final permission) but Heathrow flight paths which were rotated to give people respite would highlight just what a poor deal people were getting from London City.
OVER 900,000 under ConcentRated flights
The CAA report, released on 23rd October, which backed London City’s decision to concentrated its flights paths (see post below for details) also revealed the number of people who live under the concentrated flight paths.
Number of people overflown by arrivals:
Under 4,000ft 331,000
4,000 – 7,000ft 72,000
Total under 7,000ft 403,000
Number of people overflown by departures:
Under 4,000ft 416,300
Total under 7,000ft 531,400
There is a smaller number impacted by both arrivals and departures but the CAA has not done that calculation.
The overall numbers overflown before the flight paths were concentrated were of course much higher as planes were more dispersed but each area had fewer flights than people under the concentrated flights are now experiencing. If complaint numbers are anything to go by, there was much less annoyance.
LONG-AWAITED CAA REPORT BACKS CONCENTRATED FLIGHT PATHS
The long-awaited CAA report assessing London City Airport’s concentrated flight paths was released this afternoon (23rd October). It has backed the concentrated flight paths. Below is the press release HACAN East has issued. It includes a link to the report.
23/10/18 for immediate use
ANGER AND DESPAIR IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES AS CAA BACKS LONDON CITY FLIGHT PATH CHANGES
Local residents reacted with fury to the report (1) published today by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which backed the controversial changes London City Airport made to its flight paths two years ago. In 2016 the airport narrowed all its flights paths. It resulted in a fourfold increase in complaints as people under these new concentrated flight paths experienced many more planes than before.
Today’s report from the CAA assesses the changes that were made. It has recommended that the concentrated flight paths remain in place.
The report did ask London City to look into why the fuel and CO2 savings from the new flight paths were less than predicted. It asked the airport to explain why the aircraft were flying slightly off the predicted routes. But the CAA felt the variations were negligible as far as noise was concerned and backed the new concentrated routes.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, the campaign body which gives a voice to residents experiencing the noise, said, “There is anger and despair that the CAA has backed the concentrated flight paths. Many people hoped that today’s report would end two years of misery and they would be able to get their lives back. This decision is a cruel blow for them.”
Stewart added, “This will not be the end of the matter. We had support from a wide range of politicians in calling for an end to concentration. These included the Mayor of London, leading members of the Greater London Authority and lots of local councillors. We will be liaising with them about next steps.”
The flight paths were concentrated in 2016 after minimal consultation. Subsequently the CAA introduced more rigorous consultation procedures but they came in too late for the London City changes.
Over the next few years flight paths will be altered at most of the UK’s airports. The changes are driven by new technology. Ground-based technology is being replaced by satellite systems to guide aircraft as they land and depart. It means that planes can be steered along more precise flight paths, saving fuel, cutting climate emissions and reducing delays at airports.
This results in more concentrated flight paths but it also allows the airport more scope to create a number of concentrated flight paths which could be rotated to give residents some respite from the noise. This is what residents have been calling for.
Notes for editors:
For further information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650
NEW WHO NOISE GUIDELINES: AIRCRAFT NOISE CAN CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS MANY MILES FROM AN AIRPORT
Yesterday (October 10th), the World Health Organisation published its new noise guidelines. They confirm what local residents have been telling us that aircraft noise can cause annoyance, stress and potential health problems many miles from an airport.
The new noise guidelines from the World Health Organisation, published 10th October 2018, are tougher on aircraft noise than previously.
Road 53Lden 45Lnight
Rail 54Lden 44Lnight
Aircraft 45Len 40Lnight
Wind Turbines 45Lden no recommendation
The World Health Organisation has found that when average noise is 45 decibels it can have health effects. Previous WHO guidelines argued that people could start to become annoyed by noise when it averaged out at 50 decibels over the day.
This extends significantly the number of people impacted by either London City or Heathrow or both. There are no public figures for the number of people living within the 45Lden contours but, in the case of Heathrow, it is likely to extend to areas 20 miles, and possibly further, from the airport. That would include Greenwich and probably also the Leyton, Leytonstone and Wanstead areas as they get both Heathrow and London City aircraft.
The 45Lden contour from London City would stretch less far but would include a much wider geographical area than the current 54LAeq contour which goes about as far as Blackwall.
The World Health Organisation guidelines applies to all countries within Europe, not just those in the European Union but are simply guidelines. Their main purpose is to outline the health impacts of noise on the basis of the available evidence. The WHO does not expect the levels to be adhered to overnight as that would entail the closure of most airports and many roads. But, in due course, they should affect the policies of airports. HACAN East will be pressing for that to happen as soon as possible.
Our sister body, HACAN, put out this press release: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WHO-new-noise-guidelines-Press-Release.pdf
HEATHROW REMAINS IN A NOISE LEAGUE OF ITS OWN
London City the fastest riser
Heathrow remains in a noise league of its own, according to figures unearthed by campaign group HACAN. 725,000 people are impacted by noise from Heathrow flights, over seven times as many as second-placed Manchester. But compared with the 2006 figures London City is the fastest riser. The population impacted by East London's airport have more than doubled. This is thought to be down to the number of new homes being built in the area. All the figures are take from official reports produced by the airports.
HACAN chair John Stewart said, "These updated figures confirm just how many more people are impacted by noise from Heathrow than by any other airport in the country. It puts a huge onus on Heathrow to find ways to lessen the noise burden whether or not a third runway is built. We will be pressing hard for a tough night flight regime, steeper angles as planes approach and depart the airport and a period of respite from the noise for everybody overflown."
Stewart added: "But the London City story is significant. It simple and stark. As more homes are built in the area, the number of people impacted is racing up the national league table."
The numbers are taken from the new action plans drawn up by the airports (except for Belfast City which has not yet published its new one). Every few years airports are required by the EU to produce plans to show how they will tackle noise. The airports' new plans must be submitted to DEFRA this autumn before they go to the European Commission for approval.
The European Commission mandates that the 55Lden contour is used when drawing up Noise Action Plans. In geographical terms it goes as far as Clapham in London. Last year the Government published a report it had commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority which found that people can be annoyed by aircraft noise at lower levels.
South East London – No Respite from aircraft noise
Our sister organisation HACAN today (13/8/18) published an important report by Forest Hill resident Tim Walker outlining what happens when London City and Heathrow airports combine to create community noise hotspots in south east London
Using London SE23 as an example, the paper aims to make clear to policymakers, campaigners and the two airports what the problems for communities are with the introduction of concentrated flight paths (City Airport) and separate development of the two London airport flight paths.
Noise from arriving London City Airport aircraft combined with departing and arriving Heathrow aircraft blights thousands of south east London homes, with no respite.
City Airport’s low altitude air superhighways, beginning in Feb 2016, have resulted in a perfect storm of aircraft noise for many SE London residents.
Respite means scheduled relief from aircraft noise for a period of time. There are community noise hotspots in SE London that receive no respite from 6.30am to 10pm nearly every day of the year.
CAA CONCENTRATED FLIGHT PATHS REPORT sLILL NOT OUT
The much-delayed report by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) into London City's concentrated flight paths is still not out. London City controversially concentrated its flight paths in February 2016. The CAA is required to assess its first year of operation. Its report was initially due out last year. The airport received a record number of complaints following the introduction of the concentrated flight paths. There has been pressure from communities, local authorities, politicians (including the Mayor of London) for them to be changed.
Construction work starts at london city
Construction work has started on the work for a new taxiway, larger parking places for the planes and ultimately a bigger terminal and more parking. There has been some criticism from local people that the insulation on their homes to deaden the noise from the construction work, particularly the piling, has not been completed in time. The airport has acknowledged it is behind schedule but expects the speed of the insulation work to speed up.
London city noise action plan out to consultation
The airport has just released its Noise Action Plan covering the years 2019-2023 for consultation: https://www.londoncityairport.com/corporate/noise-and-track-keeping-system/noise-action-plan. Closing date for comments: 5th September.
You can read the response from HACAN East: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/London-City-Noise-Action-Plan-response-from-HACAN-East.pdf
And here is a summary of what we are calling for::
London City Airport:
Works on the basis that the 54 and 51 decibel contours are now regarded by Government as ‘the onset of community annoyance’
Produces annual 51 and 54 decibel contours
Extends the mitigation measures currently on offer to residents within the 57 contour to those within the 54 contour
Commits to informing all residents within the 51 and 54 contour areas – and their elected representatives - of the latest airport developments on a regular basis
Confirms whether London City can commit to the retention of the existing cap and operating hours through the years 2018 to 2023
Looks again at the concentrated flight paths, with a view to providing respite for communities
Commits to doubling the number of noise monitors
Gives more prominence to TraVis2 on the airport website
Explores the possibility of London City aircraft flying higher
Spells out cooperative working with Heathrow
london city starts to draw up masterplan
London City has started the process of revising its Masterplan. Most airports produce masterplans. They outline their aspirations for decades ahead. City has yet to decide whether to look ahead to 2040 or 2050. The airport has said that at this stage nothing is off the table including seeking to lift the annual cap on flight numbers (see story below) or even to seek permission to fly between midday Saturday and midday Sunday when the airport is currently closed. But it does stress it is all at a very early stage and no decision has been taken. It is also worth stressing that the Masterplan is an aspiration document. If the airport wanted to make any changes, it would need to go to public consultation and public inquiry where it would meet considerable opposition to the lifting of the cap or in any changes to operational hours.
LONDON CITY MAY SEEK TO LIFE CAP ON FLIGHT NUMBERS
The boss of London City told the Press Association in a story published on 9/7/18 that London City may seek to apply to life the cap on flight and passenger numbers at the airport. Below is the press release issued by HACAN East and below that a link to the story.
9/7/18 for immediate use
RESIDENTS PLEDGE TO FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL ANY EXPANSION OF LONDON CITY AIRPORT
Residents have said that they would fight ‘tooth and nail’ any plans to lift the cap on annual flights at London City Airport. Robert Sinclair, the new chief executive of the airport, told the Press Association in an interview that the airport is considering an application to raise limits on flights and passenger numbers.
London City is currently limited to 6.5 million passengers and 111,000 flights per year. Last year just under 5 million passengers and a little over 80,000 flights used the airport.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, the campaign group which gives a voice to residents’ under London City flight paths, said “Local residents would fight tooth and nail any attempt by London City to raise its limits on flights and passengers. Many of them feel their lives are already blighted by planes from the airport. The preservation of the current cap is the reddest of red lines for residents and I suspect for many local authorities.”
Stewart added, “It is difficult see the logic in what Sinclair is saying. Over the last two years flight numbers at London City have fallen. There has been a slight rise in passenger numbers due to the use of larger aircraft.”
London City has been primarily a business airport with over 60% of its custom made up of business travellers, the highest percentage by some distance of any UK airport. Robert Sinclair said in the interview that the airport now wanted to ‘reposition’ itself to attract more leisure passengers.”
For further information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650
Link to the full story:
Read out latest newsletter
CHECK OUT THE FLIGHT PATHS
You can now watch and track the London City aircraft as they arrive and depart. You can see the flight paths they use and, by inserting your postcode, you can see what happens over your home:https://travislcy.topsonic.aero/
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO
HACAN East HAS released this very human video where local people are giving a heartfelt message to the airport: https://youtu.be/6dMy7cGUVo4
Noise Complaints continue to Rise
Figures released yesterday (9th March 2018) show complaints about aircraft noise continue to rise at London City Airport (see chart below). Higher in 2017 than 2016 and about five times higher than before the flight paths were concentrated in early 2016. Flight numbers using the airport, though, fell from 19,286 in 2016 to 18,205 in 2017 but passenger numbers were up. This is down to the use of bigger, fuller planes.
Heathrow has launched to consultations consultations. The one which is of importance to us is the one of flight paths. Heathrow is planning the biggest changes to its flight paths since the airport began. It is being driven by new computer technology which allows planes to land and depart much more precisely. New flight paths will be introduced whether or not a third runway is built. They are asking what are the principles would influence the design of the new flight paths (e.g. pure concentration or respite). In other words, the sort of consultation London City didn't carry out before it concentrated its flight paths. The other thing you may want to respond on is the conditions which should be mandatory should a third runway be given the go-ahead. We’ve suggested some possible conditions in the briefing. http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Consultation-Briefing-from-HACAN.pdf
For more details about the consultations, see our sister site: www.hacan.org.uk
Read the official response from HACAN East to the airspace consultation: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/HACAN-East-response-to-Heathrows-Airspace-Consultation.pdf
CROSS-PARTY SUPPORT TO END CONCENTRATED FLIGHT PATHS AT CITY AIRPORT
At the People’s Question Time in Dagenham on 2nd November there was cross-party support from London Assembly members to end the concentrated flight paths London City Airport introduced last year. Caroline Russell, who speaks for the Greens on transport at the London Assembly, joined Conservative Keith Prince, the chair of the assembly’s transport committee, the deputy chair Liberal Democrat Caroline Russell and Labour’s Len Duvall in opposition to the flight paths (above). The local MP Jon Cruddas also backed the call for them to go (below).
Since London City concentrated its flight paths in early 2016 complaints to the airport have increased fourfold. The Civil Aviation Authority is currently studying a report produced by the airport into the first year’s operation of the flight paths and is expected to make recommendations by the end of the year.
This was one in a series of People's Question Times held around London where the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and London Assembly members answer questions from the public.
London City at 30 - what we are looking for now
Below is an extract of a blog we have written. 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?
550% increase in complaints to City Airport following introduction of concentrated flight paths
Complaints to London City Airport have gone up by 550% since the introduction of the new concentrated flight paths. The figures were revealed in the airport’s 2016 Annual Performance Report, published yesterday (1). Last year there were nearly 400 complaints, up from 95 in 2015. In its report, London City admits the increase is down to the concentrated flight paths which were introduced in February 2016: “The spike in complaints, particularly from areas outside Newham, can likely be attributed to the implementation of Phase 1a of the London Airspace Management Plan (LAMP) which occurred at London City Airport from 4 February 2016.” LAMP was the plan which concentrated the flight paths.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN East which gives a voice to residents under the flight paths, said “This dramatic jump in complaints comes as no surprise to us. It reflects what we have been hearing. It is essential that the airport reconsiders its decision to concentrate all its flight paths”.
The release of the complaint figures comes just a week after the London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for an end to the concentrated flight paths. In an answer to a question from Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell, he said, “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.
At present the Civil Aviation Authority is assessing a report from London City into the operation of the concentrated flight paths. It is expected to make its recommendations in the next month or two.
(1). Link to the report: https://www.londoncityairport.com/content/pdf/LCY%20Annual%20Performance%20Report%202016%20AW.pdf
London Mayor backs campaigners' call for end to concentrated flight paths
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed campaigners' calls for London City to end its concentrated flight paths. Below is the Mayor's written answer to a question put to him by Green Assembly member Caroline Russell
London City Airport - noise complaints
Question No: 2017/2794
According to London City Airport's statistics, presented to its Consultative Committee, since City Airport introduced concentrated flight paths, noise complaints from residents have increased four-fold in 2016, compared with the previous year. Will you press London City Airport to review their concentrated flight paths and clarify the steps they are taking to guarantee communities a break from aviation noise?
Written response from the Mayor
It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. Valerie Shawcross, my Deputy Mayor for Transport, met with London City Airport to raise these concerns with the Airport directly and press them on steps they can take. As part of the statutory airspace process, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is scheduled to undertake a review of the changes this year. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flightpaths that will address the severe noise impacts.
LATeST Newsletter out now!
Sunday 25th June 2017
In a survey over 50% of Waltham Forest residents "strongly agree" that they are disturbed by aircraft noise in their homes.
HACAN East will be speaking at an open public meeting organised by the Green Party about City Airport expansion and the concentrated flight paths on 26th October
By Laura O’Callaghan Waltham Forest Guardian, 5/10/16
People living under a flight path of London City Airport say they are “enraged” that they were not consulted about the increase in air traffic.
The airport were given the paths in February meaning more planes will fly in a narrower space, which people say is impacting their sleep and quality of life.
Michael Plant, who lives in Leytonstone, said the problem has got so bad that he is sleep deprived and almost crashed his car one day.
The 45-year-old said: “It is just a complete nightmare. I might as well be sitting in the middle of a runway.
“For eight months I was having between three and five hours sleep a night and I started to get migraines.
“I ended up nearly crashing the car on the way to Sussex one day and I had to turn around and go back home.
“Sometimes I hear the planes as early as 4.30am and they come every 50 seconds and I have to go out of the house just to keep myself sane.”
Mother-of-two Saci Lloyd, who lives in Leytonstone, said she is angry that the airport didn’t consult residents and she feels there is no need for all the flights.
The author said: “I feel enraged that they can do this without a public consultation.
“It makes me feel powerless and like I am not being listened to,
“Many of the planes are not full and they are carrying businessmen to Amsterdam and Geneva who could make a call instead.
“Even when it’s hot I have to close the windows because of the noise and my son gets woken up early in the morning.”
Steve Cushion, of Fladgate Road, Leytonstone, has lived in the area for 35 years.
The 66-year-old said: “I think it is disgusting and I see no reason for building an airport in central London just so a few business men can save half an hour to get in and out.
“I would like it to close but I realise it is really unlikely.
“I want a reduction of their flights so I can sit outside in my garden because now it is not pleasant hearing planes all the time.”
Chair of Forest Residents’ Association, Vaseem Gill - www.vaseemgill.com - who has lived in Leytonstone for 30 years, said: “When my family sits out in our garden and a plane passes we cannot hear ourselves talk.
“Also, when we go for a nice leisurely walk in the forest nearby it is annoying because there are planes constantly overhead.”
A spokesman for London City Airport said: “From February this year, the airport was required to replicate its existing flight paths to enable a new form of aircraft navigation, as part of a wider programme to modernise airspace over south east England.
“In practice, this means aircraft fly the same routes as previously, but more accurately.
“A new system for arrivals was also introduced, positioning aircraft over the Thames Estuary to reduce time flying over residential areas.
The concern about the concentrated flight paths became very clear indeed when we took a stall at the Wanstead Festival on 18th September. People were queuing at the stall to tell us how the flight paths where badly affecting them. Our chair John Stewart, a veteran of numerous stalls over many years said he had never seen so many people come so eagerly to a stall to talk about their experiences.
- 1st October: Reclaim the Power is organizing a day of protest against airport expansion. Check our sister site HACAN site for details: http://wp.me/p5NPQ9-CF
29/8/16 for immediate use
Concentrated flight paths bring a flood of complains
London City Airport’s decision to concentrate all its flights paths earlier this year has resulted in a flood of complaints. HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the flight paths, today launched a short report outlining some of the complaints they received in just one month - read report: HACAN East booklet
John Stewart, chair of the campaign group, said, “We have received dozens of complaints over the last month. The hot weather has made people particularly aware of the planes. The concentrated flight paths have brought complaints from many areas for the first time. The complaints have come from vast swathes of east and south east London.”
One person in south London said, “We have gone from having little or no flights to one every 3 minutes. Some of us have spent a lifetime trying to get on the housing ladder only for this to happen.”
Another wrote: “I moved to Dagenham from Kingsland Road in Hackney in 2014 because my family & I wanted more peace and quiet; now it's noisier than living on Kingsland Road in Hackney; we are heart-broken.”
Stewart said that HACAN East has met with the airport who said they ‘have not closed their mind’ to looking again at the concentrated flight paths but will not do so until next year after the Government has issued its forthcoming consultation on national airspace policy.
Over the summer months we have had a steam of emails and phone calls from people disturbed by the new flight paths. They have come from huge swathes of east and south London.
This is a short update on the situation.
We have had meetings with both the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the airport in the light of the fact that the airport is required to review the concentrated flight paths. It seems clear from the meetings that the CAA does not consider it to be within its remit to initiate change but it will assess any changes the airport process. The airport told us that by February 2017 they need to produce a report for the CAA on whether the flight paths have achieved their purpose in operational terms. The CAA will comment on that report by May 2017.
But, more encouragingly, the airport did tell us it ‘has not closed its mind’ to some form of respite. They may look at that about this time next year. The Government is expected to consult on its airspace policy either later this year or early next year and City Airport wants to see what that says before looking again at its concentrated flight paths.
Meanwhile we have set up a group of MPs, GLA members and senior local councillors to keep pressure on the airport.
The Government announced today that it had given London City Airport permission to expand. It endorsed the recommendation of the Inspector who heard evidence at a Public Inquiry held earlier this year.
City Airport will be allowed to build a taxiway and more parking spaces in order to accommodate the larger planes it wants to bring in. The terminal will also be expanded to cater for the increase in passenger numbers. And there will parking facilities built.
The Airport has been keen to get expansion because the larger planes will allow it to serve destinations like Moscow and Istanbul, further afield than most of its destinations are at present.
But residents will be hit hard. London City got permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to concentrate its flight paths earlier this year. Now those residents face the prospect of more, and larger, planes.
To read the Government decision: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-applications-called-in-decisions-and-recovered-appeals
Our Chair, John Stewart and Campaign Co-Ordinator Rob Barnstone met with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Wednesday [15 June] to discuss the concentrated flight paths at London City Airport.
The CAA fielded at team of five and gave us nearly 2 hours.
They are aware of the unhappiness amongst communities and local authorities at their decision to allow City Airport to concentrate its flight paths in February 2016.
They listened to what we had to say.
We outlined the problems:
Things had changed noticeably for many communities in East and NE London. City Airport had argued that they could get away with minimal consultation because the changes they were making were not significant as many of the planes were already flying something approaching concentrated routes. We pointed out that many people had noticed a real difference since February.
We also pointed out that the CAA seemed to have no mechanism to look at changes over time. The only reason City Airport could even begin to argue during the consultation that some of the changes proposed were not significant (for example, departures over Leyton, Leytonstone and Wansted areas) was because “significant changes” had been made in 2008 when the flight paths were changed to accommodate the larger planes which needed to make a much wider turn when leaving the airport. The smaller ‘turbo-prop’ planes made a sharp turn when taking off, barely flying over many of the areas that now are under a concentrated flight path. The CAA seemed to accept our point that there was no organisation responsible for assessing the changes over time.
We also outlined what the February changes meant for South London. City aircraft fly over South London when an east wind is blowing before turning over the West End and City to land at the airport. Until February they were dispersed pretty widely over South London but now they are concentrated over particular communities. Most of these communities are overflown by Heathrow planes on the days there is a west wind. They now get concentrated City aircraft when there is an east wind, thus no break from aircraft noise. The CAA accepted that there was no organisation which assessing the implication of these kind of flight path changes.
We stressed that respite was important to local communities. The CAA felt the introduction of respite was difficult in East and North East London because the airspace City aircraft use is very constrained – largely by Heathrow aircraft. Therefore, spreading City aircraft or creating additional flights paths (in order for those under concentrated flight paths to obtain respite) would be difficult. They accepted that this would be less problematic South London, although an expansion of the airspace which City aircraft are permitted to use might be required.
The CAA outlined what happens next:
City Airport is required to gather data on whether the airspace changes made in February are functioning as expected. The data gathered will also include a noise impact – City Airport would need to record any unintended consequences. That data must arrive at the CAA by February 2017 (although the CAA would be looking for a 6-month interim report). The CAA will then analyse that data and decide within three months, in May 2017, whether changes need to be made or to authorise the continuation of the scheme. However, the CAA played down the likelihood that they would intervene to make changes, and they certainly won’t propose or initiate changes. They are likely, though, to take into consideration any significant discontent from local communities or local authorities about the changes.
It became clear that pressure needs to be put on the airport by communities and local authorities to consider changes. City Airport is keen on the concentrated routes because they make it easier to guide planes when landing and taking off. NATS also like them because the new computer technology in the planes means that air traffic controllers are much less involved in guiding the them, thus saving NATS time and money.
What do we do next?
HACAN East will:
· Lobby City Airport to abandon its current plan to concentrate all its flight paths over particular communities and instead to introduce respite so people an get some relief from the noise
· Bring together a cross-party group of politicians to assist in this lobbying
· Organise a series of public meetings to inform local communities about the latest development
· Encourage local people to email and write to the airport and the CAA.
What you can do:
Email or write to the airport and the CAA to tell them about your experience of living under the concentrated flight paths. Two key contacts are below.
London City Airport: James Shearman, Environment Manager at:
London City Airport, City Aviation House, Royal Docks, London E16 2PB
Or call +44 (0)207 646 0200
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - information or complaints concerning flight paths:
Directorate of Airspace Policy, K6 G7, CAA House, 45-59 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TE
Please include email@example.com in your emails to one of the above organisations, as it helps us build an even broader picture of your thoughts and feelings on the issue.
HACAN East was delighted to speak at the Annual General Meeting of FORA, the residents' association which represents many of the Leytonstone residents right under the new concentrated flight paths. We heard about the real impact the flight paths are having on people's lives but were able to give them some hope in that the Civil Aviation Authority, which is required to review the changes by February next year, has agreed to meet with HACAN East.
This video graphically illustrates what it is like to live in Leytonstone under London City Airport's newly concentrated flight paths
This is part of a heartfelt letter we received from a resident in Catford
"The main issue for concern has been the concentration of the flight paths over my house in Catford.
I can’t begin to express my frustration as when we bought the house last year this was not a publicly known issue...Read More
HACAN East is a residents’ group set up in 2011 to represent the views of people affected by both noise and pollution from London City Airport. A number of areas are also impacted by Heathrow flights.
Currently just under 85,000 planes use the airport each year. It has permission for over 110,000...Read More
London City Airport has released the findings of a poll which showed that “77% of East London business decision-makers are in favour of London City Airport’s expansion plans.” Comres, on behalf of City Airport, polled “business decision-makers” in Canary Wharf, Westminster, Soho and the City.
ComRes surveyed 1,002 business decision-makers in Central London business districts by telephone between 11th February and 2nd March 2016. Respondents were based from Canary Wharf in the East, through the City of London and Bank, to Westminster and Soho in the West of the capital: http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/london-city-airport-business-survey/.
But HACAN East campaigners have dismissed the poll as 'dodgy'. They say it stretches the definition of East London beyond belief. It places Soho in East London and suggest that London City’s new PR team need to brush up on their geography pretty quickly. Soho is East London?!
On a cold and wet Friday evening on 22nd April, angry residents packed a Public Meeting staged by HACAN East in Leytonstone. The meeting heard from HACAN East chair John Stewart and from local MP John Cryer.
Resident after resident told the meeting about how their quality of life has got a lot worse since the flight paths from City Airport were concentrated over them. But both John Cryer and John Stewart felt that, as a result of the pressure that has been brought, both London City Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are becoming more response to residents.
John Stewart is expected to be invited by the CAA to a meeting to talk about how local residents can become involved in the review of the concentrated flight paths which the CAA must conduct before February 2017.
And it became clear at the recent Public Inquiry into City Airport's expansion plans that, in response to pressure from MPs, local councils and residents, Newham Council (the planning authority for the airport) looks like it will become more rigorous in ensuring that City Airport obeys the rules and regulations under which it is allowed to operate.
- Mar 10, 2018 Noise complaints continue to rise Mar 10, 2018
- February 2018
- Oct 27, 2017 HACAN East campaigners present special cake to City Airport to mark its 30th BirtHday Oct 27, 2017
- Oct 23, 2017 London City at 30: what we are looking for now Oct 23, 2017
- Jul 29, 2017 Jul 29, 2017
- Jul 29, 2017 Campaigners present CAA with 'flight paths' cake Jul 29, 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- March 2017
- Feb 28, 2017 Latest newsletter out now! Feb 28, 2017
- Feb 24, 2017 HACAN East calls for nighT flight ban at Heathrow Feb 24, 2017
- Feb 5, 2017 HACAN East gives broad welcome to Airspace Consultation Feb 5, 2017
- Jan 15, 2017 No change proposed for night flight regime at Heathrow Jan 15, 2017
- Jan 3, 2017 Survey confirms Waltham Forest the 3rd most overflown borough in London Jan 3, 2017
- Dec 6, 2016 November Newsletter: "Plane Speaking" Dec 6, 2016
- November 2016
- Oct 29, 2016 Aircraft Noise Problem in Waltham Forest Oct 29, 2016
- Oct 19, 2016 Public Meeting on City Airport expansion and flight paths Oct 19, 2016
- Oct 6, 2016 'Enraged' Leytonstone residents speak about air traffic affecting their lives Oct 6, 2016
- Sep 22, 2016 HACAN East at Wanstead Festival Sep 22, 2016
- Aug 29, 2016 Concentrated flight paths bring a flood of complains Aug 29, 2016
- Aug 24, 2016 CONCENTRATED FLIGHT PATHS LATEST Aug 24, 2016
- Aug 11, 2016 Plane Speaking, August 2016 Aug 11, 2016
- Jul 27, 2016 Government gives City permission to expand Jul 27, 2016
- Jun 17, 2016 Meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority Jun 17, 2016
- May 22, 2016 Concentrated Flight Paths: big concern for Leytonstone residents May 22, 2016
- May 22, 2016 Life Under the Concentrated Flight Paths May 22, 2016
- May 19, 2016 Plane Speaking, May 2016 May 19, 2016
- May 19, 2016 Letter from South London May 19, 2016
- Apr 24, 2016 Problems with London City Airport? Apr 24, 2016
- Apr 24, 2016 'Dodgy' Poll released by London City Airport Apr 24, 2016
- Apr 23, 2016 Angry Residents Pack Public Meeting Apr 23, 2016
- Apr 23, 2016 City Airport issues "community pledge" for Waltham Forest Apr 23, 2016
- Apr 11, 2016 Public Meeting on Flight Paths Apr 11, 2016
- Apr 5, 2016 Public Inquiry closes on 5 April Apr 5, 2016
- Mar 22, 2016 UPDATE: City Airport Planning Inquiry - HACAN East gives evidence Mar 22, 2016
- Mar 8, 2016 HACAN East Advice: Legal challenge to decision to concentrate flight paths unlikely to succeed Mar 8, 2016
- February 2016
- Jan 10, 2016 LONDON CITY GIVEN PERMISSION TO CONCENTRATE ITS FLIGHT PATHS Jan 10, 2016
- Nov 23, 2015 City Airport wants to acquire part of King George Dock Nov 23, 2015
- Oct 3, 2015 EXPANSION PUBLIC INQUIRY: HACAN EAST’S STATEMENT OF CASE Oct 3, 2015
- Sep 9, 2015 CAMPAIGN GROUP TO TAKE ON AIRPORT AT PUBLIC INQUIRY Sep 9, 2015
- Aug 6, 2015 LONDON CITY AIRPORT UP FOR SALE Aug 6, 2015
- June 2015
Local residents group HACAN East dismissed a new “community pledge” for the London borough of Waltham Forest as both “desperate and irrelevant.” The plan, launched by London City Airport on Thursday 21st April , highlights a “five-point community pledge” for residents of Waltham Forest.
London City Airport’s 5-point Community Pledge
We will continue to:
Jobs: Ensure more jobs for locals – joining the East London residents who already work at London City and comprise 64% of our entire workforce
Education: Broaden our community outreach and work with more local schools to develop students’ education and career prospects, including work experience opportunities at the airport
Community: Support and invest in community initiatives, adding to the £2.7 million already spent by London City Airport in East London since 2009. Raise more money for local causes, including our long-standing commitment to Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton
Environment: Operate more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft from and to the airport
Business: Create more procurement opportunities for local businesses – adding to success stories like our on-going contract with Greenwich-based start-up Crowd Vision
Nearly 27,000 Waltham Forest households will receive leaflets over the next week, with a further 136,000 pledges distributed across other East London boroughs.
HACAN East that the plan was high on nice-sounding rhetoric but low on specifics. It also pointed out that this is the same airport which refused to leaflet local residents to ask or inform them about concentrated flight paths but now can deliver over 100,000 PR leaflets.
HACAN East will be holding a Public Meeting with John Cryer MP as key speaker on 22nd April 7pm at Epicentre Leytonstone, 1 West Street, off Leytonstone High Road, London, E11 4LJ .
The main topic will be the recent decision of London City Airport to concentrate flight paths but all issues regarding aircraft noise can be raised.
The Planning Inquiry into expansion of City Airport ends today [5 April].
The Inquiry, which has been sitting at City Hall since 15 March, is a result of City Airport's appealing of the Mayor of London's decision to overturn Newham Council's decision to allow the expansion of City Airport. HACAN East are attending as a Rule 6 Party.
On the final day of the Inquiry, all parties gave closing statements, which will inform the Planning Inspector's final conclusion as to whether the airport should be allowed to expand. A decision is expected in the summer. HACAN East's closing statement can be viewed here.
A more detailed update, and a blog post will follow in coming days.