Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Cat's Out Of The Bag...

London City Airport Flouts Application Conditions For 7 Years.
Well, it seems that the work of dedicated FTF campaigners and residents groups have uncovered yet another shocking example which indicates the level of deceit and abuse that has been actively present when keeping all the facts from residents, even when the airport has been breaching the Section 106 Agreement.

But for the first time, we must congratulate LCA and LB Newham being so successful in trying to bury the fact that the actual noise measurements had not been taken for 6 (7 now) years...oh yes, LCA mentioned there was a problem with batteries running out in the year 2005-2006 in their application to expand - but conveniently didn't mention the years 2000-2005!

They almost got away with it didn't they? Ahhh if it wasn't for all those objectors out there they'd have managed to bury that dirty little secret, but the evidence on the truth is out there, and we're sure there's more.

But what better company to provide us with their words of spin to compare to the official report by Bickerdike Allen Partners: This is what the airport claims on its website, our responses are in blue:

Noise and Track Keeping System
London City Airport operates a state-of-the-art Noise and Track Keeping (NTK) system to regularly monitor noise and to help minimise noise levels. This compliments a number of initiatives to protect our environment.
The noise and track keeping system has not collected valid data since 1999-2000 despite the Section 106 Agreement requiring the airport to provide actual measurements annually. Currently all measurements are estimated on historical and manufacturers information - which is completely unreliable.

Operational hours
London City Airport’s operational hours are limited to minimise the impact on local residents. The airport doesn’t open until 06.30 and closes at 22.00 during weekdays. At the weekend the airport operates between 06.30 and 12.30 on a Saturday and 12.30 and 22.00 on a Sunday.

The airport can and does operate until 13:00 on Saturdays for late outgoing and arriving flights.

Restricted aircraft
aircraft operators who are able to demonstrate that their aircraft can operate within strict allowable limits can use London City Airport.
Strict? Based on almost 7 years of no actual noise measurement taking place by the airport, and the noise measurements key to which aircraft are allowed to operate within the 'strict' guidelines and those that don't we have serious concerns about just how this has worked in practice.

Restricted movements
The number of Air Transport Movements (take off and landings) is limited.

If the actual noise measurements have been missing for 7 years and the categorisation of aircraft which indicates how many air transport movements can take place relies upon this information to be accurately calculated then it is quite apparent that the amount of landings and take offs could exceed the limits set in the Section 106 Agreement. If this is the case then the airport could be operating illegally.

Noise management scheme
A noise management scheme is fully operational at London City Airport, with specialist equipment used to monitor the noise and flight tracks of departing aircraft. Real time inspection and detailed analysis of aircraft flight paths ensure that aircraft adhere to arrival and departure routes. In addition to the NTK, general ground running monitoring ensures that aircraft create the minimum noise. These procedures reduce the use of the auxiliary power units and the use of reverse thrust by aircraft.
The noise management scheme and specialist equipment? Is that the same equipment that has failed to be utilised efficiently enough to provide reliable, actual noise readings for almost 7 years?

Don't forget that all noise contours for the area are also based on these 'estimated' figures - this means that there could be 100s if not 1000's of properties that could be eligible for noise management and yet may have been told they are not eligible, and perhaps even compulsory purchase if noise levels exceed 79db. But of course as there are no accurate, reliable measurements residents don't know where they stand. And it is these 'estimated figures' which have been submitted for the current planning application.

And LCA expect to expand flights by 50% in view of this appalling lack of actual data, appalling example of management and duty of care and responsibility to the community, they must really be in cloud cuckoo land.

As for the LB Newham - maladministration comes to mind and legal advice is being received on the matter. Both Newham and LCA have let down the communities which they claim to have such good relationships with and in which they claim to communicate so 'honestly' to.

All comments here are made on the evidence of the Bickerdike Allen Partners, London City Airport, Annual Categorisation Report, 2005-2006 Noise Monitoring, 10 July 2007