Saturday, August 16, 2008

Safety Concerns At London City Airport

This is not a new issue - but something we have not covered on this blog, and we feel we should have done some time ago. So thank you to the resident who emailed us to alert us to this.

City Airport has a problem - a
big problem with magnetic inteference cause by metal beneath the runway. This has caused some serious issues for pilots you can read more on the BBC and also on The Age .

Some pilots 'found [the metal structures] to be causing significant interference to the magnetic fields on which aircraft compasses and some navigation equipment rely'. A Raytheon Hawker plane was forced to return to LCA just 10 minutes after departure on one instance.

On IOL.Co.ZA they reported:

"The AAIB issued six safety recommendations, including that the steel casing be removed and pilots flying to/from London City Airport be routinely reminded in flight plans there is a magnetic anomaly which can affect their aircraft's instruments.The moves follow an AAIB inquiry into an incident on October 31, 2006 when a Raytheon Hawker 800XP experienced difficulties navigating after taking off from the airport and had to return.The incident was one in a series of navigation problems dating from January 2000 for aircraft leaving London City Airport. Some were attributed to pilot error at the time".

Once again it looks like LCA have had to be 'ordered' to do something, this time by the AAIB, despite it appearing there had been a series of navigation problems since 2000. They just don't seem to do anything willingly when it comes to something that is going to cost them money. Unsurprisingly the 'spokeswoman' was unavailable for comment on this particular issue!

So just what has happened since this was all reported back in January? We still continue to see a lot of aborted landings, even now, perhaps this is an indicator there are still problems apart from just weather conditions.

If you want to find out more about what steps London City Airport has been forced to take and if they have completed then please contact Air Accidents Investigation Bureau - General Enquiries:01252 510300.