Wednesday, September 10, 2008

London City Airport & Newham: How do you trim down a Public Safety Zone?

By ignoring the model that the Department of Transport provides to calculate it of course!

The public safety zone* maps (see definition of PSZ below) which LCA submitted to the London Borough of Newham appear not to have been drawn up using the required model provided by the Department of Transport. This gives the effect of making the public safety zone areas smaller than they should be and covering less households, and also perhaps, schools and other sensitive places - such as prospective bridges. Is this simply yet another attempt to bury the bad news so they can get those extra flights out - at any cost??

We can't think why they would ignore the DfT model to draw up the Public Safety Zones with the result in making them smaller? Even stranger that LB Newham didn't enforce that DfTs model was used in the process of the PSZ mapping by the consultants employed by LCA.

But it's not strange at is just the continuing saga of LCA and Newham's disingenous behaviour throughout the whole of the consultation and application to expand LCA flights to 120,000 this year and another 50% next year, taking them up to 176,000 per year.

*What is a 'Public Safety Zone'? It is an area which is a long triangular shape at each end of any runway which is deemed at more risk of being affected by an air traffic incident upon take off or landing. The triangular shape widens and lengthens in accordance to the type, and number, of planes operating out of the airport.

Guidelines are set by the Department of Transport in how this area should be calculated and mapped out and where homes, traffic etc should not occupy the area at all, or in small numbers. New buildings are not allowed to be built in the PSZ unless planning approval was given before the PSZ was identified, current homes of which residents will find themselves being covered by the PSZ map are simply told to live with the risk. Despite the guidelines being set by the DfT it is the responsibility of the local council to apply them.

PSZ Enquiries: Department for Transport: 020 7944 8300 - Airports Section.
Document: free to download.