Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LCA Airport Rescue - Searches River Thames

We've been receiving reports from along the river Thames that the airport rescue vessell has been searching the Thames with a rope and has been seen pulling up an item/s from the river.

The CAA are not yet aware of this or any incident reported, but if an incident has taken place and the airport has had to retrieve an item from the river then this would be required to be reported. Such information is accessible to the CAA within about 10 days.

FTF will be keeping an eye out for further information and developments.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Coming Soon: Sound Mapping Project - How you can get involved

Also: How Airports DO Affect Property Prices Negatively: case examples

Additional Documents on LCA's Application Now Available

Yes, it's time for more reading and more objections which we suspect the papers will raise, so please take the time to have a look through and send your objections to Newham!

As LCA and RPS have provided such flaky information to apply for flight expansion - they've been asked on more than a few occasions for extra information. As you would imagine, the information that they accidently didn't go into much detail about was all the negative points - well surprise, surprise! So being held over the rack with mass valid and technical objections then they have been forced to provide at least some of the negative points in the new documents. With all the latest developments things aren't looking at all good for LCA at all.

Newham have just notified some residents that these additional documents/evidence are now available online by clicking here to access the Public Access Website: and enter the application number: 07/01510/VAR and search.

Select the 'associated documents' button which displays and go to PAGE 4 and all documents which are after the document entitled 'covering letter' are those most recently added.

If you have any problems accessing the documents please contact the Planning Officer: Sunil Sahadaven on: 020 8430 2000 ext:22205

Please remember it is important to send your objections in to this application but you now only have the next 20 days to do so

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Greater London Authority Say No to LCA Expansion

FTF have had sight of a letter sent from the GLA to Newham Council regarding the application by London City Airport to expand.

The GLA states they recommend that London City
Airport withdraw their proposal until the full environmental and economic impacts could be better articulated and examined and if LCA refuse to defer the proposals until such assessesments have been carried out, that they strongly recommend that the application be refused by Newham Council on the following grounds:

1. Environmental and climate change impact
2. Lack of clarity about noise impact on adjoining and nearby residential areas.

If Newham Council do not agree to refuse the application the GLA will request the Secretary of State to call in the application for inquiry.

FTF would like to thank the GLA for representing, and pursuing the best interests of the communities of East, South East London and beyond so accurately and appropriately.

Greenwich Council Change Flight Paths

Yes, it is true, Greenwich Council have finally seen the light, the logic and the facts after their disastrous dealing of the London City Airport application to expand. We think they have realised that they have made a grave error of judgement and are now trying to dig themselves out of a very big hole, going on comments from Cllr Alex Grant at the Blackheath Society/Hacan meeting on the effects of Heathrow expansion on SE London, held last night.

Greenwich Council Join 2M
The good news must come first though, and which Cllr Alex Grant, and Chairman of LB Greenwich Planning Committee, delivered is that the London Borough of Greenwich - the ungreener borough (despite not objecting to the ridiculous expansion plans of LCA) have now decided that they don't like the idea of so many (Heathrow) planes flying over the borough and have now decided to join the 2M group - a growing coalition of councils who oppose the Heathrow third runway. To say we are overjoyed at this development is an understatement - so we welcome this news and as regular readers will know FTF is working with Hacan and other campaign groups to say no to a third runway and no to other aviation expansion.

However isn't it a case of egg on face for LB Greenwich after their foolhardy decision on LCA just weeks ago? Clearly they must have been woken up from their slumber at the thought/or sound of more Heathrow planes filling the skies across Greenwich just a thousand or so feet above the planned 100,000 extra flights a year by LCA by 2010. We guess that 100,000 LCA flights weren't going to bother many of them where they live.

Greenwich Council unfortunately let down the residents in the east of the borough in the light of the stark negative impacts that any LCA expansion will have on the communities. Yes, they bought the economic argument, the fools that they are may realise once they see the Heathrow economic argument fallacies, and other well respected articles tearing to bits the claim that an airport like LCA contributes so much...because they don't. It is all pure and utter spin.

The planning officer at Greenwich Council in his report to the planning committee on the LCA application to increase flights to 120,000 a year made some serious errors in his recommendations - and the councillors bought it all: he clearly did not understand the Section 106 on LCA which sets out the conditions upon which the airport must operate on.

He also failed to flag up that 1000's of additional residents would be bought into the noise contours in Greenwich (an increase of 50%) and also that noise would increase by 50%. In addition the planning officer was blinded by the spin of LCA and seems to be under the impression that it is the turbo prop planes that are the main and only source of this increasing noise over the communities of East and South East London. Unfortunately Cllr Alex Grant mentioned this at the meeting - he somehow is under the impression that because the committee reccommended to the effect the following that the Council had somehow 'assisted us':

1) effective noise management take place (it never has in the past and current signs from LCA and Newham aren't looking promising in the short term at all)

2) that 'noisy' turbo prop planes be phased out.

Turbo Prop vs Jets
Well, lets just clarify the individual aircraft decibels for his information, because the 'noisy' turbo prop planes are considerably quieter than the ongoing introduction of BAE146s - which disrupt residents over a wider area of South and East London: Here's the noise profiles of the planes from the NATS site:

BAE146E - 80-90db over the mapped areas

Turbo Prop - 80-90db

In reality however the turbo props are about 10dbs quieter than jets after they have left the runway when measured on a noise monitor - but of course LB Greenwich don't know that as they don't have any measurements or experience in this area it seems. So the increasing use of jets from LCA is why the noise contours are expanding by 50% - it is so logical and yet they didn't see it.

We hope Cllr Grant et al understand that the dbs appear to be errmmm....the same in the contours? So no favour there for us! We'd also like to make it clear that Greenwich were not going to ensure that residents were consulted either - they basically did nothing, and have done nothing,whilst completely ignoring the environmental impacts on residents. It's just a shame they didn't look after the residents best interests in the way that neighbouring boroughs have done regarding the proposed LCA expansion.

But we can of course at least look forward to them being active against the Heathrow expansion plans and we'll look forward to seeing them at the future events as any collective expansion of flights over East and South East London is just going to cause further misery to the communities.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Greenwich and Lewisham Public Meeting
Wednesday 23rd April
7.30 pm
Recital Room, Blackheath Halls
23 Lee Rd, SE3 9RQ

Speaker: John Stewart, Chair HACAN

What the Government’s proposals could mean for South East London

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flights Too Late, Flights Too Early - Residents Pay the Price

Perhaps the following article indicates why flights start at 6:30am and finish at 10:30pm so often? The 6.30-7am and 10-10.30pm slots are for delayed flights at London City Airport only but residents report being disturbed by flights during these times on a regular basis .

Once again you cannot help but question LCA's ability to cope with any expansion if they were to be allowed, it seems they are struggling with what they have with the punctuality of flights suffering. And what is Newham doing about these flights - are they actually monitoring if LCA are within the agreed quotas allowed?

Extract from article published on UK Airport News:

Punctuality of scheduled airlines from the UK was better in the last quarter of 2007 than the year before. But Heathrow and London City Airport bucked the trend according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with more flights late at the docklands airport in the quarter than at any time in the past five years.

Across the 10 UK airports monitored (Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London City), average punctuality rose 1 percentage point to 69%. However, at Heathrow it dropped 1 percentage point to 60% and London City saw a 10 percentage point-drop to 58%.

Average delays for schedule flights decreased from 18 minutes to 17 minutes, with only London City seeing an increase. The average delay at Heathrow fell from 22 minutes to 21 minutes, whilst the average delay at London City was 20 minutes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Newham Council's Contradictions Keep Judicial Challenge In Sight of FTF

Newham Council have admitted that London City Airport's noise monitoring equipment was faulty for a period of time and during that time noise monitoring would not have occurred for weeks, if not months at one location. However Newham Council are boldly stating that although the noise monitoring wasn't active it was 'robust'. Now that's a contradiction of epic proportions!

Considering the noise figures which London City Airport have submitted via RPS in their planning application have been based on the noise measurements taken during the year when the equipment was faulty, it is astonishing that any authority would be prepared to call these 'robust' which indicates they are happy to make a planning judgement on them. We can assure you that will not be happening without a fight from FTF and the wider community.

Newham once again have displayed that they have no effective monitoring of the airport in place and it can only be viewed that LCA has been given free-reign to operate as they wish. Now and again Newham ask a couple of questions...LCA give the answers that Newham want to hear and hey presto it's all hunky dory.

This is not acceptable and FTF can only re-iterate their intention to hold LB of Newham to their legal and democratic obligations and hence if they are not applied then a judicial challenge is likely to happen.

Coming Soon: Shocking Expose

Watch this space for when the ferrets have completed their task to deliver you more stories based on evidence.
UPDATE: Our research is taking longer than we thought, but as soon as we have verified the information we have we will be posting it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Newham Council Provides Free Advertising to LCA?

Newham Council is supposed to be in a consultation period over the London City Airport application to increase flights by 50% . You'd think they would want to remain completely impartial, have no associations with the applicant, not be seen to promote the business etc, wouldn't you?

We couldn't help but notice that Newham are now providing free advertising for LCA on the Newham website. Which is rather a lot more than Newham have done online to draw attention to the huge negative effects that any expansion will have on the communities surrounding the airport. But then that's no surprise to the many critics of Sir Robin's who like Richard Gooding is not showered with wisdom at the best of times.

So far Sir Robin Wales has treated concerned residents with utter contempt by continuing his silence over the whole issue but he clearly is quite happy to spend tax payers money on advertising for LCA. Sir Robin is clearly not a 'listening' mayor at all, well he certainly hasn't been replying to emails and letters over LCA for months now..well that's unless it's to big business it seems.

It is amazing who Sir Robin feels able to 'communicate' with isn't it?! It seems like a clear case of a conflict of interest whichever way you look at it.

London City Airport - Who Benefits?

A very high proportion of LCA passengers are in socio-economic groups A, B and C1. The average salary among UK passengers was £85,834 - the highest figure among the London airports.

The majority of passengers are from'Docklands' (not a borough in itself and yet compared against other selected London Boroughs in the stats) and the 'South East'. Newham and neighbouring borough's residents do not appear to be significant users of the airport as they are not included in the graph.

All stats from LCA data 2007.

Compare to the profile of the LB Newham after 20 years of the airport operating:
  • Average income in Newham - £27,600 (compared to £34.625 for the rest of London),
  • It is one of the most densely populated places in the country, with 108 people per square kilometre,
  • Newham is third lowest in having the fewest individuals educated to NVQ level 4 and above,
  • It has the highest mortality rates for asthma in young people in the whole of England.
  • It has the worst housing shortage of all the London Boroughs,
  • It is the third most socially deprived borough in England,
  • Newham residents put up with extremely high levels of noise and pollution:

It seems apparant that the only contributions that LCA give to Newham are noise and pollution and a £7million bill to Londoners for their security......and that few people in Newham or the neighbouring boroughs actually benefit from the airports operations at all.

It's all take, take, take.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The FTF Scholarship - Fight the Flights Educates LCA Staff

It has not passed us by that LCA still spend enormous amounts of time on our web blog and we take this as a personal compliment. At least we can keep them in work for some time at least.

In fact LCA appear to use the blog as a point of educational reference - our articles seeming to educate them in terms of our listing of the negative affects of aviation expansion and references to works which support our claims. Of course they probably weren't aware of most of it going by their application content as a lot of it certainly wasn't listed in there by RPS.

We've already seen that this has forced them to be slightly more creative (but not very) in producing a document of spin for the local long suffering residents in which they claimed to 'communicate honestly with the communities'. Let us get our breath back after nearly choking on that statement! Unfortunately it was still a load of spin apart from the admittance that noise will increase.

Well, all we can say is we are very much looking forward to seeing evidence of that 'honest communication' from LCA. But perhaps they count that occasion of finally admitting that there would be an increase in noise levels with more flights, after telling thousands of residents for many months that there wouldn't?

If anyone spots any instances of consistency in their attempt to be honest communicators, please do not hesitate to let us know and we will be honoured to give them a FTF diploma, but I suspect it won't be in our lifetimes!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just what type of people object to aviation expansion but are not anti aviationists?

The amount of individuals objecting to aviation expansion is unarguably growing by the month, much to the distaste of airport owners and the aviation industry as a whole. This should not really come as a surprise either. More individuals are affected by aviation now than ever before and if the aviation sector, and the government with their daft white paper on aviation get their way the communities we live in will only suffer more, and across wider areas than ever before. And, the objectors will grow by the thousands. It looks like there are some rocky times to come, and with much of the aviation industry often behaving in a way which indicates that they are most certainly their own worst enemy, then sympathy with them, even from hardened travellers will dwindle.

The aviation industry sometimes attempts to negatively stereotype anti aviation expansion campaigners. However this is a foolish move due to the negative effects of aviation expanding over greater areas and as a result campaigners against expansion are mostly representative of their whole community. So the aviation industry needs to be wary of labelling campaigners negatively, as they are mostly made up of a cross section of the local communities.

FTF is clear about their view: more flights will ruin East and South East London. We have enough flights over central London, many are being flown half empty/empty and when was the last time you couldn't get a seat on a flight with even a week or two's notice?

We'll we've not experienced it, even at 24 hours notice, and neither has anyone we've spoken to. So we see it as 'pure greed not need' on the part of LCA who clearly don't give a care for the local communities at all. FTF are not anti flying but there is such a thing as finding a balance and the current proposals from London City Airport in their masterplan to increase flights up to 176,000 in total is not balanced and will damage the communities in many ways as listed on this blog site in articles. In fact you could say that LCA's plan could be better entitled as 'How to make lots of money whilst making whole communities unliveable'. Nice neighbour? We think not.

Anti expansion campaigners have a variety of concerns, global damage may be one, but it's not primarily always the main concern. But for many their concerns are more to do with the negative issues that aviation expansion creates in their daily lives and the environment in their community. So we'd thought we'd list a few of them, which as you will see are issues which affect most households one way or another personally:

  • Increasing levels of noise pollution
  • Not being able to spend time outside due to noise levels: children need to be able to play outside freely in a safe environment, not locked inside buildings to protect their hearing.
  • Not being able to have windows open
  • Health issues: hearing, deafness, high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancer etc
  • Mental health issues due to consistent 'annoying' levels of noise: stress, irritability, unable to concentrate, sleeplessness, aggressive behaviour and: their affects on residents relationships and whole communities.
  • Children's Development:children need quiet, they also need to be taught in schools which are not subjected to increasing levels of aircraft noise. This affects their achievements in the future
  • Local wildlife and nature being driven away or damaged by aircraft noise and air/water pollution. Just this week it was announced that sea horses are present in the Thames at Dagenham purely due to the river becoming cleaner. More flights over the river Thames with 100% thrust as LCA use aren't likely to help that situation in a positive way at all.
  • Communities becoming 'undesirable' and this having a huge affect on the local economics and finance of residents, and councils. There is a high cost to councils, (not that you'd think it as clearly Newham hasn't sussed that one out yet) and residents by way of taxpayers to deal with the outfall from the negative affects on communities from increased aviation activities. So yet more money from the public purse to subsidise the ever insatiable aviation industry who hang on tight to their purse strings regardless of outcomes on communities it seems.
It's not a complete list - but it gives anyone who is new to this site or hasn't met any of the FTF members a good idea about what FTF is about.

We are simply people that care about our communities and who are willing, and not afraid to speak up for them.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Are you getting a good nights sleep?

FTF has growing concerns for the affect of LCA's 'living in cuckoo land dream state' of flight expansion and it's effects on East and South East London. What LCA want is to make the airport a major one. A major airport smack in the middle of high density housing and high rise office blocks will unnecessary increase health and safety risks, and misery on the surrounding areas. So we should take heed by what has and is happening to other airports around the country.

East Midlands Airport currently has around 80 flights per night (2300-0700) weekdays with rather fewer on Saturday and Sunday nights, not all of them freight and mail. It's pure hell for the residents in the area and whom you would expect it was a basic right to get a good night's sleep.

We can't rule out, nor wouldn't put it pass LCA to try to extend their flight operation times in the future, in fact if they ever got to their dream of 176,000 flights a year - we'd be confident in placing a bet that the next stage for them after that would be to submit a 'quiet application' to LB Newham, who would then in turn do their very best not to inform more than about 10% of residents affected.

Speak up against LCA expansion, but also spare a thought for those residents around East Midlands Airport and sign their petitition asking for a curb on night flights - something which is clearly not an unreasonable request so that they can all get a peaceful nights sleep. Good sleep is essential for the healthy development of babies and children and for healthy adults - our communities are valuable.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

House Purchasing In the Radius Of London City Airport - Are you being told the truth?

Not only will existing residential areas around the airport suffer from increasingly annoying levels of noise from jets upon any expansion - but some of the new developments will be pushed into the second loudest noise contours surrounding London City Airport. That is not going to be a nice place to be at all if expansion goes ahead. Silvertown Quays, we recall is going to be subjected to a whopping 79db laeq. So in reality the noise levels are probably in the 90dbs range.

Interestingly when you look at the marketing materials of some developments by the airport there is no mention of the planned LCA expansion, masterplan, nor of the noise levels experienced or of any possible increase in those levels. How very strange that is. And the same is true of some agents showing prospective buyers of properties for re-sale on the south side of the river - not a mention of the planned expansion of flights - even upon asking directly about it!

Aviation expansion and residential areas do not mix - but so long as councils play down the levels of noise and the disruption from LCA and give planning approval, developers and estate agents will build and sell you the properties. Of course the problem comes after you have purchased the property and realise when you can't have your windows open, you are sealed in your home like a prisoner to drown out the sound of planes, can't spend time outside and you lose money on your property. Still, as long as the councils get their council tax (of which contributes to LCA's £7million security bill) that's all they care about.

And what motivates councils to approve the current level of housebuilding around LCA and also for some not to object to LCA expansion (we still haven't heard Sir Robin Wales's stand on this!). Well it is only one thing - greed. Once you have purchased your home, d0n't expect any help from the developer, Council or local Councillors because in the case of Newham and Greenwich it appears they'd rather not know.

Yes, it really is the case of fleecing the residents who live in the area and whom contribute to the community and regeneration for the case of collecting the gold coins. The Council seems to want it all ways (something they share with LCA!) - but it just doesn't work if you want to build a thriving residential community and the sooner they realise that housebuilding and aviation expansion in the high density housing areas of east and south east London is in conflict - the sooner they can allow the Thames Gateway plans to go ahead and get on with some decent, sustainable and community-building regeneration plans.

We can only wait and see if Newham Council puts residents best interests first: all 46,000+ of them in the noise contours and the many thousands beyond, or whether there will be a public inquiry which may highlight a few of those spun deceptions that are out there floating around from specific sources.

Enough is enough.

Aviation Mole....or was that rat?

Aviation spy was ‘more Austin Powers than 007’

A spy who infiltrated a direct action anti-aviation group has been exposed after making a series of elementary errors.

A big dollop of desperation it seems!

To check out the full story and pictures click here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

UPDATE: Newham Planning Meeting

Newham Planning hope to consider LCA's application on 7th May.

We await confirmation.

Newham Council - Do they ignore residents and only listen to big business?

London City Airport, like most airports whom have no other positives to spin regarding airport expansion (as there are so few), regularly try and bait Councils and residents with the promise of job creation. You may recall London City Airport's words, that lack wisdom at the best of times, stating that job creation will make up for the environmental impacts. Clearly that is not the case at all. You can read an article on this issue entitled 'Jobs are used to justify anything - but the numbers don't add up' by George Monbiot.

A few, rather naive/autocratic elected officials may buy this - but clearly they have not read through the masterplan which aims at 176,000 flights per year, nor the current application by LCA with regard to how many residents are going to suffer from increased pollution and noise levels. Essentially living in the area will be a nightmare and the sky full of noise will hardly 'benefit' residents no matter how much spin the pinnochios put on it.

46,000+ additional residents will be bought into the noise contours which means noise is on the increase - and that is just an estimate. Of course if London City Airport and LB Newham had actually been doing their jobs properly with regard to community responsibility over the past 20 years: that is carrying out accurate and regular noise and air pollution monitoring from London City Airport then we wouldn't be having to quote that the noise levels are just estimates.

In reality the 46,000 residents being bought into the new noise maps could be just the tip of the iceberg so a few hundred jobs (that are not even certain) really are not a good enough bargaining tool at all.

Compare the suffering of increasing noise levels to LCA's offer of job creation ' to make up for it' against the environmental impacts of increasing noise levels and air pollution. LCA may like to think it's generous, but its a shame that the 'locals' haven't benefited from LCA operations in the past 20 years and continue to pay for it's security in the bargaining. But then LCA get paid to say how good the firm is and put a nice spin on it - at any cost.

Employment we must remind you, appears to be only open to those that can afford to own a car, or have access to one, and that 'local jobs' mean within a five mile radius - which in reality does not interpret as local jobs for Newham residents.

Alongside this the fact that official bodies regularly make statements about the jobs that go unfilled throughout London it seems to us that the jobs that LCA are plying Newham with are irrelevant to the application for expansion. If Newham are foolish enough to buy this line after 20 years of LCA's operation then they are even more foolish than we currently believe they are.

We feel that those elected officials who use the job scenario as the one item that supports the application need to start opening their eyes and getting a little more in contact with what is happening in the job market and the implications of the expansion on THEIR constituents.

Or is it just a case for some of these elected individuals to yes to business all the way - regardless of the 46,000+ residents who will pay a very high price for so few jobs of which the vast majority will not go to Newham residents?

We wondered if they also factored the continuing cost to residents who pay for LCAs £7million security bill? Going by a few outrageously un-informed statements we've seen and heard by elected and paid officials (who we will be keeping a close eye on), we think it is very likely that they don't even know about that little sum!

Job creation does not have to be at the cost of 46,000+ residents suffering increasing noise levels and health problems linked to aviation activities.

If LCA paid their £7million security costs, instead of Londoners paying it, it might just free up £7million for employment training, start up grants etc to create jobs that pay a salary that sustains a family and offers real opportunities and career growth for locals - not opportunities that are only open to them if they own, or have access to a car!

Greenwich and Lewisham Public Meeting

Wednesday 23rd April

7.30 pm

Recital Room, Blackheath Halls

23 Lee Rd, SE3 9RQ

Speaker: John Stewart, Chair HACAN

What the Government’s proposals could mean for South East London:

All flights will land over South East London if Heathrow Expansion plans go ahead

Introduction of ‘Mixed-Mode’ at Heathrow: 730 flights a day

Third Runway: 950 flights a day

‘Mixed-Mode and a Third Runway 1100 flights a day

The maps produced by the Department during its recent consultation on Heathrow expansion show that all aircraft landing over London will join their final landing path as far east as Woolwich and Bexley and then fly in two parallel paths to Heathrow.

The northern flight path: Greenwich Peckham Camberwell Vauxhall

The southern flight path: Blackheath – Deptford – Dulwich – Stockwell/Brixton


Residents in south east London must not forget that these flights are in addition to the current flights at London City Airport - and their dream of having 176,000 flights per year - which all adds up to making South East London a very noisy and polluted place to live in. If you have not already entered your postcode on the NATs website to see how the proposed new flight paths will affect you please do - some residents were shocked to find themselves under 12 flight paths in the area they live in within south east London!

For some, 'sweet dreams' will be a thing of the past.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Do you know what's coming to a sky above you?

In this months edition of the Bexley Chronicle , page 8, residents in south east London and Bexley are alerted to how the skies above them are going to get considerably busier as a result of London City Airport, Heathrow, Biggin Hill and any changes made by National Air Traffic Systems with regard to changing flight paths.

Are you aware of how the changes will affect you where you live? We'd recommend and remind you to take part in the consultation exercise that NATS is running until the end of May.

Once again we unfortunately see yet another council, Bromley, operating with blinkers on in regard to how flights and the associated noise from the airport (Biggin Hill as mentioned in the Chronicle) will affect communities. Just because there is a borough border does not mean that the noise suddenly stops at that line and hence their responsibility to consult.

We'd be pleased to see residents in the neighbouring boroughs to Bromley pursue the council over their obligation to consult with ALL those affected. It's about time airports and councils played fairly and increasingly they will find themselves being legally challenged to do so.