Saturday, February 28, 2009

FLASH MOB BORIS - Wake Up Boris!

Boris Johnson - the un-green mayor with double environmental standards!

NEXT Thursday 5 March 2009

Time: 5.45pm prompt for flash.
Outside York Hall

5-15 Old Ford Road
Bethnal Green
E2 9PJ

Wear your 'no to expansion t shirts, or any red top and bring your banners.
A united campaign, and a united event of all anti expansion/environmental campaigns

Swiss Air pilots from London City Airport - Welcome

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dassault Chief Test Pilot Says 5.5 glideslope makes jets land too fast at London City Airport

So now we even have an aircraft manufacturer stating that the 5.5degree glideslope (the degree of descent to approach the runway) at LCA would cause "most jet aircraft to arrive over the runway too fast to land".
A bit like the BAE146 flight on Friday 13th February perhaps, and the one a week before, and the ones prior to that too? But they do land, they just tend to burst tires or sustain nose wheel damage.

Dassault's chief test pilot Philippe Deleume goes on to say that " Flying into City requires precision and stability in the handling and speed of the aircraft". He also goes on to say that LCA is "one of the world's most challenging airports".

Perhaps Philippes' knowledge and experience could be shared with the CAA over LCA's suitability for large jet planes, London would be a safer place for it in our opinion.

So Dassault chief test pilot confirms what we already know from the incidents at LCA but which the CAA seem blind to for now, but for how long we wonder?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coming Soon: Alleged Incidents of Intimidation by Airport Employees

More Axed Routes At LCA - BA Cityflyer - Dublin to go

Whilst London City Airport and their associated airline partners spin on the need to seems that in reality the situation is quite the opposite. Flight route, after flight route is being axed at London City Airport. If that was ever an indication that expansion was NOT needed we don't know what is.

Passengers do not NEED more flights, what they want are the flights they do take to run on time, and all the associated services run smoothly and treat them well.

Expansion of London City Airport will be guaranteed to completely change the experience of most passengers to the negative - bigger is not better. 'Bigger' makes passengers faceless numbers, who are automated by systems and policies. Booking first class tickets with one major airline is a perfect example of that...the ticket terms on a ticket worth thousands of pounds are pretty appalling and they clearly shouldn't be, and yet what can passengers do about it?

You all know it is true, just look at your daily experience of using services and shops that were once small to medium sized and then got greedy and went too big. Big usually equates with 'stack em and rack em', quantity usually overtakes quality. Maybe passengers who like the airport how it is now should start asking the questions. They are intelligent people, and they understand the spin. Will the expansion do nothing but make the airport a comparison to the overcrowded, poor quality service of the majors?

So whilst LCA release their spin, to the local rags (who are too lazy to get off their bottoms and do a little investigative reporting in a bid to present a fair and balanced view to the communities they are supposed to inform), they simply print what the press bullying airport (remember the local Guardians experience?) want and send them. Why? You can only ask the papers editors that question, but we wouldn't expect you to get an honest answer.

So whilst British Airways flights have expanded at London City Airport with the introduction of services to Denmark and LCA have the local paper do a nice fluff piece about new flights to the Isle Of Man in November, strangely there's no mention of the routes disappearing quicker than FC Gooding's hairline! I wonder if he still thinks running the airport is the most fun he can have with his clothes on still?

Routes to be cut, or have been cut:
BA Dublin - the latest

All disappeared. Gone or going. And Berlin is looking decidedly shakey.
As they can't be bothered to do a press release with anything negative we just thought we would let you know.

Oh dear, things are just not looking good at all for LCA.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Welcome to more flights squeezed in during rush hours

LCA and airlines at LCA want to squeeze more of the percentage of 120,000 flights per year into the busiest hours of the day. They are crying to the Department for Transport that they just can't fit enough flights into those hours in their current system, so they want to get ACL to coordinate the hours and flights. So more the busiest hours? More chance of an incident more like.

So to squeeze more flights in, and no doubt cause more misery in the future, they have gone to the DfT to ask for the designation of London City Airport to be 'coordinated'. Of course it's simply about making and saving more money for the airport and airlines fat cats - nothing else but that.

What is funny is that the document admits to the environmental costs to flying larger aircraft, more passengers and more fuel burn at London City Airport. Fuel burn? When did they mention that before? And surely more planes don't have environmental costs? We don't think that's what the crass PR of LCA have been saying in their spin communications??!

Wasnt' it British Airways who was telling us how 'green' their planes were at London City Airport and how they were reducing emissions - of course this was revealed to be utter greenwash and inaccurate.

The document states:
Delays also impose costs on the wider community through environmental costs (from increased emissions, noise, etc) as well as additional costs incurred by other parties involved in their air transport business such as travel agents, tour operators and airports. These costs will increase with larger aircraft, more passengers and more fuel burn.

But surely delays are the same as increasing the amount of jets by 50% over the residential areas of east and south east London? But since when did DFT or LCA worry about the costs to communities from airport expansion? It's not in their radar at all. But one surprise, DFT raised this point:

There are also reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through reduced fuel use as aircraft taxiing and approach times are reduced. For the assessment we have relied on DfT carbon cost savings assumptions as calculated using CORINAIR fuel flow rates, with regard to the current London City Airport fleet mix and taking account of different fuel burn in the air and on the ground.

2.28 Because reduced delay might allow airlines to provide extra flights, which come with associated emissions, there are concerns that environmental savings might not be truly additional when reduced delay is used to enable a more compressed schedule that allows increased use of aircraft. However, for this IA we have only identified the partial effect that occurs when delay is reduced at London City, and we have not tried to analyse the potential for increased frequency of flights, within the planning limit. This would bring with it both increased benefits for airlines and passengers, but a reduction in environmental savings.

They forgot to say a REDUCTION IN THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND HEALTH OF RESIDENTS TOO. But don't worry, the DFT don't think that a more concentrated amount of flights in any one hour will have an impact on your health, that's why they don't feel the need for a Health Impact Study to be carried out.

Same old, same old: DfT and the Secretary of State you just carry on forgetting about the cost to the people who live beneath flight paths or around the airports.

What Makes For A Higher Risk of Bird Strike? Being near water, refuse tips and processing plants

It's a story we've covered before, because we found the airport didn't appear to bother to focus on in it's application to expand and we had some major concerns - Bird Strike.
On the BBC today - (just a shame it didn't do more of an investigative piece), but perhaps that's one for them in the future), they report that: "Airport geese risks played down". Apparently according to Lord Adonis and ministers, the threat of bird strike at a UK airport similar to the recent incident in New York is kept under constant scrutiny".

Who does this highly responsible job fall down on?: the regulators of course, the CAA to ensure airports are safe. We can't say that there's a lot of confidence in any of the regulators anymore, and with good reason too. The CAA are no exception. All policy and guidance but not much bite is the signature of most 'regulators'.

Apparently the amount of birds around Heathrow is not "unusual". Well we'd like to invite Lord Adonis to come along to the areas around London City Airport - yes we might still be regarded as the 'city' over here - but we can assure him that there are plenty of birds, and growing but we suspect that he'd say the amount of birds was not 'unusual'. He's right in many ways. And why shouldn't there be a growing amount of birds? Why? The river Thames is attracting increasing numbers, as does the Beckton sewage works, and the Crossness Sewage works in Bexley, which City Airport planes fly directly over as they follow up the Thames. Of course, this doesn't include the recycling plants and household waste tips. Nor does it take into account the nature reserves and brownfield areas which wildlife thrive in. Personally we love nature, and the natural world so more birds than 50% more planes is fine by us, in fact 50% more heron poles should be the order of the day. They at least don't emit emissions which are harmful to human beings and fill their lungs with fine particulate matters which make us all ill.

FTF wrote an items on high risk strike birds conflicting with more flights from London City Airport: swans, geese, cormorants, herons, seagulls etc. Unsurprisingly there was little mention of the risk of bird strike with more planes over south and east London - in relation to the large amount of water and sites which attract birds. Newham Planning didn't have an idea about it in their usual knowledgeable manner, and considering the CAA were not even consulted on the planning application to increase flights by 50% you can see yet again it was business as usual at London City Airport - trying to bury the negatives and risks yet again. Even beneath the CAA's nose perhaps?

There's been two serious cases of bird strike which come to mind in the past 12 months: the Ryan Air Plane in Italy and the more recent one form La Guardia airport, New York.

The BBC asked "if a similar incident could occur in the UK, Lord Adonis told peers that airports used techniques such as risk assessment and habitat management to "reduce" the risk of a bird strike". Can we hear LCA already penning a proposal to cement the River Thames, Lea, Royal Albert Dock, canals and all green areas over just in case bird strike should actually be taken seriously by planning committees and affect future expansion? Oh whoops, we forgot they have already started thinking using concrete over yet more water, silly us!! In fact why not just concrete over the whole of the south east and turn it into one big runway...? We are of course being sarcastic, but in reality that is what the aviation industry appear to want.

"The government also had sufficient powers to control birds around airports through close co-operation with local councils and landowners, he added". We can tell Lord Adonis that this does not go much beyond London City Airport objecting to new planning applications - the councils over this side of London (and we realise it is a long way from Westminster for some) have no idea about the safeguarding area, and what they should be doing in relation to ensuring the safety of the people under the flight paths. I suspect most have not even heard of the CAA or CAP 772.

So confidence all round in London City Airport, the CAA and your local council? Nope, not from here - Newham didn't even see fit to mention the issue in the consideration of 50% more flights so what hope is there for them to consider such risks now?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Newham Challenged on Air Quality Data by FTF Lawyers

Air quality in East London is set to further deteriorate - but the London Borough of Newham see this as nothing more than an inconvenience, so didn't really address it or plan how they will deal with it as they allow their friend Richard Gooding and LCA to expand unsustainably.

It's worth noting to those not familiar with the area that Parker Road is right by the Drew Road Primary School and by the new playground (pictured above) just 200 yards away from the airport terminal and next to residential areas. Camel Road has high density housing as does the whole area alongisde the south side of the terminal. It is rather surprising that the governers and headmistress of the school have not indicated any concern about the effect of the airport expanding on their pupils. Unbelievable in fact that they would not be concerned about the effect of growing noise and air pollution on the children. Wonder why that is?

In a letter to the London Borough of Newham Planning Department FTFs legal representative at Friends of the Earth wrote:

"Further to our recent correspondence we write to raise a further issue in respect of this application, concerning air quality. We refer to the table 3.10 at 3-30 of the supplementary addendum to the ETS, which indicates that the area of Camel Road/Parker Street (R2) is already expected to breach the NO2 limit value of 40 micrograms per litre set under the EU’s Council directive 96/62/EC, transposed by the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2007. In addition, it is projected that Camel Road/Hartmann Road (R1) will also breach the limit if the airport is expanded."

You will be aware that regulation 6 of the 2007 Regulations prescribes limit values for various pollutants. NO2 is a Group A pollutant and it is apparent from Table 3.10 of the Addendum to the ES that the limit value will be breached in 2010. In relation to R1 that breach is directly caused by the contributions from the application scheme, and in relation to R2 the increase of the exceedance is made significantly greater by the same contribution.

In these circumstances we do not understand how Table 3.14 of the same document can assert that "The proposed scheme would not contribute to air quality exceedances…" This statement appears to be contradicted by the evidence. We also note that regulation 6(2) states that the limit values "shall be attained by the attainment date…". It would appear to us that the Council would be in breach of this statutory requirement if it were to grant a planning permission which is predicted to have the direct result of breaching the limit value.

Your authority will be well aware of its duties under ss 84 and 85 of the Environment Act 1995 to designate AQMAs and to supplement information in relation to the area in question by reviewing this information. Given that the information provided in the ES indicates that a breach is likely in both Camel Road/ Parker Street and Camel Road/Hartmann Road we are unclear as to the basis on which the local authority intends to approve an application which would deepen an existing breach and make a second breach worse.

Further, the information provided through the Environmental Statement would appear to indicate that your authority should designate both of these locations as being AQMAs and produce action plans to deal with such risk. This is not a matter that appears to have been addressed in the planning officer’s report.

As set out in the air quality guidance in LAQM PG (03), air quality is capable of being a material planning consideration and the impact on ambient air quality is particularly important where the development is proposed within, or adjacent to an AQMA; and where the development or associated traffic is likely to result in predicted levels of air pollutants close to a breach (in this case the development is predicted to lead to a breach- see paragraphs 7.33 to 7.35). The planning officer’s report (paragraphs 8.6.1 to 8.6.7) refers to the mitigation options in the ES but these include matters such as "increasingly stringent legislative controls" which impact on traffic flows and the DLR. These are beyond the control of the airport operator and the local authority and therefore cannot be regarded as mitigation in the strict sense.

We note the commentary at paragraph 3.7.10 of the supplement that the predicted concentrations may be over-predicted. However, the legislation simply requires the existence of a risk of a breach rather than complete certainty. In addition, the aircraft emissions included within the assessment are simply those from the landing and take-off (LTO) cycle. In this regard we would refer you to a recent European Commission study on air quality impacts of non-LTO emissions from aviation. This study, which can be found at
concludes that Nitrogen Oxide emissions from the non-LTO phase contribute to a 1-2% increase in Nitrogen Dioxide in the vicinity of airports (see table 9 and page 52).

This underlines that the expansion of London City Airport is likely to have an adverse impact on air quality and that your authority is required to determine how this will be addressed before granting the planning application.
Isn't it strange how the Newham Planning Department could overlook all those issues? At this rate, Drew Road Primary School children won't be able to run around the block for the effect of pollution, let alone be part of the Olympics. Carry on Newham, allowing the area to be increasingly polluted - and affecting the health and development of children and residents! And all for 120 jobs at London City Airport for Newham residents after 20 years of operation. Real regeneration and benefits for the community - we think NOT.

Sameday Headline News On London City Airport:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

London City Airport Twist the Facts...Again

London City Airport must be getting absolutely desperate.
They have decided to use airport workers in their battle against all the negative crash headlines.


We are absolutely shocked that the airport would exploit these men like this in a bid to try and get public confidence back after the aviation experts stated that London City Airport is susceptible to hard landings and the consequences. It appears to be a gross security breach but clearly one that the PR spokeswoman (yes you will know who, as crass errors in PR are her signature) was happy to spin out whilst they lost control of the press for a change!

The Wharf Newspaper this week has front page headlines about the five airport workers who assisted in the crash."THE RESCUERS" are five frontline workers who dealt with the crash on Friday the 13th. Their swift action deserves its praise.

We have never seen airside security identities at any airport being exploited and compromised like this for PR means.They are pictured together , named and ages given.It makes an absolute mockery of the £2.5 million bill that the taxpayer picks up annually on behalf of the airport.

Airside workers remain anonymous for obvious reasons. In a few clicks online we were able to find contact routes for two of the men and photographs of planes and one of a previous crash at the airport that they had posted online. It also makes a mockery of the id scheme that these workers have been forced into testing.

We would not post the photo or names here but its frightening to see this wilful breach in security all in the name of spin. Last year a Sun Reporter carried a pretend BOMB through security and onto the runway at London CityAirport. Weak, failing security from an airport that should know better.

In two weeks there have been two incidents with the British Airways jets landing at the airport, (both times requiring the airport to halt operations for a period of time). And as if things couldn't get any worse for the ailing airport, a Swiss Air pilot exposing himself to security on the very same week that London City Airport claim they have the best pilots in Britain. Best pilots that throw a tantrum and expose themselves because they are asked to be security checked? It seems that they all need a reality check. What was the alternative for the pilot? Not to be searched, and then we face yet another security breach. It seems to us that the arrogance of London City Airport is catching.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

London City Airport - A History of Incidents

FTF is pleased to hear that nobody was seriously hurt in last nights incident at London City Airport, however the incident yet again raises serious safety concerns.

Residents have raised concerns over the safety of operations for some time now, to the airport, the Civil Aviation Authority and LB Newham.

Last nights incident was the 13th incident in less than 8 years, clearly there may be more that we are not aware of. In addition there have been more than 9 near misses in the sky in the past 5 years from flights leaving and arriving at London City Airport.

We also see aviation workers stating online that London City Airport is so overcrowded with it's current level of flights, but that the airport will just keep cramming in more flights until something bad happens.

and here's the link to the rest.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Breaking News: Plane Crash Lands At London City Airport

We've removed the picture, because a pro-aviation individual who does not like objectors to LCA expansion has requested us to do so.He stated he didn't wish the photo to be used in this 'manor' (his spelling not ours). Strangely enough its the same person who complained about FTFs leafletting excercise last year. You'd think he would be more concerned about rather more important issues right now...such as safety.

Sky News
All of the 67 passengers and four crew are safe after the incident at City Airport involving flight 8456 from Amsterdam.
Fire crews were called to the airport just after 7.40pm when the four-engine Avro RJ 146 aircraft had already been evacuated.
BA said passengers escaped down emergency slides which were deployed as a precaution.
A spokesman for the airline added: "One passenger suffered a minor injury and is currently on their way to hospital.
"Our priority at the moment is to ensure that all the passengers involved in the incident are well cared for by our ground staff."
The London Ambulance Service said it sent six ambulance crews, two single responders in cars and two duty officers to the scene.
A spokeswoman for London City Airport said the plane had damage to the nose wheel but had landed on the runway.
She added: "The 67 passengers were evacuated and we are now waiting for air traffic investigators to arrive."
The airport has been closed and flights are being diverted.

ITN: Plane Has Crash Landed On The Runway At London City Airport

The Press Association


All 67 passengers have been evacuated from a British Airways passenger plane after its front undercarriage failed on landing at London City Airport. Five crew members have also been taken to safety but two people have been taken to hospital.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Royal Docks School...And a Hedge Fund

A few weeks back we blogged on the issue of the airport disrupting childrens education. We asked for someone to help those fantastic teachers and kids down at the Royal Docks School.The noise and pollution that the school is exposed to is in breach of EU laws and WHO guidelines. But LB Newham and this government, including Boris Johnson, Mayor of London don't care!
Well it looks like Fat Cat Goodings' friend Weasel Wales is going to do something about it to stop his buddy being embarrassed by the school anymore - He's flogging it off to a Hedge Fund!Teachers and unions are up in arms at the Weasel wanting to turn the school into Newhams' first Academy.

"ARK is an American and British sponsor run by a group of billionaire and millionaire merchant bankers, hedge fund operators and currency speculators. First on the list of ARK corporate sponsors is Aspect Capital. Aspect funds are (according to their website) ‘organised as exempted companies incorporated with limited liability in the Cayman Islands, the investment activities of the funds are not regulated or otherwise overseen by the Caymans Islands’ government or any other regulator.’

Another offshore account holding company in the Royal Docks? We already have the Airport landowners using facilities in offshore Jersey accounts!

" The Royal Docks School has a very high proportion of special needs children. We feel an academy would use permanent exclusions to reduce that figure significantly, as has happened in many academies in an effort to improve exam results. There is no compulsion on an academy to admit pupils with special educational needs. The easier way to turn the reputation of an academy around is to change its pool of students; to alter who it recruits and to deselect those it does not wish to retain, by use of exclusion"

And we already know that Newham failed to do a Race Equality Impact Study for the Royal Docks in the airports expansion plans, so LB Newham are clearly out of touch with their communities. Perhaps the easiest way to help this school and it's pupils is to reduce the excessive noise and air pollution levels overhead! Excessive noise levels from aviation sources have been proven to affect chidren's development.

So Weasel Wales the autocrat continues to suck up to big business, so that big business can suck out the life of Newham, whilst making a tidy packet of profit. In the process the taxpayer will end up supporting a company in making huge profits - we do after all pay the LCA security bill and the rather generous tax breaks that aviation receive.

You can download all the information on the anti-academy plans here including a petition. Unfotunately, as we learned the hard way in LB Newham a petition is conveniently only ever counted as ONE complaint - Our 2 petitions with over 600 signatures were only classed as TWO complaints during the planning process.

Help them, help the children.

Friday, February 06, 2009

(Update) London City Airport Runway Closed After Incident

It has been reported that a British Airways RJ city flyer plane which had taken off from Glasgow, carrying 25 passengers damaged it's front wheel while landing at London City Airport this afternoon. The runway was closed for a period of time following the incident. All passengers and crew were thankfully unharmed. You can see comments about the incident by clicking here.

It seems that London City Airports PR spin machine tried to keep it as quiet as possible with carefully placed information (or lack of it) in as few places as possible. Click here. The reason could be that they have had such a bad week with the snow closing the airport and having to cancel and/or divert flights to other airports. The other is that this is not the first time an incident like this has happened. Just a couple of years ago a Swissair jet managed to burst its tyres on landing and sustain fueslage damage so badly that it had to be floated out of the airport.

London City Airport has been getting more and more bad PR as more and more fact based information is coming out that they do not want the general public to see.

However such incidents once again highlight the potential risks of having an airport in the middle of the most densely residentially occupied area in the country, and the collusive and secretive methods of the airport in withholding information from the general public.

More planes = more risk.
More planes=more LCA spin to bury the negatives.

Building 1000 Is Sinking - A Bit Like Sir Robin Wales and The Hearts of Newham Residents

Yes, Building 1000 in the 'State of Newhamgrad' is sinking.

For the last month, our blog has been inundated with visitors looking for information on Building 1000. And we've just been waiting to find out why but what a good opportunity it has been to share the information of the property blight that London City Airport has bought to this part of London. And of course, how Newham went to the rescue of the beleagured, brand new building that remained empty for so long to perhaps save embarassment for himself and the airport?

It seems that it was yet another bad decision by Newham, a bit like the boroughs keystone cops that got Newham a call up to Whitehall one day, the situation was so dire.
This time, the curse of Newham and London City Airport has hit Building 1000, apart from it being a black hole for Newham taxpayers money, and for an alleged 600 jobs axed to purchase now seems that Building 1000 is SINKING! In addition it's reported that there has been a lot of internal damage due to building faults see here in Newham Doublethinks informative and eye opening article.

Does this mean that London City Airport is also at threat of subsidence or sinking? Perhaps London City Airport may have been contributory to the subsidence due to excessive noise levels and the impact from Jets causing vibration and ground movement? Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

LCAs Broken Promises, and Pork Pies: JOBS

In the London City Airport application to increase flights to 73,000 submitted on the 2nd of June 1998, the employment section still makes mind boggling reading....

"Regeneration and Partnerships do expect considerable job growth if the number of air services is extended as suggested - the economic impact study estimates that if the full increase in ATMs is allowed airport related employment will rise from 1,140 in 1997 to 4,275 in 2005 , an increase of over 3000 jobs.The point is taken that because of the need for high provision of services , estimates of employment growth at airports in Britain have tended to materialise.

We would however question the assumption that the use of additional new technology will not restrain this growth and there will be no diminishing returns as the airport expands.
The projection of 4,275 jobs may prove too high an estimate.However if , say , 1500 - 2000 or more jobs were created , even as a conservative estimate , this would represent a very welcome boost for the borough"

In the current application the airport claims 1866 jobs. And if the application goes through they claim to create another 1000.

But in 10 years from the 1998 application job figure of 1140 to the current 1866 the airport has created 726 jobs!! So what happened to the projected 4275? They haven't even hit HALF of the most conservative estimate of 1500!!!!!

An increase of 36,000 flights actually created 726 jobs over a DECADE. Now they plan to increase flights by 40,000 and create 957 jobs by 2010.


Even at best case scenario and on history and current figures it would take 13 YEARS.

Then we have 328 employees on-site who are not required to provide address information as they are employed by control authorities such as the Metropolitan Police, Special Branch, HM Immigration and HM Revenue and Customs.In layman's terms its the tax payer who is paying for these jobs. So are we paying for half the jobs created?

Then we have Cityjet paying in Euros and the jobs going through Ireland. How many are there? Are they included in the 726?

From a projection of 4275 to only 726. So Even in the best case scenario and with only 29% of these jobs going to Newham , the airport has created 210 Newham jobs over a decade, of which just over 120 are direct employment at the airport.

So 210 jobs times the Newham average wage of £27,600 totals £5.7 million a year. Funnily enough just about the same as the annual security bill. But we suspect that the majority of those jobs receive far from near the average salary, even Newham's.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

LCA: MET Airport Police - Insider Speaks Out

Not surprisingly some of the police that provide free security to London City Airport are fed up.

FTF has been told by a serving officer that allegedly his fully trained and armed police officer colleagues feel ''nothing more than glorified security guards''. One of their main concerns, the officer told us, was that allegedly in an event of an incident on the runway, the Police had "no right to go onto the runway, without first seeking advice from an airport director". This apparently causes some considerable anxiety to the officers as it could potentially affect their response times, and of course could reflect badly on them.

FTF is clearly concerned to hear that the Police appear to have some issues and concerns with the airport. We value the work they do, but don't think they should be having to provide it free of charge to the greedy GE and Credit Suisse share owners of the airport.

This is of course the fault of the government for allowing the Police to be used as a free security service to a private entity, and for LCA continuing to be happy to pour money into other airport bids, whilst continuing to allow London tax payers to pay for 100% of their MET Police security costs, which costs US millions of pounds each year.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Slaughter & May Advising London City Airport GIP on Gatwick Bid

The greedy shareholders of London City Airport General Electric, and Credit Suisse of train not plane fame, (they call themselves a consortium: Global Infrastructure Partners) have featured in The Lawyer with regard to their Gatwick bid:

"Global Infrastructure Partners, a consortium made up of GE and Credit Suisse, which already owns London City Airport, is believed to have turned to previous adviser Slaughter and May, led by partner Mark Horton. Clifford Chance is also understood to have a role for that client".

The old pressure pushers for Docklands appear to still be hanging in there.

All we hope is that it costs LCA and GIP a fortune, and they lose the bid. Trebles all round for us on that day!!

With LCA's operational track record of 10 years of failing to meet the most serious of environmental data collection requirements on air and noise, set within their planning agreement, and with flight delays well beyond Heathrows, we couldn't possibly recommend them for Gatwick and inflict them upon our good friends down there. With a CEO who reckons that running an airport is the ''most fun you can have with your clothes on'' , it's just too much to inflict on them, the thought!

Still, the 'lawyers' would have welcomed the instructions in these times of financial austerity! Perhaps Sir Robin Wales might even offer the taxes of Newham residents to assist the London Borough of London City Airport in their quest?

How many flights go from London City Airport? Asks LCA

If you know the answer, please do let London City Airport know, as we've been reliably informed that one of their staff appears to be in the dark about this and carried out a web search to see if they could find the answer. Oh and guess where they ended up!! FTF just never seems to be off their radar. That caused some considerable amount of amusement in team FTF.

Perhaps LB Newham have just asked LCA and Bickerdike Allen (their consultants) if they operated within the planning limits for the past year in terms of flights operated on the basis of noise factored movements. Bearing in mind the lack of constant and reliable data collection at LCA in the past, the figures they perhaps could find in such a search might be more reliable than their own claims!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Theresa Villiers Says No to Heathrow, But Yes to London City Airport?

Yet more hypocrisy from politicians. Apparently Theresa Villiers and co of the Conservative Party is dead against expansion at Heathrow, for health, quality of life and environmental issues. But it appears if the problems are transferred to East London, or other parts of the South East, it's perfectly fine!! Is this really going to turn into a West/East divide of cherry picking potential voters?

The Conservatives said yesterday that they were willing to expand airport capacity in the South East despite the party’s environmental opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.
Luton, City Airport or Southend could be allowed increased numbers of flights or an extra runway under the Tories, even though they argued against Heathrow’s expansion on the grounds that it could jeopardise the target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Local Resident, and Wotsit, Jim Fitzpatrick MP Meets a load of old 'BAG's

Fitzpatrick meets the British Aviation Group.

Robin Wales - Confronted Over London City Airport

In the recent explosive Mayoral 'question time' in Beckton , 'Sir' Robin Wales was questioned about London City Airport.

Before he was questioned he did a little self PR about 0% council tax rises. Don't let this fool you though! The average income for a household in Newham is £27,600, compared with £34,625 for London as a whole. So the average Newham family receives 76% LESS than these families passing through London City Airport £27,600 Vs, £116,000 and puts up with all the noise and air pollution for the pleasure.

He also tried to shout down the questioner for bringing up the 16 homes owned by a Beckton Cllr sitting in the front row of the meeting and the 5600 homeless families in Newham.

He was asked what he was most ashamed of...

(a) Why the children's choir that sung at the beginning of the meeting and that he was happy to be photographed with , why then was he happy to let them be continually exposed to choking Nitrogen Dioxide gases 50% higher than acceptable EU levels from London City Airport.
(b) Why was it acceptable for the children's education to be continually interrupted by noise from LCA - much of which is unmonitored and in breach of World Health Organisation levels.
(c) Why do LCA airport receive over £5 million a year of Tax Payers money for security and policing while crime is up in Beckton and Royal docks area and they are closing down the local police station.
(d) Why he spent over £100 MILLION of tax payers money to buy Building 1000 beside LCA even though it was classed as not fit for purpose.In fact a bit like HIMSELF!

Anyway the usual word answers came from his mouth saying that things are "not perfect at the airport, but jobs were created and this was the most important".

Then why, oh why has this happened......

Since 2005 - the date of the winning bid - the Government has been working its fingers to the bone issuing new national insurance numbers in Newham to workers taking up the new opportunities British taxpayers and British lottery payers are financing.

Suddenly Robin Wales isn't that interested in jobs for Newham people (except at the airport when it comes to planning applications: in all but words, and certainly not deeds!) It really is shameful.

Even Worse now, is it has come to light that the vast amount of workers at CityJet get paid in EUROS and their jobs and taxes are through DUBLIN!! Cityjet are one of the largest employers at the airport.

So why wasn't this declared and looked into at the expansion proposal? Probably because the true number of Newham residents employed by the airport has never been disclosed by the airport or Newham as it is so pitiful.

But when the airport and 'Sir' Robin Wales has good friends like Stephen Timms MP, that useless waste of space of a junior minister in government who supported a higher tax for the lowest earners, then it helps. Clearly anything can be 'pushed through' if it means that more of the higher tax band payers (the better off) can travel from an area (Newham) where the lowest earners pay proportionately MORE tax on their incomes, AND in addition PAY for LCA security out of their COUNCIL TAXES, whilst only dreaming of being able to use their 'local airport'! Oh, and don't forget the damage to their children's education and to their health that they have to incur as a result of the excessive noise levels.

Wales never answered the question in the end.
What should he be more ashamed of? Of course we know the answer. London City Airport.