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 flights...in 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.