Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming Soon: London City Airport Tells Resident Asking for Noise Mitigation To ''Get On With It John''

London City Airport Larger Noiser Planes, E-190 Trials Expected Sat 28 March

Remember when London City Airport's disingenous Chief Executive Richard Gooding said there wouldn't be bigger planes at London City Airport?

Never trust him or London City Airport as the LIE whenever they think they can get away with it.

The Embraer E-190 is a bigger plane, and is expected to be operating trials at London City Airport on Saturday so that it can gain certification. This is to replace the RJ-100's and RJ-85's that currently fly in and out of London City Airport for BA and other carriers. The RJ series of plane is also the plane that had the crash landing incident back in Feb 2009 when the front landing gear collapsed from a hard landing. This it seems is not uncommon if you go to You Tube and type in "London City Airport hard landings". These are only the ones that have been filmed, how many more have there been?
The Airbus 318 is the other new larger, noiser Jet that British Airways hope to be using for first class flights to New York at the end of this year.


If you would like to hear how things will be for east and south east Londoners if the "RUNAWAY" expansion at London City Airport that Sir Robin Wales and his substandard councillors support, at ANY COST, then why not take a trip down to the Royal Docks this Saturday?

Cameras, camcorders and noise readers at the ready......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cameron fury at 'climate change Taliban' jibe

The Independent on Sunday have today reported on the story we recently covered on Roger Evan's GLA member calling the London City Airport anti-expansion campaigners, and other fellow attendees at the Flash Mob the 'climate change Taliban'. It seems that we were not the only ones to be deeply offended by his comments, for a variety of reasons. David Cameron is apparently not happy with Roger over it at all.
Roger Evans was also on LBC on Saturday morning as a guest of Ken Livingstone and the 'Taliban' comment was discussed. We were surprised that Ken who was AGAINST the expansion of London City Airport actually had sympathy for Rog. But more interesting was the statement from Rog that he had only had TWO complaints made to his blog, neither of which had names or addresses. Seems he still isn't being very genuine though: a series of formal complaints have gone into the Standards Board at City Hall and are due to be heard on 1st April. He failed to mention those. But Roger has yet again put his foot in it with his claims: we received an email from a resident today saying that they had indeed complained directly to Rog's blog and had provided a name and address. Well that directly contradicts his claim then.

Roger you really must learn to be more genuine and respect communities and fine upstanding citizens who pay your wages!

The Independent on Sunday 22 March 2009

David Cameron yesterday slapped down a senior Tory who compared climate change activists to the Taliban, as he continued his attempt to green his party, despite the recession and opposition from sceptics.

Sources close to the Conservative leader described as "inappropriate" a website entry by Roger Evans, a London Assembly member, describing anti-airport campaigners as "the climate change Taliban".

And a spokesman for Boris Johnson, London's Mayor – who once compared concern about global warming to "Stone Age religion" – added: "This is not language that the Mayor would use."
The assembly's assessment sub-committee is now determining whether the remark should be investigated by its standards board.

Ironically, "the Taliban" is also the epithet privately used by green Tories for the party's climate change sceptics.

Last Tuesday Mr Cameron again emphatically sided with the environmental wing of his party during a regular private meeting with backbench MPs. He told them that the commitment to green issues would remain at the centre of Conservative policies.

Next week he is to have a special meeting with Dr Rajendra Pachauri, who – as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – is leading scientific calls for tough action.

Environmentalists feared that the Conservatives would scale down their commitment after the sacking in January of Peter Ainsworth – one of the greenest MPs in parliament – as shadow Environment Secretary and his replacement by Nick Herbert, a founder of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance.

Friday, March 20, 2009

London City Airport - Are You Living In A Noise Hell, Whoops, Contour?

These are the latest noise contours released by London City Airport. We are unable to confirm whether these contours are based only on ACTUAL recorded data by the airport rather than estimated cobbled up figures from technical aircraft books (as they had 8 years where they failed to reliably and consistently collect
actual noise data).

The maps still don't reflect what the communities ACTUALLY experience in terms of noise levels as they are based on averages - and they count the quiet times aswell as the actual noise events - but this is what the airport claims to use to identify properties that are eligible for noise mitigation. The problem is that many of those that are eligible have either not received any mitigation at all, or they have received double glazing, which they alledge is 'inferior' and 'ineffective'.

This feeling would reflect the comment from a Newham Council officer that London City Airport does not provide the same standard of noise mitigation that other airports do. This is why London City Airport choose to say they mitigate at 57db, 3db earlier than other airports.

What they haven't said is that they might mitigate 3dbs earlier but that what they install is not to the same standard as other airports and in the past residents have been asked to sign a disclaimer to future noise mitigation work upon receiving the windows/air ventiliation systems. The letter to residents who had received noise mitigation bascially asked them to sign to confirm that they had received the installation and also that
they would not make any further claims on the airport for noise mitigation works. If they signed they gave up their right to any further noise mitigation in the future. Trebles all round for London CityAirport on that tactic (I'm sure that has saved them a fortune at the expense of residents growing misery at increasing noise levels), fortunately some residents refused to sign the letter.

REMEMBER: If your home was built or given planning permission after June 1998 it is highly unlikely that you will be entitled to any noise mitigation, even if you are in the 60db contour.

We strongly advise any residents receiving noise mitigation from London City Airport not to sign any such similar paperwork, without first seeking legal advice. If you don't know who to go to for legal advice please contact us and we will try to assist in providing information. If you would like a copy of the current Noise contours please email us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BA London City Airport First Class Flights In Exchange for First Class Pollution in East London

BA have launched the first look at the new 32-seat aircraft interior cabin layout of the all-business Airbus A318s it will use on transatlantic routes from London City Airport.

"That's our new cabin, that's the London City product that will come on line in the autumn," said Silla Maizey.

Can't say we've noticed that the Civil Aviation Authority have given this jet approval to fly from London City Airport to date - probably because they haven't. Still Silla, an accountant has to try to look on the bright side when the economy is threatening every thread of BA's business.

We note Silla doesn't have to live under a flight path and that her two dogs and cat can breathe air less toxic than a 4 year old has to breathe around Drew Primary School. Lucky her! What is funnier is that Silla is head of BA corporate responsibility. So what do Silla and British Airways say to the children who go to the school which is less then 600 yards from where their polluting planes take off? Or to the highest mortality rates in asthma sufferers under 30 in Newham in the whole of the country? It's all just an inconvenient truth to British Airways no doubt. Or is it as simple as sending the London City Airport Barney the Bear to the class room with a handful of logo'd LCA sweatshirts?

British Airways don't give a stuff about communities affected by their activities, a bit like Richard Gooding of London City Airport and Sir Robin Wales and the Newham elected labour councillors - they do not care that residents are dying premature deaths in London from toxic air pollution, and that children's development is being affected so much so that schools around the airport all have children with above average levels of learning difficulties.

But this plane is for the uber-rich. 32 seats and tickets wont be cheap (unless you are a lucky Newham Councillor who receives free flights from the airport). So who cares about the most socially deprived borough in the country which so far has benefited from just 120 directly employed airport jobs in 20 years of operation of the airport?

As usual BA and LCA are off the mark. Only a few days ago BA cancelled its Dublin route and then admitted it is set to make two years of losses running into several hundred millions of pounds after an unprecedented 20% collapse in passengers travelling in first and business class, the cabins where it makes most of its profit. But of course, apparently they only cancelled the Dublin route due to the crash at the airport and the investigations that continue into the BAE146's that have taken some out for checks. So we'll be expecting to see the British Airways Dublin route re-scheduled as soon as they have all been serviced then, right? We don't think so!

No mention of any cancellations on the London City Airport web of spin, only preferring to announce positive spin. No mention anywhere of the two crashes , route cancellations or Flasher the Angry Swiss Air Pilot.

Even more shocking is the environmental impact that this jet will allegedly have. The Business Travel Research Centre at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom found that the carbon emissions level from first class may be more than double of those of passengers in the economy section.

More harmful pollution over East London and those primary school children just a few minutes walk from the runway - still when there's money to be made - that's nothing to worry about at all in the world of aviation!! It's a small price, especially when it is the state that picks up the bills, and the pieces.

We look forward to seeing how the airport will be spinning this. But maybe its ok - Perhaps Hill And Knowlton are about to help them out seeing as the last few months have been a PR disaster for them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crunch London: City Airport - Dave Hill of The Guardian

Dave Hill's London Blog in The Guardian - today considers London City Airport being thwarted by the credit crunch:

"Fight The Flights have got stuck in to Boris's PQT performance in Bethnal Green and correctly pointed out that he's changed his tune over airport expansion in Newham. Help may be at hand, though, if only in the short term: visit Dave's Blog for the rest".

West Thamesmead Residents Monitored by Police Helicopter

Two Thamesmead residents have just reported to us that they have been monitored by a Police Helicopter after taking photographs (such as the one above) in a residential development, in which they live, by the river at West Thamesmead
The helicopter was spotted by the residents around 10 minutes into them taking photographs of the public safety zone area, planes passing and the noise contour areas in Gallions Reach Urban Residential Village, West Thamesmead, Greenwich. The photos were being taken as part of a project to highlight how ignored the area has been by Newham, Greenwich and Hazel Blears, and how it will be blighted by further expansion, and yet 99% will not be entitled to any noise mitigation whatsoever.

The area has now finally been revealed by London City Airport to be affected by 57db and 60db average noise levels - this is prior to the 50% increase in flights. The area is also going to be blanketed by the crash zone - putting 100s of homes in the area where the Department for Transport regard the risk to human life from an aviation incident higher than other areas. Yes, this is the area in which John Prescott visited and hailed it as a beacon example of the new Thames Gateway housing just 3 years ago. The Department for Communities and Local Government used to have the area listed on their website, until it courted negative press, and suddenly all reference was removed.

The residents ascended a man made hill called 'Gallions Hill' which has a panoramic view of South East London. It was as they took in the view from the top of the hill that the Police helicopter arrived above them, hovering.

Now we are not aware that it is an offence for residents to walk, nor take photographs of their local area - or IS IT? Are residents in West Thamesmead to assume that they have lost their freedom to walk and take photographs in the area in which they live?

Nice to see that the Met are spending their resources so wisely in such difficult economic times. We wonder can we assume the cost of sending out the helicopter to monitor local residents in their own neighbourhood is added to the 5 million security bill that City Airport have passed to London Taxpayers over the past 2 years? Or will it be an additional cost?

As it happens the rain saw off the residents, but they also tell us that once they had arrived back home, within about 20 minutes a Police car was seen cruising up the riverside access drive.

We'll be uploading a short video of the Police helicopter shortly, and linking the most recently available noise contours.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Alleged Intimidation By Airport Staff Against Objectors

We thought it was about time we revealed the alleged intimidation that some objectors have faced over the past year, the most recent being reported just 2 weeks ago:

Just when LCA and LB Newham had thought they'd got away with pushing through the application for 50% more flights without any committed and full consultation - up popped a group of dedicated community residents in the shape of Fight the Flights. Clearly we are an 'inconvenience' to them. The rest is history of course, but the fact that LCA had to get in the alleged PR mercenaries Hill and Knowlton to deal with the objectors was quite a result in our view: it cost LCA a six figure sum and hey, we are still here, growing by the day, and most definitely we are never going to stop scrutinising their and LB Newham's conduct, ability to operate within the law, and of course their behaviour.

So the idea that some intimidation has been alleged is not really surprising: it seems that desperate times, and misguided loyalty lead some individuals to desperate and appalling behaviour. They just don't seem to like anyone who doesn't agree with them, though quite frankly with the following behaviours, you'll probably be glad you don't:

1. Last year an objector received an email full of classist, racist, vile comments - it went on to threaten objectors that if they persisted to object they would just simply be ''run over''.

It was signed off as "an airport employee".

2. In Spring of last year, an FTF campaigner was asked to meet a photographer from The Docklands Newspaper on the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge, at the Royal Albert Basin. This bridge is immediately at the end of the east end of the runway, in the crash zone.

The photographer had just come from a wine reception at London City Airport. After the photographs were taken the two residents walked back to Gallions Reach DLR - they were aware of a erratically driven white van. It was believed that the vehicle was a Ford Fiesta van. The individual driving the van, a male, looked aggressively at the residents, twisting around as he passed and slowing down. The residents felt it was strange and then thought nothing more of it. They then arrived at the DLR to see the white van parked up in the middle reservation with the driver, dressed in a white business shirt, twisted around in his seat glaring angrily at them. He then wheel span off, whilst mouthing something as they got nearer to where he was parked.

3. Just two weeks ago on February 14, resident campaigners were contacted by ITV regarding the crash landing of the British Airways plane the night before. The airport were asked to be interviewed and declined.

The campaigners arranged to meet with ITV on Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge, close to Gallions Reach DLR, the same location as the previous incident. Whilst waiting for the set up of cameras, the campaigners told us that a dark people mover with a large, aggressive looking male passed by tooting, swearing and shouting. Ten minutes later the people mover travels back over the bridge, window down, tooting, shouting, swearing and making a hand and wrist movement out of the window. This was witnessed by the ITV reporter and cameraman.

Can it be a coincidence? Bearing in mind that around a 1000 residents wrote in to object to expansion, and over 600 signed petitions to object - then there is without doubt huge objection to LCA in the area and therefore huge support for the FTF campaign. On top of that in all the lives of the campaigners who experienced the events, they have never seen or experienced anything like it before. Of course, well balanced individuals would not behave in such a way as the three individuals behind these incidents.

FTF takes these incidents very seriously and will be reporting them in the future directly to the Police. Number plates and email IP's will clearly identify the individuals responsible so be it on their own heads if they wish to behave in such a vile manner in the future.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bin The Extra Flights Boris! Flash Mob Boris - TODAY!

Come and give Boris a timely reminder tomorrow of what we think he, LB Newham and Hazel Blears should do over London City Airport's 50% expansion:

Bin The Extra flights

They ALL know that the disadvantages well outweigh the few 'claimed' advantages: what's more the disadavantages are those that are harmful to human life, to a healthy community and environment.

Those disadvantages cost the taxpayer far more than the airport puts through it's Jersey registered office each year.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Local Residents Furious with New Labour Candidate Steve Brayshaw

So the latest hole that the ruling party in Newhamgrad is trying to dig themselves out of is the one concerning their 'new' candidate in the Royal Docks: Steve Brayshaw.

It's funny as not so long ago we were copied into an irate letter from a local resident to Steve Brayshaw, in response to one of the spun up 'we love and have done so much for the Royal Docks' election leaflets. Labour have in fact done nothing for royal docks residents in terms of protecting them from more pollution - apart from Alec Kelleway who supported the airport, but then he also has more than £25,000 shares in WPP who owned Hill and Knowlton the PR company temporarily hired by LCA to 'push through' the expansion.

Not one other labour councillor showed any concern regarding the air and noise pollution levels, nor the failure of LCA to actually measure regularly for 8 years...they didn't want to listen to the evidence that childrens development is harmed by excessive aircraft noise either - despite Ofsted having identified nearly every school in the area having an above average level of children with learning difficulties.

Why was the resident so irate with Steve? Because in all the Labour bumpf Steve seemed to have suffered a severe case of amnesia - there was no mention of London City Airport at all! How strange, and FTF could hardly believe it, but we are innocent and naive souls here, always trying to see the best in people whatever they do.

Steve Brayshaw was in fact a strong objector to London City Airport's expansion at one point and he was in fairly regular contact with FTF and other objectors. He was active on this issue in an individual role, and indeed even turned up at Stratford Town Hall last summer to object to the 50% expansion plans. Steve was so concerned at the 8 years of lack of reliable noise and air data readings at the airport that he even wrote to DEFRA asking them about the data. Here's Steve's view on London City Airport Just 12 months ago in the Docklands 24 Paper. Strange what wanting to become a Labour candidate does to you.

“A call has been made for the application to expand London City Airport to go to a public inquiry. Would you like your say on the plans?”

"London City Airport should go to public enquiry. The airport measures noise over time so it can average out noisy planes with the silence in between. That's not the way my ears work. The planes are noisy and more planes equals more noise. With crossrail being given approval the entire remit for the airport should be considered not expansion.”

But now it seems, that he isn't worried about noise and air pollution anymore, nor the schoolchildren (shame on you, and we hope you can sleep at night) nor is he doubting the jobs claims! Apparently he is now claiming he's changed his mind (yeah right!) because of the 'jobs'. We are assuming he is not referring to the redundancies? And just how many directly employed airport jobs is he referring to have gone to residents in the Royal Docks in the past 20 years? He doesn't even know.

It seems to us that Steve Brayshaw traded in his concern for the well being of the community for becoming a labour candidate - kerching. Another one on the gravy train...isn't it just great that a candidate can forget all the harmful effects of the airport on the community, and the missing and flawed data with just a few months of spin?