Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Press Release: Plane Stupid's Action At London City Airport


Fight the Flights is not a direct action group, but we fully appreciate the frustration that the climate change activists feel in getting their voices, and concerns heard on aviation expansion, and how aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of CO2 emissions.

It is no wonder that some campaigners feel they are being pushed into taking non violent direct action because the system is failing people of their democratic rights to protect their communities, futures and their environment from harmful ‘runaway’ airport and flight expansion.

Just under a 100,000 residents in east and south east London will be affected by the increasing excessive noise levels from London City Airport upon expansion, and yet less than 10,000 were claimed to have been consulted by the London Borough of Newham. Most will not be entitled to any noise insulation. They will have to live with the consequences every day of their lives, each time a flight takes off and lands. The majority do not have the option to move, and many lived in the area long before the airports creation.


In just over 20 years the airport has only managed to directly employ 120 Newham residents out of the 406 directly employed staff the airport claim to employ.

London taxpayers have also paid £24million for the airports security provided by the Metropolitan Police over the past 5 years, which the airport refuse to pay.

In addition the air quality above London City Airport exceeds EU directive levels by 50% and was termed as ‘toxic’ but this was not acknowledged by the London Borough of Newham. In a borough which has the highest level of mortality in under 30s with asthma in the whole country, Newham should be focussing on improving air quality, not adding to the pollution by approving further expansion at this residentially situated airport in the most densely populated area of England.

Eroded Democracy

Residents have been constantly thwarted and ignored by this government and the London Borough of Newham when providing evidence against the expansion. Requests for a public inquiry into the planned 50% expansion of flights at London City Airport was refused by Hazel Blears, Secretary of State in 2008, whilst the London Borough of Newham showed no concern that 100s of homes in Greenwich will now be in the crash zone and failed to address the risk to residents and communities who live, work or travel through the crash zone in both Newham and Greenwich. However in contrast the government and council appear to consistently listen to the aviation at the expense of the communities: this is expansion at any cost.

With a government that does not listen to local concerns on the effects of expansion on third party safety, increasing pollution levels, the effect on residents health and children’s development, and the contribution to climate change, it is no wonder that we are seeing actions such as this more frequently.