Friday, July 24, 2009

Romford Recorder Article on Critic of London City Airport under attack

"A FORMER Havering mayor has been accused of "jumping on the bandwagon" too late in a battle to stem the number of aircraft flying over Havering.
Cllr Georgina Galpin and Romford MP Andrew Rosindell launched a petition last week in Hornchurch against the expansion of London City Airport in Silvertown after receiving scores of complaints from local residents.
Earlier this month Newham Council agreed to allow the terminal to increase its flights by 50 per-cent by the end of next year - from 80,000 to 120,000.
The petition calls for an immediate halt on flight increases and for as many as possible to be redirected over the River Thames.
It will be presented to the House of Commons, No.10 Downing Street and the Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis.
Cllr Galpin said: "I was very angry to find out that when the original decision was made to increase air traffic and change the flightpaths, the residents of Havering were not given any opportunity to voice their concerns or opinions!
"The consultation was not extended to include the people who would be most affected - the residents of Havering."
But critics have rounded on Cllr Galpin. They point out that it was her Conservative administration that had the opportunity to respond to London City Airport's planning application when it came before a meeting of Newham Development Control in October last year.
Critics say they failed to do so, instead saying the airport's expansion would not have a significant adverse environmental impact on the borough.
They also accuse Havering Council of failing to even alert residents about the airport's planning application and its likely effects.
Steve Pullum, a campaigner for Fight the Flights, said: "It's pretty amazing really that one of the people responsible for doing nothing is now complaining that nothing was done. You couldn't make it up!"
Labour Leader Cllr Keith Darvill said: "I'm not impressed with her late conversion on this issue - it smells of jumping on the bandwagon."
Putting forward a motion on the issue at Wednesday's full council meeting, Cllr Darvill accused the Tory administration of neglecting its representative duty to consult or inform residents about the airport's expansion.
He said: "The borough was formally notified about this application in 2007/08 but failed to make any response. As a borough nearby we are certainly entitled to do so and other authorities such as Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Bexley and Essex did so.
"It would have been wise for the administration to have briefed members so that we could have got a feel for what residents in the borough thought.
"It's disappointing that the administration failed in its duty."

See next week's Recorder for full coverage of the debate on this issue at Wednesday's full council meeting."

Full Article Here
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

REDBRIDGE: Legal challenge to be launched against extra flights


"CAMPAIGNERS are to launch a legal challenge against controversial plans to increase the number of flights over east London from London City Airport.

Earlier this month some residents were outraged when Newham Council agreed to allow an extra 50,000 plane journeys from the busy airport, bringing City's annual flight total to 120,000.

Protesters argue the increase will lead to greater pollution and noise for people living in places such as Wanstead and Woodford which are under the airport's flightpaths.

[A resident] of Mansfield Road in Wanstead, said his life has been made a "living hell" since changes to the airport's flightpaths were made in May, and is concerned that house prices in the area could be affected by the excess noise.

He said: "I've lived in inner London for quite some time and I only moved to Wanstead three and a half years ago for some peace and quiet. But ever since May it's been a nightmare.

"The planes come so low the windows in my home even rattle sometimes.

"I can't even sit in my garden because the noise is just so unpleasant.

"All my neighbours are very unhappy about it too and I will certainly support the legal action."

The challenge is being launched by the Fight the Flights group.

Spokeswoman Anne-Marie Griffin said legal advice had suggested there was a "very strong case" for a judicial review of Newham Council's decision.

The group are now appealing for funds from the public before they begin legal proceedings.

Ms Griffin said: "London City Airport expansion has been the 'forgotten' expansion, despite it now being regarded as a major airport, and despite residents' best efforts.

"We want residents to have access fairness and justice and of whom many in live in the most affected areas, but whom have been denied a voice."

London City Airport have said the extra flights will be good for the economy of east London, and will also benefit local communities.

A spokeswoman for Newham Council said: “Following an extensive consultation process, which included a significant amount of input from members of the public, we are confident that this decision is in the best interest of the communities of Newham."

By Daniel Binns »
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Fine Mess By LB Newham - Now They Reveal Your Email Addresses

Sometimes you just can't believe that LB Newham could get any worse than it already is.

Then they surprise you again, doing something utterly awful.
Today, the LB Newham Planning Officer sent out an email planning notification that expansion had been approved at London City Airport. What Newham forgot to do was apply the data protection act in this exercise: the planning department displayed every single email the notification was sent to. Clearly they have not got to grips with the 'BCC' bar yet.

There was around 550 email addresses, clearly indicating those who have objected, and supported the expansion by email.

We won't be revealing the email addresses, as LB Newham seem so happy to do, but what we will say it was not surprising to see BA, Cityflyer and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills listed amongst the long list.

Complaints have already been winging their way to Newham about the breach of data protection, but we suspect that Newham will be most concerned about the emails from business.

At least business for once was treated in the same way as residents are by LB Newham - it's a rareity in itself. We suspect they'll be a lot of desk thumping tomorrow.
But there's one other point for you to ponder on: all these individuals were advised of the outcome of the planning meeting, but it appears that LB Newham only notified 4 people of the meeting beforehand.
How ironic is that?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

£1 For Justice

Approx 100,000 residents live in the noise contours of London City Airport.

120,000 flights are planned to travel over them.

If each gave just £1 to FTF the legal challenge fund via PayPal - they'd have access to justice in the London Borough Newham.

It's clear that justice has to be pursued in Newham.

Donate your £1 (or more if you can)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Illness among cabin crew heightens toxic air fears

"Fresh concerns have been raised over whether passengers could be inhaling contaminated air on planes"

Full Article here!

"A survey of pilots and crew has found alarmingly high levels of illnesses they have contracted since beginning work for airlines.
One in seven of the 789 British airline staff surveyed had to take more than a month's sick leave in the previous year. One in 23 was diagnosed with cancer, even though the average age of those surveyed was around 40. According to Cancer Research, one in 34 Britons will contract cancer at some point, but for those under 44, the figure falls to one in 200.

One in 20 of those surveyed reported being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The charity SupportME says the incidence of CFS in Britain is normally around one in 1,000. A further 20 per cent of those surveyed were diagnosed with depression - the national average is 8 to 12 per cent, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

The reports, seen by Telegraph Travel, also reveal high levels of miscarriages, thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, cholesterol, pneumonia, bronchitis and IBS. Campaigners claim that the high levels of illness are the result of toxic engine fumes contaminating the air in cabins, and say this has implications for passenger safety and the health of frequent fliers.

Scientists have claimed that toxins enter the cabin as a result of the "bleed air" system used on modern aircraft. Air is drawn out of the compression section of the engine and cooled. It then enters the cabin, where it mixes with recirculated air that has passed through filters designed to remove bacteria and viruses.

These "recirculated air" filters do not remove fumes or vapours from the engine, so if engine oil or hydraulic fuel leaks, toxic chemicals can contaminate the air supply.

Sue Dale, a former airline attendant, who conducted the research in conjunction with the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association, said the results showed there was a need for a full official investigation.

Earlier this year, undercover investigators claimed to have found high levels of a dangerous toxin on several planes. Of 31 swab samples taken secretly from the aircraft cabins of popular airlines, 28 were found to contain high levels of tricresyl phosphate (TCP), an organophosphate contained in modern jet oil as an anti-wear additive, which can lead to drowsiness, respiratory problems and neurological illnesses.

Dr Mackenzie Ross, a clinical neuropsychologist at University College London, says contaminated cabin air may be affecting up to 200,000 passengers each year. A Telegraph Travel investigation last February revealed that hundreds of incidents of contaminated air had been reported by British pilots.

Reports linking exposure to contaminated air with long-term harm to health have led to an increase in the number of passengers and crew seeking redress. This month a former American Airlines attendant, Terry Williams, 40, launched a lawsuit against Boeing over illnesses she claims were caused by toxic fumes.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said investigations were continuing but that there was no evidence of a link between cabin air and ill health. A spokesman for British Airways said that it would continue to liaise with the authorities, including the CAA and the Department for Transport, on the issue.

The Boeing Dreamliner 787, to be launched next year, will be the first passenger jet since the mid-1950s to use air supplied from a separate source, rather than recirculated air that passes through the engine. This had previously been deemed too expensive.

What the cabin crew say

The following cabin crew, speaking on condition of anonymity, reveal the health problems they have faced since they started flying:

Case study 1 (age 36)

Illnesses: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, anaemia, pneumonia/bronchitis, asthma, infertility, chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, multiple chemical disorder, eczema/psoriasis, IBS/Crohn’s disease

“My health has become so bad over the last five years that I’ve only been able to work half the schedule that I used to. My doctor has attributed my illnesses to exposure to fumes and toxic chemicals on planes. I’ve been off work for eight months and my company has denied me compensation benefits. I’m about to lose my home.”

Case study 2 (age 50)

Illnesses: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, anaemia, pneumonia/bronchitis, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, thyroid disorder, multiple chemical disorder, breast cancer, osteoporosis, chronic sinusitis, tachycardia, peripheral nerve damage, obstructed lungs

“I had 12 years of ill health that was a mystery until I found out about contaminated air. My GP believes all my health problems have been caused by flying and has written 'Aerotoxic Syndrome’ on my medical certificate. I have been on sick leave for over a year and my airline has threatened to terminate my contract on three occasions. ”

Case study 3 (age 32)

Illnesses: Pneumonia/bronchitis, osteoarthritis

“I experience extreme fatigue after flying. I have ongoing sinus problems and an increase in cold and flu and I am convinced this is related to flying . I have noticed an impairment in simple mental processes such as memory, mental arithmetic and sometimes even finding the words to speak. Before I began flying I considered myself fairly intelligent and articulate.”

London City Airport have an added issue to this READ HERE!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

London City Airport Noise Complaints Flying In

We have been astounded by the amount of emails which we have been receiving over the last two months from residents complaining about London City Airport aircraft noise. Most have said that the noise has become more problematic since the spring - and some are stating that they are noticing planes flying overhead, which they have never had before.

The complaints about the noise have been coming from right across south and east London, and Essex and Kent. Now we note that the excellent Barkingside 21 blog has reflected something simliar occuring in their area.

Residents concerned with aircraft noise and flightpaths are welcome to contact us for information and signposting on where you can go to for information about your concerns.

BA London City Airport - Turbulence Ahead

Today's Independent considers the next few months for British Airways at London City Airport....

"He[Walsh] is determined BA remains a “global premium airline” – despite the current shortage of premium paying passengers. Indeed, despite axing other flights from London City Airport, BA will in September start a 32-seat first-class-only service to New York, backing up the Paris and Amsterdam flight to the US city operated by its Openskies subsidiary".

"September is a far away, however. By the time Broughton chairs this week’s shareholder meetings he may know the result of the Acas talks . “The next few months will be uncomfortable for everyone within our business,” says Walsh. That could include passengers as well as shareholders".

The full article can be found here.

SOME of the axed routes from London City Airport can be found here.

Looks like London City Airports excitement about the new route might have been rather premature.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shenanigans in the Council Chambers Ch1

As we predicted would happen there was some excellent entertainment at the LB Newham council chambers last Wednesday:

The outcome of the 'additional' meeting for London City Airports planning application was as expected: it was approved by the 4 councillors who voted (the rest couldn't vote as they either had a conflict of interest or have been receiving 'gifts'). The four were:

Councillor Riaz Ahmed Mirza
Councillor Lakmini Shah
Councillor Amarjit Singh
Councillor Mary Skyers
Councillor Maureen Jones

Cllr Maureen Jones abstained from voting - giving no particular reason for doing so apart from she was not going to vote, but was going to view proceedings.

The section 106 is still to be completed and therefore a formal written grant of approval is still to take place.

However Wednesday nights 'show' at the Newham Council Chambers was particularly impressive:

A resident, who was down to speak as an objector stood up at speakers time, and raised the issue that the Chair, Cllr Amarjit Singh had been delivering labour election leaflets, (and campaigning door to door), which referred to LCY in the Royal Docks just a few months ago - a clear conflict of interest.

The resident presented the leaflet, which showed a picture of the chair out canvassing alongside the article on London City Airport. The Chamber were rather taken aback - the council's Deputy Head of Legal Services Jeremy Appleson asked to see the leaflet, and then promptly asked all the general public, and the press to leave the chamber as they wished to discuss the matter in private.

Fifteen minutes later the public and press were called back in - and the chair read out Jeremy's written statement concluding that there was no conflict of interest (of course!). The resident asked for the meeting to be deferred so he could consult with a solicitor on the issue. The Head of Planning, John Fannon (nice man but disingenous in his role) asked the councils solicitor. He advised they were under no obligation to do so. So all fair and real democracy in Newham! It was very apparent that nothing was going to get in the way of this approval. Even a BAE146 using the roof of Newham Town Hall as a landing strip would not have stood in the way that night. However, the atmosphere in the chamber had plummetted after the events and the wind had been visibly removed from Newham Council, and London city airport's representatives sails.

The resident then went on to give his speech, and read out a list conflicts of interest between LCY, Newham, Newham Homes, Newham University Hospital and Richard Gooding, and the successive failures to apply the section 106.

Newham councils' failure to declare that they were shareholders in the companies which own London City Airport was one of them. He ended on: ''Newham Council is, by agreeing expansion, was agreeing to 'environmental genocide'. Powerful words. This was followed by two further excellent objection speeches by local residents. Newham really could learn a thing or two from residents, if they ever listened.

The airport - despite having registered around 6 'experts' to speak - when asked to speak, only one simply said that they felt Newham had carried out 'a very through examination' and that there ''was nothing more'' they could add. After the contents of those residents speeches? Well quite.

It appears that the legal advisors may have advised them not to speak at that point. And no cheers from them when the votes were cast either - what dampened their spirits? Did the curling lips just get stuck on one or two of their faces?

Bureau Veritas was there representing the council, it seemed as if their independence has made way to producing simply what their client demands. Their report was a complete whitewash, and their findings are, to say the least, questionable. The weasel words 'negligable' and 'minimal impact' when discussing current and future breaches of air and noise pollution were consistently used - sorry Max from BV we are sure you're a nice guy, but it's all disingenuous. The Faber Maunsell report commissioned by the LDA used by Newham for justification, is another whitewash of weasel words, (we'll be commenting on that in more detail on here soon). It was appallingly biased towards the airport (perhaps because they kept meeting with the airport whilst writing it!).

FTF are now considering their options, but rest assured of one thing: FTF are here to stay!

To be continued..............

LB Newham, Failings on London City Airport

"Newham Council failed to contact and notify residents and previous attendees on this planning meeting.

Newham Council failed to disclose that they are shareholders in AIG, previous owners of London City Airport.

Newham Council failed to disclose that they are shareholders in General Electric 50% owners of London City Airport.

Newham Council failed to disclose that they are shareholders in Credit Suisse the other 50% owners of London City Airport.

Newham Council failed to disclose that the Chairman of Newham Homes is Richard Gooding - Chief Executive of London City Airport. Many properties around the airport are managed and run by Newham Homes giving the Chief Executive of London City Airport access to sensitive information.

Newham Council failed to address flights exceeding 69db. At 69db the airport is required by law to buy the properties. How can they buy council properties around the airport? Especially as Richard Gooding Chief Executive of London City Airport would be requesting to buy properties from Richard Gooding Chair of Newham Homes. A massive conflict of interest.

Newham Council failed to disclose – under the Freedom of Information Act – how many of the properties consulted on airport expansion are run by Newham Homes and that Richard Gooding of London City Airport may have had undue pressure on.

Newham Council failed to disclose that Richard Gooding Chief Executive of London City Airport was on the board on Newham Primary Care Trust giving him access to sensitive health information like asthma readings around London City Airport.

Newham Council failed to disclose that Richard Gooding Chief Executive of London City Airport had an unfair advantage over other businesses and residents by having access to Newham Homes and Newham Primary Care Trust. (Richard Gooding remained on Newham Primary Care Trust during planning and consultation but quickly left just before the actual formal meeting in October)

Newham Council failed to protect tenants. Residents living in Newham Homes are exposed to toxic air levels around the airport. If they complain about noise or air pollution in their home their complaints are overseen by the airports Chief Executive in his role as Chair of Newham Homes.

Newham Council failed to give accurate information on the consultation process and has ignored many Freedom of Information requests into the consultation and in doing so breaking the law.

Newham Council failed to receive or substantiate jobs data. At the last expansion, London City Airport promised jobs would go from 1100 to 4000 .In fact they created in the region of 500.Most of these in security and policing which the taxpayer pays for.

Newham Council failed to get London City Airport to comply with local employment targets as set out in the Section 106.

Newham Council failed to reveal that many jobs from the likes of Cityjet are actually counted in Dublin, are registered in Ireland and employees are paid in Euros. This is not job creation for Newham.

Newham Council failed to address that most companies involved with London City Airport , such as land freeholders Civil Aviation Properties Limited are all based in tax free offshore havens like Jersey and contribute little of nothing to Newham or the UK tax system as a whole.

Newham Council failed to get a proper layout and report into the Public Safety Zone (Crash Zone).This will expand putting hundreds of people and homes at risk and halting development.

Newham Council failed to do anything or recognise that Connaught Bridge is in a Public Safety Zone (Crash Zone)

Newham Council failed to get London City Airport to stay within the Section 106 agreement.

Newham Council failed to recoup any of the £5.2 million pounds ANNUALLY that the airport gets in policing and security.

Newham Council failed to do anything about Councillor Alec Kellaway who holds in excess of £25,000 worth of shares in WPP, owners of PR Company Hill & Knowlton and who was hired by London City Airport to push through expansion. Cllr Kellaway made private submissions to the council in support of expansion.

Newham Council failed to address illegal flights outside operating hours.

Newham Council failed to get the airport to take noise readings and admits that it has not been done consistently for over 8 years.

Newham Council failed to properly consult many boroughs surrounding and affected by the airport.

Newham Council failed to give accurate and thorough information to surrounding boroughs when asking them for their views on expansion.

Newham Council failed to consult all residents who are actually within London City Airport noise contours.

Newham Council failed to consult directly with residents of Greenwich and were forced to do so.

Newham Council failed to consult with the Civil Aviation who is responsible for aviation.

Newham Council failed to recognise that air quality surrounding the airport is already 50% above acceptable EU levels.

Newham Council failed to recognise that noise levels are already in breach of World Health Organisation guidelines.

Newham Council failed to put in place a proper system of complaints so residents can complain.

Newham Council failed to monitor London City Airport flights allowing a thousands additional flights outside of planning regulations.

Newham Council failed to declare they had spent £100 MILLION on offices – Building 1000 - over looking London City Airport runway. The building lay empty for many years failing to attract other interested parties and failing to regenerate the area as claimed.

Newham Council failed to do any noise readings for Building 1000 before or after the purchase. Why spend over £100 Million on a building overlooking London City Airports runway and not take noise readings?

Newham Council failed to do any air quality readings for Building 1000 before or after the purchase putting its entire staff at risk and leaving themselves open to class lawsuits from sick staff.

Newham Council failed to recognise that Building 1000 will actually be in a crash zone.

Newham Council failed to recognise the devastating effects of toxic gases on the community. A Labour Royal Docks Councillor died of a sever asthma attack earlier in the year highlighting the severity of lung and breathing problems.

Newham Council failed to address its representative on the London City Airport Consultative Committee, Alec Kellaway, for distributing false, misleading and disingenuous information in the local Royal Docks election.

Newham Council failed to recognise that the type of aircraft used is different from a decade ago when residents were offered cheap and poorly installed double glazing. Many Residents were made sign away any rights to reclaim and as the double glazing has worn down over time and the jets got bigger and nosier , residents have become environmental prisoners in their own homes.

Newham Council failed do anything about “fuel burn” and plane thrusters being used. That choking, eye watering smell around the area is a combination of chemicals that cause everything from asthma to miscarriage.

Newham Council failed to recognise the need for a Public Inquiry even though its newly elected Labour Councillor Steve Brayshaw called for one and questioned the airport remit.

Newham Council failed in its duty of care to residents and to recognise the population density surrounding London City Airport.

Newham Council failed to recognise the Human Rights of the people surrounding London City Airport and their right to peacefully enjoy their property .The expansion would unfairly interfere with such right contrary to Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human rights...."

Posted here as well: Cllr Phil Briscoe Blog!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Newham Planning - A Sham

A short comment from us, as we are rather busy with work behind the scenes right now.

Last night was the London City Airport planning application meeting at Newham Town Hall. As usual, LB Newham had hardly any councillors that could vote on the application - because 3/4s of them have a conflict of interest, or have been taking gifts from the then we were left with 4.

4 Councillors - who predictably voted in favour of expansion at any cost (oh we were so surprised! Surely not!!).

However, right now FTF is considering it's options.

Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

THE WHARF NEWSPAPER (AKA) The London City Airport Rag.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks I must say for FTF. We've been sent more information about the aviation industry and London City Airport. We'll report on it over the coming week.

One thing that has been going on is that an article in The Wharf (aka) The LCY Rag has generated a much needed conversation between Anti LCY expansion and Pro LCY commentators. This at face value is fantastic as London City Airport and LB Newham will not have such a discussion.

But something surprising seems to be happening over at The Wharf (aka) The London City Airport Rag. Comments from Residents who are against the expansion at LCY have been removed while comments made by people who are either for the expansion or residents who want an open discussion on the expansion have not been removed from what we’ve seen on the comments section.

We've asked ourselves why this has happened.

1. Has bad language been used? Not from copies of the comments that we've received.

2. Has there been politically incorrect words or statements used? Again not from what we've seen from comments received.

3. Has there been anything negatively commented about LCY? Yes there have been comments from residents which are against LCY's expansion plans and some of the tactics used by them and groups around them. Are they valid comments? We would say they are, but it seems the Wharf (aka) the LCY Rag don’t think so.

4. Have there been comments about the local media and their handling of reports about LCY Good or Bad? Yes there have been comments about some of the local media and their choices on what to report on and what not to report on when it came to LCY.

So what can we take from this?

We have our thoughts. We will of course be contacting the editor of The Wharf (aka) The London City Airport Rag, to find out why they have decided to censor comments from concerned residents. We will of course make sure that we report what they’ve said if they make comment at all on this Blog site.

We want a debate about London City Airport and their expansion plans even if LCY, LB Newham and other interested parties don’t.


We have been informed that The Wharf aka The LCY Rag has removed some comments from a commentator who was attacking residents who are against LCY's expansion. We are pleased at least to see that on this comments section they have been more even handed than previous cases.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, July 06, 2009

Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines

"Made by former British Airways airline Captain Tristan Loraine and author of the acclaimed novel 'Toxic Airlines,' the investigative documentary 'Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines' is the film the airline industry never wanted made."

"THE FACTS.......

  • Passengers and crews reveal the secret and factual story of the serious health and flight safety consequences of inhaling contaminated air on commercial aircraft...HAPPENING TODAY...YOU COULD BE NEXT...GET INFORMED!
  • Did you know that no commercial aircraft have filters or detection systems fitted to protect you from exposure?
  • When passengers are exposed the airlines tell you NOTHING..."
Comments From Fight The Flights

London City Airport have the added issue that with the unique parking system at this airport, the jets engines are pointing into the Arrivals area. This means that not only are the staff and passengers inhaling Toxic fumes on the jet but also when they disembark into the arrivals terminal. See this attached post on the GMB unions staff members feeling ill at London City Airport

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Complete Reporting about London City Airport

Here are some articles from the Docklands 24. A paper the airport does not seem to have its nails in.
Attached are 2 links to recent articles they have written on London City Airport.

Exclusive - Swine Flu at London City Airport

London City Sees massive Passenger Drops

Other Local papers have decided either not to report on or have not put the full report in their papers