Tuesday, September 08, 2009

London City Airport - NOT Cleared of Toxic Air Issue

Despite the local fanzine report on London City Airport, and the airports own manic press release on their website of having received a clean bill of health for its air inside the terminal, it now appears that the fanzine and the airport, have been purposely misleading not only residents, but also passengers of the airport.

Just a few weeks ago, eastenders were treated a shower of spin from London City Airport via one or two of the local fanzines. We immediately questioned where the data and facts were to support the claims. And then Quelle Surprise! the biggest fanzine of all quoted

Well you can imagine our surprise (not) that when a local resident contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that they were told that the investigation into the alleged toxic air at London City Airport had not been completed. You can see the response from the HSE beneath.

So more spin and deceit by London City Airport and the local fanzine who continues to print the shopping list of the airport at the drop of an advert, or glass of wine. How unfortunate that they continue to rely on the information that the airport spoon feeds them, when , we uncover yet another act of deceit by them.
We believe that passengers of London City Airport have the right to know that the health and safety executive investigation into the toxic air inside the terminal has not been completed. Residents were denied the right to know that the airport failed to collect consistent noise and air readings for 8 years until they 'accidently' found out.

Just how much trust would you put in this deceitful and disingenous airport? You can only come to the conclusion that anything that the airport puts out isn't worth the paper its written on.

Response from the Health and Safety Executive:
From: http:///mc/compose?to=Ramani.Abeyakoon@hse.gsi.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:09 AM
Subject: Air quality at London City Airport

Dear xxxx
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: xxxxxxxxx

Thank you for your request for information about:

Investigation into air quality at London City Airport for 2009

Your request was received on 26 August 2009 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

I can confirm that HSE holds information about this. However, it is currently under investigation and action arising from the investigation has not yet been completed.

The information is therefore exempt from disclosure under section 30(1)(b) of the Act (investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities).

Public Interest Test

The exemption relied on is a qualified exemption that is subject to the public interest test. This means HSE has to balance the public interest factors favouring disclosure against those favouring non-disclosure. In this case, I have considered the following factors in favour of disclosure:

· Promote transparency and build public confidence in HSE’s investigative process
· Secure the health and safety of employees and others

And the following factors in favour of non-disclosure:

· Impede an ongoing investigation by hampering the gathering of information and evidence
· Inhibit HSE’s ability to conduct further investigations effectively because, for example, third parties may be less willing to volunteer information to HSE if information is disclosed inappropriately
· Reduce the chances of a successful prosecution should the investigation conclude that this course of action is appropriate
· Unfair in cases where decisions may be taken not to proceed to prosecution

After careful consideration, I believe that the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing because of the adverse impact it would have on the ability of HSE to conduct investigations.

One consequence of the statutory time period for responding to requests contained in the Act is that HSE cannot allow your request to lie ‘on file’ until the investigation is completed. Can I therefore suggest that, if you still require the information, you make a further application in 2 month’s time.

All requests received following the completion of the investigation will be dealt with under the terms of the Act and any exemptions considered accordingly.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the decisions made by HSE in relation to your request you may ask for an internal review by contacting me.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk
Website: http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours Sincerely

Ramani Abeyakoon
Freedom of Information Officer