Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Real Effects Of London City Airport On The Communities

Newham Residents talk at the Oxfam Climate Question Time at City Hall on the 26th of November 2009. Listen to how developments like London City Airport have brought so many negative elements to the local communities.
This is the real story of aviation and airport expansion in East London

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Legal Challenge Against Newham Council Over LCY Expansion

This is a reminder that we are legally challenging Newham Council regarding the legality of their decision to allow a 50% increase in flights from London City Airport.

We continue to seek funding and donations, no matter how small or large. Every £1 counts. You can see ways to donate on the right hand side of this page. Pledges are also welcome.

We are the only group legally challenging Newham and this could result in the decision to allow a 50% increase in flights being quashed.

But we can only do that with financial support from the communities. Please give generously.

Will chemically treated, frozen human waste from LCY aircraft be dropping in on you?

In the minutes of the LCACC quarterly meetings are the lists of complaints that London City Airport have received in the 3 previous months to each meeting. As you will remember, FTF has questioned just how accurate the numbers of complaints are, and with good cause.

You may recall that residents spotted that their own complaints had not been listed on meeting minutes in the past and it led us, to not unfairly, question the accuracy and efficiency of London City Airports competency to log complaints. One resident for example had made several complaints, and not one had been responded to, neither had they been included on the complaints list in the minutes.

Newham Council are now apparently helping with this, London City Airport needs help with the process of recording a complaint, and being able to identify what a complaint is.

In the most recent set of LCACC minutes, 6 October 2009, we came across an intriguing complaint from a resident in Thamesmead, Greenwich, an area which is partially covered by the crash zone and under the low level flight path:

Tuesday 11 August 2009, 15:00, Thamesmead
Alleged dumping of toilet waste
Response [from LCY]: Letter - aircraft technically unable to 'dump'. Likely 'blue ice' syndrome.

Blue Ice syndrome? That sounds rather glamorous until you realise it is an 'aviation fluffy term' for when commercial jets leak toilet waste through poorly maintained seals.

The human waste, mixed with liquid disinfectant can, and has been frequently reported as leaking through seals, freezing at altitude, and then as the aircraft descends, begins to thaw and if you are really very unlucky you can end up with a block of varying sizes, of human waste landing on you, your home or car. And you thought the negative impact of larger and more frequent jets was limited to noise and air pollution, now it appears to be expanding to the possibility of frozen human waste dropping in on you.

Cases of 'blue ice' have been well covered in the press too:

Date : 01.11.06

A Block of ice fell from the sky, narrowly missing a grandmother and her granddaughter yesterday.Valerie Allcock was getting out of her car on the drive of her Chaddesden home when the ice, weighing about 5lbs, came crashing through a tree in her garden.Mrs Allcock, who was with her seven-year-old granddaughter, Emily Allcock, believes it fell from an aeroplane.

She said: "It landed about 7ft away. It was very scary."It would certainly have killed us if it had hit us. Also, my house backs on to a school. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened."

Mrs Allcock, of Parkside Road, said she had contacted the Civil Aviation Authority and was told blocks of ice do sometimes fall from aircraft.

Ice-falls are reported 20 or 30 times a year on average in the UK.

and there's more:,falling-ice-home-north-side-airplane-110509.article

It is unfortunate that LCY fails to put more details of the incident in their report, but it appears that full details will be required by the CAA. But regardless of what those details were this clearly would not have been a pleasant experience for the resident concerned and we hope that no damage was caused to them, or their property.

Blue Ice along with wake turbulence is just another sacrifice and cost that residents have to pick up, all due to the ridiculous expansion of London City Airport in the most densely populated area of the country where incidents like these have a higher chance of affecting humans, and property.

Redbridge to write to Sir Robin Wales condemning the failure of Newham to consult

It was revealed this week that Newham Council is the biggest spender on publicity of all the London boroughs, spending £3.896 million.

It is therefore in stark contrast that Redbridge Council's chief executive is having to write to the Mayor of Newham condemning the lack of consultation with his borough over the expansion of flights from London City Airport.

This also joins the borough of Waltham Forests' action against the Mayor of Newham over the very same issue.

At a full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, all parties unanimously supported a motion submitted by the Lib Dems to Redbridge full council meeting 19 November 2009 regarding Newhams failure to consult over the expansion of London City Airport:

"This Council recognises residents' concern over (a) the expansion of London City Airport, and

(b) flight path changes relating to "stacking" for London Heathrow Airport, believes the increased number of flights using these airports - and the associated noise nuisance and environmental impact - is detrimental to Redbridge residents.

This Council further notes:-

(i) the failure of the London Borough of Newham to consult it in connection with the planning application for the expansion of London City Airport.

(ii) the representations made through London Councils Transport and Environment Committee in response to the consultation by National Air Traffic Services (NATS) on Terminal Control North (TCN) concerning proposed changes to aircraft movement over London and London Councils response to that consultation dated 12 June 2008 raising concerns about the Government’s policy on airport expansion and the likely noise, air quality and safety concerns of concentrating flight paths, particularly over densely populated areas;

(iii) the Civil Aviation Authority’s notice to NATS dated 20 February 2009 requiring NATS to implement the proposals for TCN notwithstanding the opposition expressed through the public consultation;

(iv) the report presented to the Planning and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on 24 June 2009 considering the potential impact on the London Borough of Redbridge of a possible third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow Airport.

This Council opposes further expansion or changes to flightpaths or the mode of operation of airports (including without limitation any extension to the hours of operation of airports whether temporary or permanent) which would result in an increase in aircraft noise suffered by residents of this borough.

Therefore this Council requests that the Chief Executive :

Writes to the Mayor of Newham, condemning the failure to consult this Council and their decision to allow further expansion of London City Airport, stressing the negative impact this decision has had on residents of Redbridge.

Writes to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS to ask what action they took to consult residents of Redbridge on the changes to flight paths and London City Airport expansion.

Writes to London City Airport in response to their consultation on their proposed Noise Action Plan 2009-2014 stating that this council is opposed to any further expansion of London City Airport, changes to its mode of operation, hours of operation, flight paths or any increase in the number of flights which would result in any increase in aircraft noise suffered by residents of this borough".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's really not about polar bears any more...

Unless it's got a brand name attached to it the only other way to get a message across to the public is to shock them. Not the easiest to watch but you get the message.

From the ever insightful and intelligent Plane Stupid Team.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Redbridge: Unanimous support for Lib Dem motion against London City Airport Expansion

Tonight we witnessed a borough which takes on board the concerns of their residents and acts upon it. We applaud Redbridge council, the evening was an impressive one.
All parties unanimously supported the Lib Dem motion regarding the expansion of London City Airport and a lack of consultation from Newham Council.

Many notable comments were made by all of the parties, and they showed great knowledge and insight into the negative issues of London City Airport flights, expansion and flight paths on residents and the environment.

The motion supported stated that Redbridge opposed expansion of London City Airport and associated points which we will comment upon tomorrow. One councillor commented that "the lack of dialogue from Newham was politically insensitive and morally reprehensible"

FTF residents from Redbridge, Havering, Newham, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich were present to support the motion and the councillors. John Stewart from HACAN and Cllr Alan Craig of Newham also attended the protest and meeting to show their support

We would like to thank Redbridge Council for the warm and accommodating welcome to FTF and the protestors.

Full story tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Redbridge Protest This Thursday

Fight the Flights call- out for a protest on:

Thursday Nov. 19th @ 6.30pm prompt at
London Borough Redbridge Council Chamber, Ilford Town Hall, Ilford High Road
Please come along , bring a friend; pass this on. Meet outside, or at the eastern
entrance opposite Kenneth More Theatre

Redbridge Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion over the expansion of London City Airport.

Neither Redbridge nor Waltham Forest were consulted by Newham,so none of their residents have ever had an opportunity to object to the 50% increase in flights or the current flight path changes pushed through without proper consultation by the CAA!

So, bring a poster, banner, friend and wear red or your t-shirt to help us stop
(London City) Airport expansion and to act on climate change

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FTF at The Green Bazaar- Residents say not happy with London City Airport

Congratulations to the Green Party for running a successful and enjoyable event in the Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Bazaar last Saturday. The event saw a selection of quality stalls and was well received by visitors.

FTF attended with facts and information on the effect of London City Airport expansion and flight path changes, and how these are already affecting the communities in the borough. Leaflets, badges and t shirts were available whilst a rolling screen presentation was projected onto the wall.

Yet again,we had so many residents telling us how badly affected they are by London City Airport flights, and also that even though they do not want the airport to close, they do not support any expansion at the site. We also had other residents who said that they had moved away from areas affected from the flight path, only to now find themselves yet again blighted by aircraft noise.

A local resident generously donated an organically grown vegetable box from the fruits of their work at their own allotment, and this was raffled at the end of the event. It proved very popular with visitors to the bazaar and helped us to raise much needed funds for the legal challenge that FTF is currently pursuing.

The raffle was kindly drawn by Jean Lambert, MEP pictured above with Chair of FTF, Anne-Marie Griffin.

The veggie box was later delivered to the lucky winner Joyce, pictured on right hand side in photo to left.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Redbridge Council Deal Another Blow to Newham Over LCY

Last month it was Waltham Forest Council condemning Newham Council over it's decision to approve a 50% increase in flights at London City Airport without consulting it's Redbridge Council's turn to. It seems that Newham Council won few friends when they inflicted London City Airport aircraft noise on proportionately more in other boroughs than even in their own:

Redbridge Full Council Meeting

Thursday, 19th November, 2009 7.15 p.m.
Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1DD

To consider the following Notices of Motion:-

(i) Expansion of London Airport

Motion to be Moved by Councillor Hoskins and Seconded by Councillor Cleaver:

"This Council recognises residents' concern over (a) the expansion of London City Airport, and (b) flight path changes relating to "stacking" for London Heathrow Airport, believes the increased number of flights using these airports - and the associated noise nuisance and environmental impact - is detrimental to Redbridge residents.

Therefore this Council requests that the Chief Executive :

Carries out an immediate investigation into what Redbridge Council knew about the London City expansion and flight path changes, and what action was taken on the Council's behalf.

Writes to the Mayor of Newham, condemning the inadequate consultation and their decision to allow further expansion of London City Airport, stressing the negative impact this decision has had on residents of Redbridge.

Writes to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS to ask what action they took to consult residents of Redbridge on the changes to flight paths and London City Airport expansion.

Asks the EU commissioner to investigate the expansion of London City Airport and the impact it has on residents of Redbridge and East London.

Investigates the option of Redbridge Council launching its own legal action against Newham Council over its inadequate consultation on the expansion of London City Airport.

This Council requests that the Chief Executive reports his findings back to councillors at the earliest possible opportunity."

Tomorrow: Green Bazaar - Wanstead

FTF is pleased to announce that it will be present at the Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party Green Bazaar tomorrow. Please come along, meet some of the residents behind the campaign, find out more about the campaign, London City Airport expansion and how the continued irresponsible expansion of flights is damaging our environment, health and children's development.


Saturday 14th November
11am to 3pm

United Reformed Church Hall

off Wanstead High Street
(junction of Grosvenor Road with Nightingale Lane)

* Wide range of locally made goods:
cards, jewellery, prints, beauty products and more*
* Gift ideas with a difference*
*Information from local campaigns*
*Caricature artist*
*Refreshments and delicious vegan food*

Admission 50p/ concessions 30p – children free
Organised by Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CAA To Allow Night Flights At London Airports For Olympics

The CAA look set to lift night flying restrictions at all London Airports during the Olympic Games adding further to the misery of the growing aviation noise pollution across London.

In an article in today's Evening Standard, John Stewart ,from our alliance partner campaign group HACAN commented:

Anti-airport expansion campaign group HACAN denounced the measures. Chairman John Stewart said: “These revelations are shocking. Londoners could be bombarded by aircraft noise day and night.

“There would be a big incentive to introduce night flights at London City airport in particular as it's so near Stratford. There are so many people living near there it would be horrific.
“The airspace above London would become absolutely chocka when it is already the busiest in Europe. It would be a relentless noise nightmare. Londoners would never get any sleep.”

Mr Stewart added that the industry could push to keep any new air routes after the Olympics.

A CAA spokesman said: “We are putting forward all possible ideas. This is blue sky thinking. None of this is final.” The Department for Transport said no firm decisions had been made.

So no denial from the CAA then.
If recent behaviour is anything to go by from the CAA and DfT they will simply try to push this through the back door without bothering to tell those who will be most affected. Why? Because the CAA and all those involved know that there is an ever increasing amount of residents all over London who are just about sick and tired of their crass and irresponsible decisions that effect Londoners health and welfare. So clearly new tactics are in order at the CAA - push the changes through the back door and keep it quiet.

We have a feeling of deja vu. Isn't pushing it through the back door exactly what happened over the changes to amounts of flights on any one day, and the subsequent application to expand flights by 50% at LCY by the respective authorities? In doubt and fearful of huge amounts of objections? Well try and push it in through the back door, purposely confuse residents with weasel words and perhaps nobody will notice! What it does show is the utter contempt that is shown for the communities most affected by themselves and the industry they regulate.

The CAA have only just recently cheated the residents who are most affected by London City Airport flight paths the right to a full and fair consultation on flight path changes. NATS told residents that the consultation was to be delayed for the TCN proposals at London City Airport however the CAA went ahead and signed off the changes to the LCY flight paths behind residents backs. Residents were only made aware after suddenly being plagued by LCY aircraft noise for the first time and a subsequent barrage of complaints being made. FTF have submitted a formal complaint regarding the issue and are awaiting a response from the CAA.

Residents will not sit back on this issue and the government, CAA and DfT should expect huge and very visible opposition on any proposal to lift night flying restrictions for the duration of the Olympic Games.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

FTF Submit Formal Complaint to CAA over Flight Path Changes

Last year NATs launched a consultation on Terminal Control North flight path changes, we blogged recently about it here. One set of these flight path changes was for London City Airport. It is because of these changes, which were 'slipped through the back door' by the Civil Aviation Authority(CAA), without the National Air Traffic Systems (NATS) consultation being completed that have been responsible for causing aircraft noise misery to thousands of newly affected residents in east London.

Of course, the real reason as to why the flight path changes were requested was purely due to London City Airports increased use of the larger types of jet planes, which has steadily increased over the past few years, and which now make up the majority of flights. It is London City Airports' and Newham Councils' continued support of expansion at the airport that has forced such changes, because of course the CAA wouldn't say 'sorry, but the planes you want to fly, don't suit the current flight paths so you can't fly them'.

However, the effect of the changes has been so acute for so many residents even from far afield that FTF decided to submit a formal complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority in respect of this dire situation, the contents of which you may read beneath:

Dear Sir/Madam

We would like to make a formal complaint in regard to the changes made to the London City Airport (LCY) flight paths which were supposedly being consulted upon in the NATS TCN exercise in 2008 and which would have been required to be dealt with under the CAP725 procedures.

In 2008 we were made aware of NATS TCN consultation. We duly submitted comments on this. In late 2008 we received a letter from NATS which was quite clear that due to the hugely negative responses received from the general public, that NATS were essentially going to go back to the drawing board and would re-consult on flight path changes in 2009.

In late spring, our group suddenly received a considerable increase correspondance from residents suffering from the effect of aircraft noise in new areas. The majority of these were regarding London City Airport flights, and secondly some Heathrow flights. One such complaint came from as far as Gravesend, Kent regarding LCY flights in which the resident stated:

April 2009 "most of these flights are now flying directly overhead, not in a westerly direction along the river any more but 'north/north westerley in a line from say Dover to LCY. Also of those flying westerly I see more flying along the A2 corridor rather than along the river from the estuary"

and then followed a stream of emails, here being just a selection:
  • April 2009, Havering:: "I noticed a huge increase in planes going over from September 2008". "I received a response from the department for transport who denied that there had been a change in flightpaths from LCA". "I just couldn't understand why there had been no consultation with residents whatsoever".
  • June 2009 "I have lived at the post code RM9 for nearly four years and haven’t experienced over head departure from LCA till now, Why"? "When I called the CAA (aircraft noise nuisance department), I got some statistics and was informed that the whole flight path and number of flights changed on 6th May 2009". "My fears were realised about the whole thing". "I was surprised that the CAA did not except any responsibility in the matter and said that they were only concerned with safety and aviation licensing".
  • June 2009 "I live in Leyton E10, and have done for 50 years, and have been used to air traffic noise but “distant” noise and accept it due to living near three busy London airports". "But what is happening at City Airport"? "Starting this year I noticed some aircraft flight paths had changed from south of my house, Newham, Stratford to right over my house"? "Not only flying over but accelerating making an unbelievable noise"!
  • July 2009, Sidcup "Over the past month I have noticed a considerable increase in flights coupled with low flying aircraft. I wonder if it’s due to increase in London City Airport flights or change in flightpath"?
  • July 2009, " I live in Leytonstone, E11, and for the first time yesterday, Sunday 17 August, I became aware and was disturbed by the noise of aircraft frequently flying overhead. I had not experienced that before".

For some time there was much discussion between residents and colleagues with regard to what had happened and why residents who had never been affected by LCY flights had suddenly had become so. Some residents wrote to London City Airport and were told there had been no changes made to flight paths, then in another response a resident had been told there had been a 'shift'.

As you will note above, another resident also wrote to the Department for Transport and there again was no mention of flight paths that were due to change at that time or perhaps had already changed.

It appeared that residents weren't the only ones who didn't know what was happening, councils and MP's also seemed unaware, despite any such changes clearly having an effect over their boroughs.

However we did not expect the flight paths to have been changed, as of course, NATS had advised us directly, by letter, that the TCN proposals were to be re-consulted upon during this year (2009), which included LCY's flight path. We were then dissapointed to discover that the CAA appear to have taken matters into their own hands, and have disregarded that the TCN LCY proposals were part of the consultation process and had signed off changes in late spring, with no publicity at all.

It appears to us that there has been a disgraceful lack of communication between yourself and NATS and in turn to the general public. For NATS to say that TCN was to be re-consulted upon, and then LCY flight paths to what appears to be cherry picked from that consultation and pushed through the back door, without any notification from NATS to residents, or indeed yourselves can only be seen as making changes by stealth without honouring the consultation and other procedural requirements. We have just last week received another letter from NATS advising that the TCN consultation is to be delayed for a further year, however this time, and may we add that it is AFTER the fact, that LCY flight paths had already been changed, by you, the CAA.

We would like to know why NATS and yourselves did not inform residents that are/would be affected that LCY's flight paths were to be changed quietly, whilst those few members of the public who had been made aware of the consultation were told explicitly that changes would not be made until a further consultation was carried out. NATS made no reference to any exception being made to LCY flight paths in the past prior to the letter received last week.

We do not wish to receive a response passing the buck to another agency, as so often seems to be the case when residents complain to NATS or either yourselves. It is for CAA and NATS to ensure that processes and consultations are carried out, fairly, and informatively. Between yourselves, something has gone wrong on this occasion, and we would even suggest that there has been a clear indication of negligence and disingenuity when dealing with the public. The residents comments above are an inditement of the effects of these 'unconsulted' flight path changes. As far as we can see the CAAs' actions to enforce the flight path changes at LCY, have ignored the consultation process, and the procedures around CAP725 are highly questionable. It would not be unfair to suggest that the events look in breach of the procedures required.

We would also like you to confirm and clarify the statement that NATS have made regarding the future TCN consultation. Please clarify and confirm whether NATs have been instructed to consult on the LCY flight paths in the next consultation. Is there any intention to revisit and re-consult the LCY flight paths at all? This has not been made clear, and simply adds to the confusion already made by NATS and the CAA.

We would appreciate your explanation as to how you believe the approach you have taken to sign off the LCY flight paths has followed procedures required in the CAP725, step by step. We look forward to your response, and we suggest if there is an element that NATS needs to contribute to for you to provide us with a full response to all the issues raised, then you pursue that as part of a joined up government approach, and one that promotes transparency in dealing with this formal complaint. We would also request that you respond using the minimum of aviation jargon as this again does not assist transparency.

Yours sincerely

Fight the Flights