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.