Thursday, February 25, 2010

City Jet Boss Wants Weekend Flight Restrictions Lifted at City Airport

As reported in the Wharf:

London City Airports biggest airline has called for an end to the restrictions on weekend flights.
Cityjets CE Geoffrey O Brien White said the rules were damaging to the economy of East London.

He said "We need to increase our flights to the airport , paticulary at weekends. I would like to see restrictions at weekends removed.

We've got to realise we're in the middle of a recession , companies are going out of business and there is a demand for flights here with places like The O2 and Excel around the corner.
Weekends would be a different market with people going to leisure events and things like soccer matches.Coming to London is a big attraction".

The weekend restrictions are in place under Section 106 rules attached to planning agreements with Newham Council. Currently the airport is closed to air traffic between 12.30pm on saturdays to 12.30 pm on sundays to allow residents relief from noise. Up to 100 flights are allowed on saturday morning and 200 on sunday afternoon.However the airport is not allowed exceed 280 over the whole weekend.

However , Mr O Brien White whose airline has 600 flights a week from london city , said improvements in aviation technology should see that changed.
He said " The aircraft there now are paticularly quiet. None of the other airports we use have rules like these.Even if its just a small number of flights at weekends , it would be a great improvement"

However a spokesman for London City played down the chances for it pushing for a relaxation of the limits. She Said "The restrictions are in place due to an agreement with Newham council.We have no plans to seek any changes"

FTF Comment

We predicted over 2 years ago that huge areas of East London would find themselves increasingly suffering because of the increased use of jets and of more flights - many of which are Cityjet ( a subsidiary of Air France KLM Group) operated. The larger jets using the airport are considerably NOISIER than the propellor planes which had previously made up the majority of flights until the past few years. The jets that City Jet and other airline companies use from London City Airport are the operations from LCY which create the most noise pollution across East London.

FTF has also expressed concerns regarding the opening hours of City Airport changing - and it has been indicated by the airport not so long ago that if the demand was there to open at the weekends that they would consider this.

Residents will not welcome the comments by City Jet and we suspect that most East London Boroughs and politicians won't either. Geoffrey O'Brien White shows the characteristics which the GLA members referred to when referring to the attitude of BAA towards the residents in West London.

Perhaps Mr O'Brien White should consider it is because residents live just a few hundred yards from the airport, and the fact that it is in the most densely populated area in the UK is why no other airport has the same restrictions on flight times? His comments simply further confirm that big business simply does not care for East London communities health and well being and will drive their quest for profits at the cost of anything, or anybody.

It is also worth us pointing out that the hours of operation at the weekend were wrongly quoted in the newspaper.

Flights stop at 13:00 on saturdays and commence at 12:30 on Sunday a 23hr and 30 minute flight free time. It is worth noting that despite this 'break' that flights operate out of London City Airport 7 days a week.