Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Havering Council join London City Airport opposition


In a welcome policy turnaround Havering Council have backed local campaign group SW-Essex Fight the Flights, in opposing expansion at London City Airport (LCA) and flight path changes pushed through by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).(1)

Council Leader Michael White, in a letter commenting on the airport's Noise Action Plan, wrote, "...this Council opposes any expansion of the Airport. It also opposes any changes to the mode of operation of the Airport, its hours of operation, flight-paths to/from it or increases in aircraft noise". (2)

However, in a scandulously undemocratic decision, the CAA have in fact, already re-directed LCA flight-paths over parts of Havering and Redbridge from 7th May 2009, an edict which will not be reviewed for a year. Local residents fear that review will be carried out in private. MP's and Local Authorities across East London have been inundated with complaints from residents since the introduction of the new flight-path (3).

Reacting to the change, Steve Pullum, FTF SW-Essex Coordinator and local Havering resident who lives under the new flight path, said:

It is great news that we have finally won the backing of Havering Council and we hope they call on the CAA to hold an open public review as residents were not properly consulted before the new flight-path was introduced. Now is the time for a proper consultation".(4)

He added:
"We would also welcome Havering's support for our Judicial Review of Newham Council's permission to expand LCA, as residents give a resounding "No!" to the increased noise and environmental impact. Newham have ignored both the views of local people and the science of climate change. The fact is that we need to stop airport expansion if we’re to have any hope of reducing CO2 emissions in this country and the Judicial Review hearing will give us an opportunity to try to do so.” (5)


SW-Essex FTF Co-ordinator-Steve Pullum: 07708 794665

FTF Coalition Spokesperson: 07984 300558

Notes to the Editor:
1. Havering now join other London Borough Councils: Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Bexley and Barking & Dagenham in opposing the expansion of London City Airport .
2. London City Airport were given permission by Newham Council in 2009 to expand flights from 76,000 to 120,000 per year . An increase of around 50%.
3. Hornchurch MP, James Brokenshire successfully obtained an adjournment debate on 15th December 2009 and tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions.
4. The Civil Aviation Authority signed off flight-path changes for London City Airport routes in May 2009 after removing the LCA proposals from the Terminal Control North Consultation process (which is being re-scheduled for other non-LCA flight-paths) without notification to those affected or stakeholders. The permission letter can be viewed at:http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/7/20090220NATMACInformativeDecisionLetterLCA-PWRevision.pdf
5. Fight the Flights launched a legal challenge in September 2009 on Newham's decision to grant approval to LCA expansion. There are three aspects toFTF's claim. In summary they are that (a) Newham failed to have regard to the Government’s policy on climate change and aviation; (b) Newham failed to consult relevant neighbouring local authorities; and (c) Newham failed to consult the residents of those boroughs. A copy of the legal grounds and decision are available on request/or on http://fighttheflights.com/

6.The Fight The Flights Coalition, founded in 2007, is a non party political, residents group covering all areas affected by London City Airport operations; lobbying decision makers, working within the community and with NGO‘s.