Sunday, February 14, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Civil Aviation Authority admits controversial new flight path in East London was on the cards 5 years before residents knew about it

In a meeting with Fight the Flights held last week the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) admitted that the controversial new flight path in East London was on the cards five years before people were told about it.

Last May a new flight path was introduced for planes taking off from City Airport. Aircraft were routed over areas of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Redbridge which previously had few planes (1). The tens of thousands of residents under the new flight path can now get a plane overhead every few minutes at the busiest times of the day. The new, wider flight path was introduced because the CAA ruled that the large number of jet planes using the airport could not make the narrow turn onto the previous flight path safely (2). But the CAA admitted to Fight the Flights that it had known this would become a problem five years earlier.

Fight the Flights Chair Anne-Marie Griffin said, “We are shocked that the CAA, and we assume that London City Airport knew, that new flight paths would need to be introduced so many years ago. If they had been more straightforward with residents, many more people would have objected to the airport’s recent application to increase flight numbers by 50% (3).The CAA will review the flight path later this year. The London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Redbridge, as well as a number of MPs, have expressed concern at the standard of consultation before the flight path was introduced.


Notes for Editors:

(1). The wider arc of the new flight path goes over Hackney, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Gants Hill and Newbury Park. To the east (used when an east wind is blowing) it goes over Dagenham towards Hornchurch. (full press release with maps in attachment)

(2). The number of jets using City Airport has risen:

Air Transport Movements – % of Jets

1999 43

2000 33

2001 29

2002 25

2003 26

2004 28

2005 36

2006 37

2007 50

2008 58

2009 63 (Jan-Sept)

(3). FTF launched a legal challenge in September 2009 to Newhams decision to grant approval to flight expansion. There are three aspects to Fight the Flights claim. In summary they are (1) that Newham failed to have regard to the Government’s policy on climate change and aviation; (2) that Newham failed to consult relevant neighbouring local authorities; and (3) Newham failed to consult the residents of those boroughs. A copy of the legal grounds are available on request / or on our website at FTF founded in 2007, is a non party political residents group covering all areas affected by London City Airport operations.

(4).FTF works with not only the community and NGO‘s, but also lobby’s decision makers.

For more information:

FTF Spokesperson: 07984 300558

Press Release dated 15/2/10