Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last Chance To Have Your Say On London City Airport

It's your last chance to have your say on how London City Airport affects you and your community. It closes on the 30th of September 2010
The GLA (Greater London Authority) Environmental Committee want to get your valued feedback.

Just complete this short survey

Make sure you have your say.

To get more information go to the GLA's website HERE!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

London City Airport | Greater London Authority

The Committee visited City Airport on Thursday 10 June 2010 to consider the potential impact of expansion plans.
Our investigation
In July 2009 Newham Council gave permission to increase the number of flights from 91,000 to 120,000 per year. Expansion was made conditional on tougher environmental controls for air quality and noise levels, which were to be monitored by borough staff. Residents across Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest are likely to be affected by an increase in flights.
The investigation will look at environmental impacts like noise, emissions and air quality, and whether the current environmental safeguards and controls are adequate. The Committee is keen to hear how the extra flights are impacting on local people.

Tell us your views
Please tell us your views by completing our short survey (linked below). This survey will close on September 30.

City Airport | Greater London Authority

London City Airport expansion under further scrutiny

London City Airport expansion under further scrutiny

London Assembly on City Airport expansion: local residents' views

If you want to have your say on how London City Airports business affects you & your communities please complete the GLA's (Greater London Authority) survey HERE!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen jet: London to Frankfurt by train

Article from The Guardian, Environment

Dan Milmo, transport correspondent 


A German high-speed train will visit Britain for the first time next month on a dry run for a direct rail service between London and Frankfurt.

The 200mph train operated by Germany's state railway company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), will pull into the capital's flagship St Pancras International terminal on 19 October after a maiden cross-channel voyage that challenges one of Europe's busiest aviation markets.

The state-of-the-art, German-made Inter City Express (ICE) 3 train must pass stringent tunnel safety tests before it can start full services from Frankfurt, with December 2013 the likely start date.

But rail experts expect it to open up Britain to a new market for rail travel and put downward pressure on Eurostar fares.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said: "DB is committed to introducing high speed passenger rail services between London and Germany, enhancing connectivity between these two countries. Services are expected to start at the end of 2013.

"Work has already commenced with safety, infrastructure and regulatory bodies across Europe in order to meet all the requirements necessary to operate these trains. As part of this work we will hold a safety exercise with an ICE train in the Channel tunnel on 19 October, showing the train subsequently the same day in London St Pancras."

Eurostar, the Paris and Brussels service that operates from St Pancras, has been a success since its 1994 debut, now carrying more than 9 million passengers and taking three-quarters of the air and rail market between London and the French and Belgian capitals.

DB is considering a route that would start in Frankfurt – the heart of Germany's finance industry – with possible stops at Cologne and Brussels en route to London. The service is expected to grow the high-speed rail market between London and the continent by around 10%, carrying more than 1 million passengers per year.

Chris Cheek, a rail industry analyst, said the move would further reinforce the case for long-distance train travel at the expense of the aeroplane.

"It will increase the size of the high-speed rail market between London and Europe and the main source of the traffic will be diversion from the air," he said.

A spokeswoman for Eurostar was sanguine about the potential competitive threat to her company. "It will be very good news because ultimately it will grow the market."

Asked if a new entrant would benefit passengers on the Brussels route, who currently pay as little as £69 for a standard return but could hope for even lower prices, she said: "Of course we would compete very energetically with any rail competition."

Despite the threat of a new rail entrant, Eurostar believes that the competitive threat from low-cost airlines such as Ryanair already holds down cross-channel rail fares.

However, a London-to-Frankfurt train service will also stretch the industry maxim that rail journeys must last no longer than four hours in order to compete with airlines.

A trip between Europe's two largest financial centres would take four to five hours, with DB hoping that the appeal of broadband access and lack of airport security hassle will tempt the all-important business traveller market.

A spokesman for High Speed One, the owner and operator of the Channel tunnel rail link, said the service could use the high-speed terminal at Stratford in east London to tap the business market at Canary Wharf and in the City.

"Stopping patterns for any Frankfurt-to-London route are not confirmed but post-Olympics there will be an even more compelling case for international services to start using Stratford International – not just leisure passengers but also business travellers, given the close onward connections."

Channel tunnel safety authorities have already relaxed regulations that will make it easier for DB to operate a London-to-Frankfurt service.

The ICE3 train will have to be 375m long in order to allow its rear and front doors to connect with emergency exits in the train tunnels that connect with the central service tunnel which is used in the event of emergency evacuations.

The exits are spaced 375m apart, hence the requirement for trains of that length. Because the DB train will be formed by two locomotives bolted together, and passengers cannot therefore travel through length of the train, the company must prove that it can evacuate people from either end without serious problems.

Richard Clifton, head of the UK delegation to the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority (CTSA), said DB had to prove that the different configuration of its train would not hinder an evacuation. There have been three fires in the tunnel since it opened in 1994.

"It is up to Deutsche Bahn to produce some proposals as to how to evacuate the train. They [DB] need to demonstrate an evacuation system from a shorter train, or one that does not have a through-corridor, which does not diminish the level of safety," he said.
Faster than flying

For decades, three hours has been seen as the magic number, the journey time at which train travel becomes faster than flying on a centre-to-centre basis. But with stricter and more time-consuming airport security, plus frequent air traffic delays, that magic three hours is stretching. So much so, that Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF (French national railways) has stated that this three hours has become four or perhaps five.

He cites Paris-Perpignan, where SNCF's high-speed TGV takes five hours, yet where rail has captured 50% of the market.

It's not only journey time that's important. European high-speed trains typically achieve punctuality of 90-95% on time or within 15 minutes, whereas European airlines struggle to reach 63-68%. And with WiFi and power sockets for laptops, a train journey is often more productive.

As air travel gets slower, rail gets faster. New high-speed lines have made rail a serious player on routes such as Paris-Amsterdam (3 hrs 20 minutes), Paris-Frankfurt (3 hrs 55 minutes), Barcelona-Madrid (2 hrs 40 minutes) and Milan-Rome (3 hrs).

Deutsche Bahn's planned test run of an ICE through the Channel tunnel to London is an exciting development, potentially the forerunner of a direct Frankfurt-Cologne-London service. This would take advantage of new EU rules that came in this year, under which anyone with the relevant licences can operate an international train service within the EU.

DB already offers bookings from London to Cologne in conjunction with Eurostar, but the change of trains in Brussels means a journey time of four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half hours.

A direct train could cut London-Cologne to 3 hrs 55 mins. This would compete with air not only on speed and convenience, but on comfort – DB's ICE trains are among the most comfortable trains in the world, being designed to tempt German businessmen out of their BMWs and Mercedes, with power sockets for laptops at every seat and WiFi on many routes. And using DB's current ICE fares to neighbouring countries as a guide, I'd expect a London-Cologne or London-Frankfurt journey on any new service to start at a very affordable €49 (£41) or even €39 each way, with no need to pay to get add the cost of getting to and from airports. In short, this is a move that I personally would welcome with open arms. Now, how about a direct London-Amsterdam train service in 3 hrs 50 mins? Mark Smith

Mark Smith is founder of the rail travel advice website The Man in Seat Sixty-One

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Press Release: Mayor Boris Johnson To Review Support for London City Airport Expansion

At yesterdays London Assembly Mayors' Question Time (1) the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson stated that 'in retrospect he realises that his decision to support the flight expansion at London City Airport  needs reviewing'. He went on to say he felt very anxious about the impact of extra flights over London and that the 'consequences of the expansion had been unexpected and we need to look at the impact of aviation over huge areas of East London'. The Mayor also indicated that he had written to the Civil Aviation Authority expressing his concern and requesting further information over the near collision (2) between a Heathrow 777 and London City Airport Cessna in July 2009.

Anne-Marie Griffin, Chair of Fight the Flights welcomed the news stating "We have been expressing our concerns about the impact of the expansion of London City Airport for over 2 years to the Mayor. We felt that the Mayor had been ill advised but it is now clear that he is acknowledging the full impact of extra flights over London, particularly over East London.What is important now is to see what action the Mayor takes and we'd certainly welcome the 'fresh thinking on aviation expansion' which the Mayor referred to".

The Mayor was also asked regarding the pledge(3) he made at the Ilford Environmental Question Time in early 2009, to support a call for a public review (4) of the London City Airport Flight path changes by the Civil Aviation Authority. Griffin said "the Mayor does acknowledge his pledge and response to the FTF question, however he appears to have moved the goalposts by commenting that he would ensure that the review 'would be useful to the public and get the facts into the public domain'. That simply isn't the same as calling for a public review. The CAA are still reviewing the flight path change behind closed doors so the Mayor still has time to put Londoners first and insist that the review is a public one".


Notes for Editors:

(1) http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts

(2) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23875801-jet-in-near-miss-with-heathrow-airline-over-london.do

(3) http://londoncityairportfighttheflights.blogspot.com/2010/01/boris-backs-call-for-public-review-of.html

(4) http://londoncityairportfighttheflights.blogspot.com/2010/08/caa-update-on-post-implementation.html

For further information:
FTF spokesperson 07984 300558  

Website: http://www.fighttheflights.com/
Blog: http://londoncityairportfighttheflights.blogspot.com/

Press Release dated 16/9/10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We hate to say it but: We told you so. Near Collisons Over London

Above: sequence of events leading, and to avoiding the near collision as illustrated in the Daily Mail.

Since the very start of this campaign, and of suddenly finding out that London City Airport wanted to expand to bigger jets, and more flights on one of the shortest runways, and in the most densely populated area in the country, we've been worried. Worried about a lot of things: pollution and the impact on health,well being and the environment, and of course safety. Why allow an airport to expand when at the most basic it's crash zone is going to cover hundreds, if not a thousand residents in the borough of Greenwich, let alone all the other worrying issues around safety?

Over the past few years we've seen increasing amounts of residents expressing fears of what they see in the skies above them: aircraft too near to one another. Some report it to the airport/CAA too: but the aviation industry always has an answer, usually one's we've heard hundreds of times before but simply can't be proved or disproved. But of course, as it's the big world of aviationistas with money to burn on expensive public relations firms,well and truly helped along by all those tax breaks (welfare benefits in our view) and VAT free fuel - then the non aviationista resident is soon shot down with the formula responses:

"the two jets crossing one another, it's an optical illusion"

"it was an air proximity report, it wasn't a near miss"

"it was not a near collision, it was a near miss"

"there have been no flight path changes at all, but the Standard Instrument Departures have shifted to the north"

"there's no opposition to the expansion of LCY" (Ok, that one is not relating to safety, however it was a statement made by the airport around the time the legal challenge was launched against Newham Council and we'll throw it in for the sake of it).

Wake up aviation industry, government departments and quangos: there are more residents than possibly ever before in history that understand more about operations, and know when you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. We've even see MPs/elected officials subjected to this ridiculous wool pulling from DfT, National Air Traffic Systems etc. Residents are not stupid, and never have been, and neither are our politicians: the aviation industry was simply always given the upper hand and was party to more information than we ever had access to. No longer. Residents are more educated, knowledgeable and informed than ever before on the industry and operations thanks to campaign groups such as HACAN, umbrella group Airportwatch and NGOs Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Aviation Environment Federation along with the Freedom of Information and Environmental Regulation Act. Hooray for at least some people power in this democracy.

If you approach the Civil Aviation Authority on safety concerns, (who wholeheartedly get behind the aviation industry regardless with full blinkers on, no matter what, and continue to approve larger and larger jets to operate out of LCY): well they'll call/write to the airport that you have concerns about, have a chat, ask the environmental officer at the airport to write a response and......say everything is fine! We'd be shocked to hear anything different now.

Strangely, a resident raised safety concerns about how London City Airport air traffic control were allowing jets to take off and land in the most appalling storm conditions a couple of years ago. Readers have to consider the situation of LCY's tiny runway to understand the full concern. The same jets sometimes took 3 attempts to land at the site, attempting landings from different directions and perilously aborting landings when around a 100ft or so above the runway. Some were struggling to reach a height above the conifers planted on the Royal Albert Basin at the end of the runway east bound. It must have been a scary experience for those drivers on the Sir Steve Redgrave, and Connaught bridge that day, perhaps also Canary Wharf. It was scarier still for residents watching from a living room window, thinking the unthinkable, and reminding themselves that the public safety zone is not also called also called a crash zone without good reason. Most 'incidents' - crashes to you and us (see what we mean about the language that the aviation industry use), are in the take off and landing stages.

Interestingly, and thankfully, those few weeks of terrifying activities to onlookers that year, haven't been witnessed to the same degree since. They were of course never discussed either, but who takes the concerns of residents seriously in the world of aviaiton? However concerns over the flights in the sky have increased, and this can be witnessed in the complaints being made. But despite the aviation spin on safety, near misses (or air proximity reports) are no strangers to London City Airport activities. The Wanstead and Woodford Guardian excellently highlighted the issue (and for which they famously received some bullying phonecalls from the London City Airport PR person over, to which the Editor firmly responded to with an editors comment the following week, with residents letters of support) gives a good overview of this, and we ourselves covered the amount of air proximity reports here and here.

We dare say that since the date that the blog was written, it's likely that there's more incidents to add. We certainly know we can add the Heathrow 777 and London City Airport Citation Jet July 2009 near collision, investigated by the Air Acidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) here, here and here in national headlines. You know that things are bad when even the AAIB comments: "the consequences of a midair collision in this part of the London TMA would be particularly serious because of the population density below". Not much comfort when it states that private jets are not required to be fitted with "crash‑protected recorders or flight data monitoring recorders". "Neither TCAS unit fitted to the aircraft involved had capability to record event data".

Predictably the Citation was not fitted with the equipment (and there's no confirmation at all that all the business jets are now either).Why do something unless your forced to is clearly the motto. Fortunately Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP has picked up on the issue and in her bulletin states:

"Then yesterday a report was issued about a very alarming potential for disaster over London City airport. A near-miss happened between a business jet leaving LCA and a commercial flight coming in to land at Heathrow, see here:

“The incident on 27 July last year highlighted the potential for human error to cause disaster above the heavily populated area between Hackney and Stratford where planes leaving London City airport routinely cross the flight path of incoming Heathrow-bound aircraft.”

One recommendation by air safety watchdogs is that all planes operating in this zone should be equipped with a collision-avoidance piece of equipment known as a TCAS II, which the business jet did not, and I intend to take this up with ministers.

Has anyone considered how many private jets fly out of LCY each year? It's not mentioned at all, probably because they were never recorded, but a free for all until last summer. Free for everything it seems, including the tax breaks. But be warned, the AAIB states, they investigate incidents, they don't report to apportion blame, but to make recommendations. Of more concern is that we couldn't find that anything stating that they perhaps investigated so that could identify who was responsible. But we realise that corporate responsiblity is regarded as dirty term. Some residents have asked why it took a year to carry out the investigation, quite. That this incident was AFTER the Standard Instrument Departure flight path changes signed off by the CAA in May 2009, reason given: safety and for jets, the whole incident appears to be a complete shambles and the changes appear to have seen one of the closest near collisions at LCY in the past few years to our knowledge.

It's just a shame that a lot of the media missed the real issues: there's simply too many aircraft over London, and how the 50% expansion of London City Airport flights aren't without cost and impact to Heathrow flights, queuing up for Heathrow from the east and the 13+ flight paths that cross over some areas of London, that there's a school less than 200 yards from the runway, homes alongside that school....and oh dear it just gets worse the larger the area you look at. NATS had already commented some time ago, that if all the expansions planned in South East airport masterplans were implemented then there wouldn't be enough airspace.

It seems that's the case already, and allegedly other factors such as saving money might be influencing some decisions and even the Pilots are now calling for an urgent change in regard to the London City Airport near collision, Coalition Duckhouse quotes British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) Captain Martin Alder: We don't have appropriate "failsafe" co-ordination at the moment for the unique aspects of this operation. It could best be achieved by redrawing the London City airport departures or alternatively not permitting London City to act independently.'

Julian Bray, an aviation expert commented: "Air safety is not a cash or financial issue, airlines and airport operators go into this business knowing that safety of both staff and passengers cannot under any cicumstances be compromised and that all costs to supply a level of safety are part of operational cost budgets and not subject to savings or culling."

London City Airport were predictably quiet on the negatives of operations and near collisions from it's residential hub:

London City Airport's Statement on the AAIB Report
Date: 09/09/2010
"Following the publication of the AAIB’s report into the incident at London TMA (terminal control area) on 27 July 2009 London City Airport has thoroughly reviewed the report issued by the AAIB. Following advice from NATS and the CAA procedural changes have been made which comply with the AAIB's safety recommendations."

So that's alright then. It's just a shame that sentiment isn't echoed elsewhere beyond the LCY Public Relations machine!

On the same day that the near collision report was released, comments were also released from David Miliband (really, the timing could not have been better/or worse depending upon which side you sit on expansion) asserting that a 3rd runway at Heathrow should go ahead. So where to fit the aircraft in then David, and what about the 1000s of Londoners who are dying prematurely from air pollution, which airports add to in aviation and road traffic pollution ten fold? What about the fact that there's only 1000ft between Heathrow and LCY flights, sometimes dangerously less. We hope you are prepared to take the consequences of your blinkered view of safety over London by supporting more flights in what is already the most complex, and busy flight path area in the world.

We don't need more flights, we need the flights we already have to be operated safely and more efficiently before the unthinkable happens. LCY cannot expand without an accumulative effect not only on pollution (air and noise) but also on flight paths with Heathrow and also the other various flights that overfly London and the south east.

BREAKING NEWS: Boris Johnson appears to have committed at Mayor's Question Time to be reconsidering his position on supporting the 50% expansion at London City Airport in light of the near collision last year. More to follow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: The Two Faces of Boris

For immediate use

At the public hearing into the London Plan last Friday (1) held at City Hall it became clear that the Mayor, Boris Johnston, is adopting a very different approach to expansion at each of London’s airports. He has backed the Government in ruling out any further expansion at Heathrow but is supporting plans for a 50% increase in flight numbers at City Airport.

At Friday’s hearing the Mayor’s office made it clear that he supports Newham Council’s bid for expansion at City Airport (2).

Fight the Flights (3) spokesman Alan Haughton, who gave evidence at the public hearing, said “It is not at all clear why the Mayor is adopting such a contradictory attitude. There is no hard evidence that a 50% in flights at City Airport will do anything to boost the local economy. What we do know is that it will bring yet more noise and air pollution to one of the most deprived areas of London.”

The Mayor has made is clear that he would not support any further increase in flights beyond 50%. But Haughton commented: “Boris has come up with no good reason why expansion can’t just stop now.”


Notes for Editors:

(1). The Mayor is required to produce the London Plan by the Government. At present public hearings are taking place into what policies the Mayor should adopt in the Plan. The Plan, once published, will cover a 20 year period. On Friday 10th the hearing considered the whole question of aviation policy.
(2). Newham Council, the planning authority, have given permission for a 50% increase in flight numbers at the airport but Fight the Flights have been granted permission to challenge the decision in the High Court by means of a Judicial Review. The Judicial Review hearing will take place on 18th and 19th November.

(3). Fight the Flights is a residents community group, non party political and anti expansion, not anti aviation.


Blog: http://londoncityairportfighttheflights.blogspot.com/

For further information:

Fight the Flights spokesperson: 07984 300558 

Press Release dated: 13/9/10

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Campaign Update - Bulletin - East London Autumn Edition Now Available

You can now read the Fight The Flights Autumn, East London Edition, 'Campaign Update Bulletin' here.

Why not print one or more off and share them with your neighbours, or ask your local shopkeeper/health centre to put a few on their counter/noticeboard? We know there are still so many residents out there who are increasingly bothered by London City Airport aircraft noise, but that we simply haven't been able to reach and they are having difficulty finding accurate information and advice. London is a big place, and reaching everyone affected is an uphill struggle. But you can help us very simply by talking to, or giving just a couple of your neighbours the bulletin.

Help spread the word about Fight the Flights (a non party political residents community group) and what we are doing to stop expansion at London City Airport, but also perform a watchdog role and look for positive solutions to deal with the current noise and air pollution levels in East London.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Residents Call for Boris Johnson to Make U Turn on London City Airport Flights

There are renewed calls for Boris Johnson, Mayor of London to retract his support for the 50% increase in flights at the airport, and for him to put the health and safety of all Londoners first. Today's news that a Heathrow bound Boeing 777 and a private jet from London City Airport had a near collision in 2009 has further raised residents concerns regarding the safety of increasing flights at London City Airport (1).

Anne-Marie Griffin said: ''the Civil Aviation Authority had already been forced to change flights paths to improve safety due to larger jets being flown out of the airport, but as this near miss occurred after these changes were implemented in May 2009 it is shocking (2). There simply isn't enough room for more planes above London, and there's no room at all for error from pilots, air traffic controllers or the aircraft''.

''The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson should be supporting residents who are against expansion to protect their environment, health and well being. The risks of increasing flights in the most complex flight paths in the world is simply a bigger risk''.

On the eve of the London Plan aviation day, Boris Johnson has so far failed residents in East London, despite him showing signs of being shocked to hear how badly affected they were by aircraft noise at a question time event in Ilford (3). However despite Boris's promise to ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority would carry out the flight path review publicly, the Mayor appears to have taken no action at all. Once again, Boris appears to have ignored the residents of East London and failed to carry out the pledge he made to residents in Ilford last year.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Too many planes in the skies over London , say residents’ groups, after near-miss.

Press Release
For immediate use

Too many planes in the skies over London , say residents’ groups, after near-miss.

Residents groups Fight the Flights and HACAN have combined to call for fewer planes in the skies over London following the near-miss over Hackney which has just come to light (1). In July a private jet taking off from City Airport came within 200ft of a plane bound for Heathrow.

Annie Griffin, Chair of Fight the Flights, representing residents affected by City Airport aircraft, said, “This incident was entirely predicable. Over the last decade the number of planes criss-crossing over the skies of East London has increased dramatically. It is quite unacceptable to put people at risk like this.”

John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said “One of the features of the last few years is the growth number of people living under the flight paths to both City and Heathrow airports. Daily they experience constant noise. We know the safety record of both airports has been good but this incident gives serious cause for concern. Fewer planes is probably the only answer.”

In 2007 HACAN published a report from the respected firm of consultants Bureau Veritas which showed that over the previous ten years the number of planes in the skies over East London had increased significantly as the sheer volume of planes waiting to land at Heathrow meant they were forced to make long detours before they landed.

In 2010 Newham Council gave London City Airport permission to increase flights by 50% but this is being challenged by Fight the Flights in the law courts. The Judicial Review takes place on 18th and 19th November.


Notes for Editors:

(1) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23875801-jet-in-near-miss-with-heathrow-airline-over-london.do

For further information:

Anne-Marie Griffin 07984 300558
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

Press Release dated 9/9/10

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Message from Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament for London

This message was sent prior to the No to Domestic Flights Demo at London City Airport last Saturday:

Dear friends,

I'm sorry I can't be with you here in person today to help call for an end to domestic flights in the UK, a cause I strongly support. Domestic flights are unnecessary, completely contrary to our commitments to reduce CO2 emissions, and only worsen London’s air and noise pollution.

The LibDem/Tory coalition government has already of course made a great new start on aviation policy by cancelling Labour's third runway at Heathrow, which was a product of the tired old 'predict and provide' policy so beloved of airlines and airport operators. What a victory that was for those of us who have been campaigning against Heathrow expansion for years. The new government has also said it will refuse new runways at Gatwick and Stansted. Regarding aviation tax, the government has also committed to implementing a per-plane rather than per-passenger levy. The coalition is also pushing ahead with High Speed 2 between London and Birmingham, and have pledged to work towards a truly national high speed rail network in the long-term. There is a lot of urgent work to be done, but at least we are now moving in the right direction.

I believe that in that context the case against expansion at London City is not only just, but has a chance of being listened to. Many thanks for your hard work and persistence in this cause, and for those of you that are going, have a good trip up to Manchester!

Best wishes,

Sarah Ludford

Sunday, September 05, 2010

No To Domestic Flights Demo See's Strong Cross Party Support

The Campaign Against Climate Change (CCC) demo 'No to Domestic Flights' got off to a wonderful start at London City Airport yesterday where speakers spoke out against the expansion of City Airport, domestic flights and the impact on residents lives and the environment. 

Speakers present:Murad Qureshi, Greater London Authority, Darren Johnson, Greater London Authority, Phil Thornhill, Co-ordinator of CCC, John Stewart of HACAN, Anne-Marie Griffin of Fight the Flights, Josh from Plane Stupid and Food Not Fuel.  In addition, Baroness Sarah Ludford, MEP for London also sent a letter of support of the demonstration and of Fight the Flights campaign which was read out at the event. 

This was the first time that cross party politicians and campaigners had stood together on London City Airport turf with their message against expansion, against domestic flights. It was a significant day.

Protesters then boarded an open top bus to Euston Station, taking the message of train not  plane for those domestic trips, through London before boarding the train to Manchester to join the Stop the Expansion of Manchester Airport group. 

Further photos and coverage of the event may be seen here and here.

Fight the Flights would like to thank the Campaign Against Climate Change team, and all the speakers for their outstanding contribution and efforts which made for such a successful event.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Jacqueline Bradshaw-Price - A Tribute

For over 2 years Jacqueline Bradshaw-Price brought her creativeness, style and concern about the well being of communities to the Fight the Flights campaign. Jacqueline, a key player in the group was a unique multi-talented individual: an artist, therapist and book restorer. There was little that Jacqueline could not turn her hand to, and all that she did, she did extremely well.

Jacqueline was committed to residents and communities having quality of life and health, particularly in the East End and Bow where she lived. She had never been affected by London City Airport flights until around 3 years ago, when she noticed more flights, more jets and more noise. The noise began to affect her in her home and studio and as a result she had triple glazing installed. That was the catalyst for Jacqueline to become a campaigner against the expansion of London City Airport.

Jacqueline had empathy and understanding, built up good contacts and networked across all levels, from meeting with Sir Simon Milton at City Hall, stylishly challenging the Mayor of London Boris Johnson on his environmental policies in a public question and answer session in Bethnal Green, spending the day at the World Climate Day march with FTF, regularly attending the London City Airport Consultative Committee and spending hours completing funding forms to help secure money for the FTF legal challenge fund. Jacqueline even managed to secure a place on the Anthony Gormley Plinth in Trafalger Square where she raised the issues that she was passionate about, you can see the video here. Her contribution to FTF, and the community was endless, and far more than we could ever list here.

Her independent, brave, intelligent and courageous character bought something special along to the campaign, and to the communities she contributed so much to. She cared and made time to care, and to listen. FTF were extremely lucky to have met Jacqueline, and strong friendships were forged outside of the campaign. Adversity often brings people together whom would have never otherwise have met in such a busy place as London.

Jacqueline Bradshaw-Price sadly passed away on Saturday 21st August 2010 after a long illness which she faced with dignity and courage. She will be sadly missed by all of us here at FTF as a friend as well as a fellow campaigner.

Cremation at City of London Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, London E12 on Wednesday 8th September at 2.45 p.m. Enquiries to: A & C Tadman, 020 7790 4097. It is requested:no flowers or donations.

Tomorrows Speakers at LCY Demo - End Domestic Flights Now!


Schedule for the day :

11.00 am Demonstration outside the main entrance to City Airport, London, begins.

12.00 noon Speeches outside City Airport –including

John Stewart (leader of the succesful anti-Heathrow expansion campaign),

Murad Qureshi (GLA member, Labour) and

Darren Johnson (GLA member, Green Party).

12:15 “Train not plane” brigade bus leave City Airport on open-top bus, bound for Euston.

1.40 pm “Train not plane” brigade take special carriage on the train to Manchester.

3.50 pm “Train not plane” brigade arrives at Manchester Piccadilly station.

4.30 -5.45 pm “Train not plane” brigade join demonstration at Terminal 3, Manchester Airport.

Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change said “As unprecedented flooding devastates Pakistan, record temperatures stoke raging wildfires around Moscow and torrential downpours cause landslides that kill thousands in China - its time we got serious about the escalating threat from climate change before its too late. And we’re not getting serious about reducing climate-destabilising emissions until we get to grips with the their fastest growing source. Aviation symbolises the high-emission lifestyles of the developed world that are threatening billions, especially in the most vunerable communities, around the world. We can start to get to grips with the growth in aviation by illiminating the shorter journeys that can be made in other, less carbon-intensive, ways. This is the time to show we’re getting serious with aviation, serious with unnecessary high emissions, serious with climate change – serious, in other words, with the greatest threat facing humanity.”

Anne-Marie Griffin, Chair of ‘Fight the Flights’ said: “An end to unnecessary domestic flights for trips which could be taken by train, would have a hugely positive impact on the residents around London City Airport. Not only would they experience less flight noise and pollution from City Airports' domestic flights, but also from those heading to Heathrow. Travellers taking the train instead of the plane could help improve the lives and health of thousands of Londoners.”

Robbie Gillett from the ‘Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport’ coalition said "There are currently around 38 flights per day between Manchester and the London hubs. Airlines such as Flybe who promote these domestic flights are encouraging airport expansion and threatening the stability of the climate in order to line their own pockets. These flights are the most unnecessary of all and should stop immediately."