Tuesday, November 23, 2010

London City Airport Fairground ride-like buzz all tax free

This week we hear that landing at London City Airport is one on the most stunning airport approaches in the world "making for a fairground ride-like buzz". The Top 10 released by Private Fly is run by Adam Twidell who is an ex-RAF pilot and joined up with London City Airport to develop RAF Northolt for private jet use. Like London City Airport Private Jet centre, RAF Northolt security is fully paid for by us the taxpayer. London City Airports security alone is in excess of £5.5 million pa. The interesting fact about Private Fly's list is that London itself is the only major city over flown and London City Airport has the most densely populated surroundings. Flights pass over City Hall, London Eye, St Pauls and Canary Wharf to name but a few.

In light of the recent near miss over Hackney involving one of these private jets it is hard to believe that high profile, densely populated areas in a major city can be overflown while pilots get a "fairground ride-like buzz". The private jet centre at London City Airport directly contributed to the breaking of permitted flight allowances from the airport. Up to 15,000 private jets a year flew from the airport yet where not included in any ATM's (Air Traffic Movement)counts. They were just anomalies not included in any targets or totals yet residents got to breath the fumes and hear the noise from them. Plane Stupid highlighted this when they breached the LCY perimeter and locked themselves onto a private jet.

Meanwhile London City Airport are throwing around "economic impact assessment" figures with wild abandon and no proof. A report can be expected in 2011 showing how it benefits the economy to £500 million annually - the same as a large supermarket. The airport states that it contributes £21 million a year in air passenger duty. What they don't tell you is that the Private Jets pay no APD (Air Passenger Duty) at all - a loss to the economy of at our estimate of £1.5 million pa. Nor do they tell you they pay no VAT on the fuel they use. The only contribution these uber rich users make is to noise, air quality and climate change.