The 25 members of the London Assembly have called on London Mayor Boris Johnson to urgently review Newham council's decision to give permission for a fifty percent increase in flights at London City Airport in the Royal Docks.
The Assembly unanimously agreed that the growing concern that increased flight numbers and changing flight paths will add to existing nuisance from overflights experienced by residents in eight neighbouring boroughs. Assembly Members stressed that the airport’s economic role must be balanced against the problems it causes.
Labour member Murad Qureshi, Chair of the Assembly's Environment Committee and the proposer of the motion last Wednesday, said:
The full text of the motion says:
"While we accept that City Airport has an important role to play in London’s transport infrastructure, and makes a significant contribution to the economy of East London, it cannot be allowed to expand at a rate which threatens the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. As well as the increased numbers of flights, the type of aircraft used and their flight paths have an impact on the residents living far beyond the boundaries of the airports home borough. This is clearly a strategic issues that the Mayor can and should offer leadership on."
This Assembly calls upon the Mayor to acknowledge the growing concern, particularly in adjoining Boroughs, with Newham Council's decision as a planning authority to agree the application for increased flights at City Airport (from 80,000 to 120,000 movements a year). This concern is also related to recently altered flight paths.
The increased number of flights that would result from this permission would add to the existing nuisance from overflights experienced by residents across several London boroughs, notably Greenwich, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Hackney and Havering. We also note that concerns are being expressed that recently altered flight paths, which we understand are subject to review by the Civil Aviation Authority, have exacerbated the problems caused.
While the airport clearly performs an economic role, this must be balanced against the problems it causes. We therefore believe that a review of this expansion and the flight paths is needed and that this is a matter for the Mayor's oversight and leadership. We therefore request that the Mayor, with appropriate Assembly scrutiny, urgently initiates a review and offers leadership on this matter.
Newham council's Development Control Committee voted to allow extra flights at its meeting in July 2009.
Photo: Plane Stupid