Monday, September 24, 2007

City Airport Expansion Plans

London City Airport have applied to Newham Council for planning permission to increase the number of flights from the current limit of 360 up to 592 to per weekday. See their "masterplan" here [PDF]. That would be bad enough - but it gets worse - as they are also planning to change the flight mix in favour of more big, noisy regional jet services, with fewer small private planes. Considering how bloody noisy the biggest passenger services are currently over our flat (they shake the building) - this doesn't make for good reading.

I don't mind the airport expanding the number of flights somewhat- but I'm not willing to put up with more of the biggest noisiest planes. Also surely aircraft technology improves over time so they should be reducing the noise factor not increasing it.

I'm also worried about any additional passenger throughput during morning peak time. As the DLR carriages are already overcrowded between 7:45 and 8:30 on that part of the line. And that is before they open the Woolwich Arsenal station on the South bank and before the new Millennium Mills re-development is completed in West Silvertown (both of which will add substantial numbers of new commuters to the already crowded line). I'm not sure the new third DLR carriage will cope both those factors as well as airport expansion.

I've therefore written to Newham Council objecting to the proposal on noise and congestion related concerns. I am assuming that City Airport have asked for all sorts of outrageous stuff deliberately so that when the council waters down their proposal - they're still left with plenty of room to expand. Certainly if the proposal goes through as is it will be very bad news for local residents. (I'm not sure how LCY plan to soundproof my garden!) I'm still unclear why we are allowing airport expansion anyway given how bad aviation is for the environment.. Keeping the current number of slots is the one surefire way the government can ensure no future increase in environmentally damaging air traffic. So what if it gets more expensive? The flights available will be allocated to those willing to pay - and trains will suddenly look more attractive again for domestic travel.

The GLA response to LCY's plan is here [PDF] if you're interested.

1 comment:

Fight the Flights - Not Anti Aviation - But Anti Expansion. said...

Please check out this article on the fight the flights blog spot. It shows that Boris wants Sir Robin Wales and Newham Council to start doing their job and monitor London City Airport, as they have not for the last 8 years.
And they did approve even with flawed information.