Newham Council has blasted plans for thousands of extra flights to take off from London City Airport on Saturday afternoons as it would mean an “unacceptable” loss of quiet time for local people living in the borough.

City Airport wants to extend its cut-off time of 1pm on Saturdays to 6.30pm all year round, as well as 12 extra flights on Saturday afternoons during the summer from 6.30pm to 7.30pm,  and three extra flights in the morning.

Plans that were submitted to Newham Council back in December 2022 show the airport wants to increase its yearly passenger cap from 6.5million to 9million – although the airport is not planning to increase its 111,000 annual flight limit.

The plans have already received backlash from local campaigners and Newham councillors who fear it would prevent residents “from getting any respite” on Saturday afternoons because of the noise.

Both Labour Party and Green Party councillors expressed their concern over the proposed expansion during last night’s full council meeting on Monday, February 27.

Cllr Steve Brayshaw urged councillors to support a motion which would see Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz write to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper and demand the government reject any plans from City Airport to expand its flights on Saturdays.

Cllr Brayshaw, whose ward is Royal Victoria, told the council chamber: “Newham Council believes London City Airport causes significant noise pollution for Newham’s residents, especially those in the Royal Docks.

“London City Airport adds toxic air pollution in a borough that has already declared a climate emergency. The plans to extend the flight times on Saturdays will inevitably lead to more flights to London City Airport over the weekends, preventing residents from getting any respite.”

He added: “I ask that Newham Council, therefore, resolve the lead member to write to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Right Hon Mark Harper and lobby the government to reject any application to extend Saturday flight times for London City Aiport.”

The motion was then formally seconded by Cllr Caroline Adaja, who shares the same ward as Cllr Brayshaw.

Cllr Sarah Ruiz then said her ward, Custom House is “blighted” by the airport and that the current respite time means a lot to local residents.

She added: “I cannot believe there is anybody who would support that part of [London City Airport’s] planning application and so I, therefore, support Cllr Brayshaw’s motion.”

Cllr James Asser, who also opposes the airport, told the council chamber: “Living by an airport is not easy, it comes with compromises and if you move in you accept it’s there – but the people who have lived there before had a quid pro quo with the airport to be a good neighbour.

“A key part of that was that 24-hour respite that they got – the eating into that even to those people who are very supportive of the airport is just a step too far.”

The councillors voted unanimously for the motion and a letter of objection will be sent to the Secretary of State for Transport.