City Airport expansion plans opposed by Tower Hamlets and Redbridge councils

PUBLISHED: 17:12 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 25 September 2019

London City Airport. Picture: Ken Mears

London City Airport. Picture: Ken Mears


Two councils have come out against City Airport’s expansion plans, both criticising the risk of environmental damage and noise pollution posed by more flights.

Tower Hamlets Council passed a motion opposing the idea at a September 18 full council meeting. Redbridge Council passed their motion on September 19.

The airport is currently allowed 111,000 flights every year. In its draft master plan, it projects it will need 151,000 flights by 2035 to meet demand.

With increased noise another concern, the airport's proposal to relax restrictions at the beginning and end of the day, and at weekends, has been met with rejection by some people near the flight paths.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: "While the airport does bring benefits to Tower Hamlets, we need to think very carefully about the impact of any expansion on the environment and the many residents who live nearby or under the flight paths.

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"I'm concerned that increasing flights at the airport would lead to increasing noise levels and exacerbating climate change.

"The level of noise coming from new aircraft also needs to be tightly regulated and the 24 hour weekend closure needs to be retained and early and late flights tightly controlled as at present."

Similar concerns were expressed in nearby Redbridge.

According to the Ilford Recorder, Redbridge's Cllr Sheila Bain said at the council meeting: "City Airport have had no regard in this master plan to the severe noise and environmental impact of their expansion plans on the quality of life of our residents or the damaging effects on climate change." She went on to accuse the airport of putting "profit before people."

In August Newham's mayor Rokhsana Fiaz called on the airport to scrap the consultation until it shows how it will tackle noise and climate emissions.

A City Airport spokesman said the draft master plan consultation is an opportunity for all stakeholders to share views, in favour or against.

He added: "We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, both to local residents and to London as a whole, and our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates this commitment. Our aspiration is to deliver a step change in sustainable aviation, while meeting continued demand."

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