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Calls for morning flights from London City Airport to start 30 minutes later

PUBLISHED: 16:49 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 24 January 2019

Calls are being made for flights at London City Airport to begin at 7am instead of 6.30am. Pic: Ken Mears

Calls are being made for flights at London City Airport to begin at 7am instead of 6.30am. Pic: Ken Mears

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Calls are being made for morning flights to start 30 minutes later from London City Airport following a new report into aircraft noise levels.

The London Assembly's environment committe: Pic: LAThe London Assembly's environment committe: Pic: LA

The London Assembly’s cross-party environment committee want stronger regulation of the noise which affects hundreds and thousands of people across the capital.

A report published by the committee this week claims that more precise air traffic control has meant fewer people on the margins of flight paths are subjected to noise from planes, but it has intensified the problem for households directly under the routes.

Committee members say further restrictions on early morning departures from the airport, which is based in the Royal Docks, should push back the first flights from 6.30am to 7am.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, and estimated 331,000 people are affected by noise from arrivals and 416,000 by departures from the airport in the Royal Docks.

HACAN East, a group primarily campaigning against the expansion of London City Airport, says it is calling on the airport to rotate between multiple flight paths, a proposal supported by the committee.

The group’s chair, John Stewart, said: “The furore over the concentrated flight paths is not going away.

“This report from the London Assembly is yet another powerful indictment of London City Airport’s decision to concentrate all its flights over certain communities.”

While the number of passengers travelling to and from the airport increased in 2018, there were slightly fewer flights than the previous year.

Noise disturbances have been linked to damage to physical and mental health and although research is still being done to determine the extent of this, the most severe effects are thought to be caused by noise disturbing sleep.

While night services do fly out of Heathrow, there are currently no night flights out of London City.

Heathrow is proposing an additional 25,000 flights annually.

Caroline Russell, a Green Party London-wide Assembly member and chair of the environment committee, said: “This drive towards filling airspace capacity must be checked.

“For too many people, including children, aircraft noise is a major, dominant intrusion into their everyday lives. It is not an acceptable price to pay for air travel.”

In response to the report, a LCA spokesman cited government recognition of the economic need to increase air travel: “We are conscious of the need to be a good neighbour, which is inherent to how we operate, with the most stringent operating conditions in the UK and significant measures to mitigate noise disturbance.”

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