Mayor of Newham calls on London City Airport to address concerns around expansion plans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 22 October 2019
The mayor of Newham has said the London City Airport (LCA) master plan must be "comprehensively revised" to address concerns around noise, air quality and climate change.
In an open letter, Rokhsana Fiaz outlined her concerns over the draft plan for 2020-2035, which proposes increasing the current annual cap on flight numbers from 111,000 to 151,000 - a 36 per cent increase - to meet forecast growth in passenger demand.
The airport currently handles around 80,000 flights each year.
It also wants to increase the flight movements into the first and last 30 minutes of operational hours: 6.30am-7am and 10pm-10:30pm.
Ms Fiaz's letter came as Newham Council's planning authority issued their consultation response to LCA yesterday (October 21).
The council has raised oppostion to: extending operating hours, including any reduction or removal of the existing weekend respite period; any increase in the intensity of operations during the early morning and late evening, and any changes to the plan currently in place which ensures the Airport will reduce its noise levels by 2030.
Ms Fiaz wrote: "I remain concerned that the potentially harmful effects of any further airport expansion - in particular relating to noise, air quality and climate change - have not been fully addressed by the additional information provided.
"The draft master plan offers no justification, in environmental terms, for the intensification of flights early in the morning and the reduction of the weekend respite period currently enjoyed by the residents of Newham.
"These and other issues have been raised with the council by local residents and those living outside the borough in no uncertain terms.
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"I would therefore anticipate that the final version of the master plan, when published, would specifically exclude these options."
Ms Fiaz previously issued a public letter to LCA raising concerns in August.
The council has pledged to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050.
Labour's London Assembly environment spokeswoman Leonie Cooper also issued a response to the draft master plan consultation, which was launched in June.
Ms Cooper expressed "significant conerns" about some of its proposals and called for "a cast iron guarantee" that LCA will "prevent and reduce negative impacts" on residents before proceeding with its plans.
"In a number of areas, the plan does not provide sufficient detail or modelling about the potential impact that increasing flight activity will have on local residents," she said.
A LCA spokesman said: "The Draft Master Plan 2020-2035 consultation has been the ideal opportunity for all stakeholders, including the Mayor of Newham, to share their views about how London City Airport could grow and operate in the future.
"We're grateful for everyone who took the time to respond, and we will now consider the feedback before publishing a consultation report and a final master plan in the New Year.
"We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, both to Newham residents and to London as a whole, and our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates this commitment.
"In the event that the airport were to submit more detailed proposals in the future, these would be subject to full assessment of environmental impacts, as part of our rigorous focus on sustainable growth."