Mayor of Newham calls for London City Airport consultation to be halted in open letter to airport chief executive

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz has today called on London City Airport to halt its current consultation on its masterplan, calling for more evidence on how the airport will tackle air and noise pollution in light of the current climate emergency.

Consultation for London City Airport’s Draft Master Plan started on 28 June for 12 weeks and seeks views for its vision for the next 15 years. As the local planning authority, Newham Council has submitted a technical response. However following the climate emergency, the council declared earlier this year, Mayor Fiaz has asked for the consultation to stop until more evidence and detail has been provided of the airport’s plans to tackle air and noise pollution.

In the letter Mayor Fiaz writes: “You’ll be aware that local residents in Newham are gravely concerned about the possibilities that flow from the high level forecasts set out in the Draft Master Plan in respect of both passenger and aircraft movements up to 2035. In the absence of publicly available detailed information, the council would struggle to support London City Airport’s justification for the increase in the number of flights.

“Additionally, the airport’s proposed increase in the number of flights contradicts the Green Paper on Aviation which amongst other things state that forecast increased demand for flights across the UK can be met through a combination of a third runway at Heathrow Airport and the maximisation of existing runway capacity at other airports. On this basis the council would further struggle to support London City Airport’s proposals.

“Furthermore, when elected as Mayor of Newham in May 2018, I made a manifesto commitment to support sustainable transport and improve air quality in the borough because Newham has the highest number of deaths in London attributable to air pollution with some 96 dying prematurely each year due to respiratory diseases.

“Most recently, Newham Council declared a climate emergency, which you are aware of, and we have established an Air Quality and Climate Emergency Taskforce to implement a plan of action to achieve a carbon neutral position by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050.

“Achieving this urgent agenda for the health and wellbeing of our residents and for the survival of our planet requires partnership working by the council at all levels, so in the context of your proposals we’d expected to have seen ‘emissions from airborne aircraft’ detailed in your aims to achieve the level 3+ neutrality that you claim to seek by 2020.

“The ambiguity and contradictions contained within the Draft Master Plan must be urgently addressed ahead of a complaint Aviation Policy Framework consultation; and the only conclusion I can presently reach is that the current consultation is fundamentally flawed because of the lack of clarity and information provided.

“With this in mind, I urge London City Airport to halt the consultation with immediate effect; and not commence a new consultation until London City Airport publishes the omitted technical details that are necessary to enable informed responses to be submitted by interested parties including Newham’s Local Planning Authority.”

See the open letter on Twitter​ 

Published: 15 Aug 2019