London City’s new planes much less quiet than claimed

Evidence has emerged that the new quieter planes which London City is relying on to manage future noise levels if its controversial expansion plans go through are much less quiet in reality than it has forecast.

The evidence is in a study which London City commissioned but which it has not yet published:

Here is the link to the press release our sister organisation HACAN East has released:

Residents dismayed by London City plans to double flights

Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today.  The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights.

 The airport also wants to get rid of the ban on flights between 12.30pm Saturday and 12,30pm on Sunday.  Additionally it is proposing that more flights are allowed to operate in the early morning and late evening.

 John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents.  Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.  And, to rub in the pain, the airport is looking to ease the restrictions at weekends and in the early morning and late evening.”

 The consultation ruins from 28th June to 20th September.

 London City would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward.

Summary in HACAN East Newsletter

Our sister organisation HACAN East has produced a 3 page briefing to help people who want to respond to the consultation: briefing

HACAN East has also produced FREEPOST postcards which you can download and send to the airport if you object to the expansion proposals: postcard  or this one: postcard two 

Black and white versions black and white postcard or this one black and white postcard two

And here are posters to download and display: poster

And black and white version: poster black and white

Read our look at why London City is going for this expansion, plus an assessment of its strategy and whether it will succeed: article

Read draft Master Plan Summary: 

Read London City Press Release

For full details of the consultation:

 The full consultation document: London City softening us up for expansion:  Read the HACAN East blog: click here

Breaking News:  16/08/19:  Campaigners have welcomed today’s call by Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz for London City to halt its consultation on expanding the airport until it provides more detail on how it plans to tackle noise and climate emissions.In a letter to City Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair the mayor called the consultation “fundmentally flawed.”

“The significance of this move by the mayor cannot be overstated.  Newham is the planning authority for the airport.  This letter throws down the gauntlet to the airport to come up with a Master Plan that works for residents and for the climate.”

Read the HACAN East press release: press release 

Details of Aviation Green Paper Consultation, now closed – includes HACAN response

The Government published its Green Paper with proposals for its new aviation strategy at the end of last year which it will finalise and release in the second half of 2019.  The consultation ended on 20th June 2019.

Read HACAN’s response:  HACAN Consultation Response

Read the response of HACAN East: Aviation Green Paper HACAN East response

For more details of the consultation, plus HACAN’s briefing on it:

Committee on Climate Change new report launched

2nd May 2019

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Government’s official advisers, published its latest report today. It is recommending that the UK becomes ‘net-zero’ on CO 2 emissions by 2050. This does not there will be no CO2 emissions but those which are emitted will need to be balanced by taking carbon out of the air or burying it:  ” The CCC target is for “net zero” because some activities, such as flying and farming, will unavoidably produce some emissions in 2050. But these will be balanced by taking carbon out of the air by growing trees or burying CO2 under the ground ” .

The report goes on to suggest on aviation: “Air travel will become more expensive because of the slow development of alternatives to polluting kerosene to power planes. Air passengers may be required to pay to offset the costs of their emissions from 2035. The cost of doing so could reach £55 by 2050 for an economy flight to New York and £25 to Malaga. The report encourages frequent flyers — the 15 per cent of people responsible for 70 per cent of flights — to catch trains and cut down on long-haul travel”.

Read the report:

Read the HACAN summary of the aviation section:

Noise Relief: major new report from HACAN

HACAN released a report challenging the aviation industry to take action to improve the noise climate for local communities. Noise Relief outlines practical measures which could be taken to achieve this.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN and co-author of the report, said, “Heathrow is drawing up plans for the biggest shake up of its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946. HACAN welcomes many of these plans, particularly those which will bring some respite each day to the many areas which are currently flown over all day long.   But these new flight paths will not be in place for several years yet. Our report suggests measures which can be taken in the interim.”

The report advocates four measures be taken to assist residents:

  • Stagger the point at which planes join their final approach path: at present 95% of planes now join within a narrow 4.8 nautical mile band;
  • Increase variation in departure routes: over the last ten years or so aircraft taking off from Heathrow have increasingly been concentrated along narrow flight paths;
  • Promote fairer night flight arrival distribution: night flights appear to vary their routes less than they did in the past;
  • Reduce simultaneous overflight by both Heathrow and London City arrivals:   there are days when parts of SE London are overflown by both Heathrow and London City aircraft, giving them at times over 50 planes an hour.

HACAN will now be lobby the industry for action on these measures

To read the full report:

Land Referencing Letter Explained

We have had a lot of questions about a Land Referencing letter some of you will have received from Heathrow.  It is a legal requirement for any promoter of a major development to send these out.  They go to households who may – and we stress may – be impacted by the construction of a third runway.  Most people who receive a letter will not be.  You are not required to respond to it though Heathrow are likely to follow up if you don’t.  And it doesn’t mean, of course, that a 3rd runway is inevitable.  It still has to overcome the hurdles of the current legal challenge, a planning inquiry (expected next year) and uncertainty if a new Government came to power.

Aviation Green Paper out for Consultation

The Government published its Green Paper with proposals for its new aviation strategy at the end of last year which it will finalise and release in the second half of 2019.  The consultation will end on 20th June 2019 It is an important document.  It sets out proposals for UK aviation policy until 2050.

The consultation was originally due to close on 11th April but has been extended to 20th June 2019 in part, allow comment to be made on the Committee on Climate Change report due in May.

Link to the full paper:

There’s also a NATS paper on the new type of flight paths being introduced:

And a CAA paper on past and future noise levels:

Read the 3 page summary HACAN has put together: 

Here is a short paper to help you with your response: 

Heathrow Noise Action Plan Published

Each airport with over 50,000 movements is required by the European Union to publish a Noise Action Plan every 5 years. Heathrow has just published it latest one covering the years 2019 – 2023. It only focuses on a two-runway Heathrow since, if a third runway gets permission, it will not be up and running until about 2025/6. UK airports will not be required to produce Noise Action Plans if the UK leaves the EU but the Government is considering replacing them with Noise Reduction Plans:

Third Runway Court Challenge

The legal challenge to the Government’s decision to approve the  3rd Runway in principle finished in the High Court on 22nd March, with a decision expected within a couple of months.  There were five challenges: one from some local authorities plus the Mayor of London and Greenpeace; one each from Friends of the Earth and Plan B; one from Heathrow Hub, which wants to extend the existing northern runway; and one from an individual.  Transcripts of proceedings can be found at: