Concentrating noise

Dear London City,

Your flight path proposals will have a profound effect – for the worse – on tens of thousands of Londoners…..and you are simply not telling them.  You are planning to concentrate the planes using the airport on narrow corridors, meaning that the unlucky communities will suffer all the noise.

It is deeply inequitable.  It reminds me what has happened on the roads.  These days traffic noise these is largely a main road problem.  This is because, over the years, it has been diverted from ‘residential’ roads on to main roads.  It has been concentrated on these main roads.  

I wrote in my book Why Noise Matters, published by Earthscan in 2011, “The policy in the UK, and in many other European countries, has been to direct through-traffic away from so-called ‘residential’ roads on to ‘main’ roads.  I would suggest this is deeply inequitable, made more so by the fact that it is the people living on main roads who are less likely to own and drive cars or be able to move away.  They are victims of other people’s noise.”

And now you are proposing to do the same with your planes.  I know you are arguing that the changes are not significant because the planned flight paths are not noticeably different from the current routes.  Tell that to Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted, Catford, Brixton and Vauxhall!  And the other areas that will be under the concentrated flight paths.

Of course, we know you are not going to tell them anything.  You’ve said to us you will not be holding public meetings, or even leafleting the areas.  Your current consultation brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘minimalist’.  You have informed your consultative committee (which you must know is widely seen as one of the weakest and least responsive in the country).  And have put your plans on your website:   But is thought they you may not even have informed some of the local authorities affected about the proposals.

Now I suspect I know what you are thinking: that HACAN is ‘anti-airport’ and is simply jumping on these proposed flight path changes to have a go at the airport.  But that is to miss the point:  the issue here is much deeper than what anybody thinks about the airport.  It is about fairness, equity, treating people properly; concepts that existed long before you began your short life just over 25 years ago.  

You are badly failing the fairness test.  You may also be acting contrary to government policy which suggests airports seek to give respite to communities which are overflown.

I suspect you will argue that your minimalist consultation is doing all that the Civil Aviation Authority, which is overseeing the process, requires you to do.  We’ve already raised this with the CAA and will do so again unless you start informing people what’s in store for them.  I urge you to do so.

John Stewart

Chair HACAN East 

Fight Path Consultation Letter of objection to London City Airport

London City Airport is planning to concentrate its flight paths over certain areas.  But it is not telling anybody.  The areas particularly in the line of fire are Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted and Colliers Row, Dagenham, Hornchurch,  Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall.  It is deeply inequitable.

Here is a letter you can email to the airport:  Feel free to adapt it as you wish and to encourage others to also email in.

I strongly object to the way you intend to concentrate the flight paths in and out of London City Airport over particular areas.  It is creating noise ghettos and is deeply unfair.

I also object to the fact that you are refusing to tell directly the communities that will be affected what is in store for them.  You are holding no public meeting and are doing no leafleting.  Most people don’t even know what is on your website.

If you want to read the full consultation it is at   It started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014.  

For more detail read HACAN’s open letter to the airport – – and our blog: 

The key consultation document is  The maps are indistinct but the main ones to look at are on:

Page 22.  which shows how places like Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted and Colliers Row would be impacted by take-offs on the days the west wind blows (about 75% of the time in a typical year)

Page 23 which shows how places like Dagenham and Hornchurch would be affected by take-offs when an east wind is blowing

Page 33 which shows how places like Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall will be affected by landings during an east wind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *