26th February, 2010
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been challenged by the elected members of the Greater London Asemably (GLA) over his support for growth at City Airport. The press release from campaign group Fight the Flights the GLA members and is reproduced below.
What the press release does not address is why Boris Johnson is opposed to expansion at Heathrow for environmental reasons but is in favour of City expansion despite environmental impacts. We suspect the reason is that David Cameron has told Boris Johnson to oppose Heathrow expansion (for electoral reasons) but has not issued any such instruction for City.
A motion, proposed by Murad Qureshi AM requesting the Mayor of London to review the decision by Newham Council to support a 50% increase in flights at London City Airport, was unanimously supported by a cross party majority at the Greater London Authority today. The motion raised concerns that noise and flight path changes across many East London Boroughs would worsen the quality of lives of 100,000s of residents, many of which already suffer considerably as a result of aircraft noise and air pollution.
>p>Murad Qureshi stated: “While we accept that City Airport has an important role to play in London’s transport infrastructure, and makes a significant contribution to the economy of East London, it cannot be allowed to expand at a rate which threatens the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.”
Anne-Marie Griffin, Chair of Fight the Flights, said “ This is a welcome acknowledgment and commitment from the Greater London Authority members to the many swathes of residents who had simply become the forgotten victims of Newham’s continued support of London City Airports expansion. Current flight numbers are down 14% on 2008 levels and this only indicates that things are set to get worse than they currently are, with expansion to 120,000 flights and an continued increase in the use of jets out of the airport.”
“We welcome their support in highlighting to the Mayor the impact of flight expansion on east Londoners. We simply feel the Mayor has failed to see the real impact and that east Londoners are not only overflown by London City Flights but also Heathrow flights. We have always believed that if he had been aware he would not have offered his support to the airports growth in this most densely populated area of the country in the first place.”
Notes for Editors:
(1) FTF launched a legal challenge in September 2009 to Newhams decision to grant approval to flight expansion. There are three aspects to Fight the Flights claim. In summary they are (1) that Newham failed to have regard to the Government’s policy on climate change and aviation; (2) that Newham failed to consult relevant neighbouring local authorities; and (3) Newham failed to consult the residents of those boroughs. A copy of the legal grounds are available on request / or on our website at http://fighttheflights.com/. FTF founded in 2007, is a non party political residents group covering all areas affected by London City Airport operations.
(2) Havering, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Redbridge have all objected to the expansion of London City Airport. Just two boroughs in East London support LCY expansion: Newham and Greenwich.�
(3) FTF works with not only the community and NGO‘s, but also lobby’s decision makers.