Mayor of Newham's challenge to London City Airport's expansion is greeted by campaigners
PUBLISHED: 15:40 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:07 23 August 2019
Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham to halt London City Airport's consultation on expansion with more daily flights until it shows how it will tackling noise and climate emissions.
But the airport remains firm and insists that the consultation - on plans to almost double the number of landings and take-offs - continues until September 20.
The mayor called the consultation "fundamentally flawed" in a letter to the airport's chief executive.
The letter "throws down the gauntlet to the airport", say campaigners from Hacan East which represents households in the flight paths across east London.
"The significance of the mayor's move cannot be overstated," its chairman John Stewart said. "Newham is the planning authority for the airport."
Newham Council which declared a "climate emergency" earlier this year is seeking more evidence about the airport's plans to tackle pollution.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz says in her letter to airport chief executive Robert Sinclair: "The council would struggle to support London City Airport's justification to increase the number of flights. Residents are gravely concerned about the high level forecasts." Newham has the most deaths in London attributed to pollution with 96 people a year dying prematurely from respiratory diseases, the mayor points out.
The local authority has set up an air quality and climate emergency task force to achieve "carbon neutral" by 2030 and "carbon zero" by 2050.
"The consultation is fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information," the mayor's letter to the airport boss states.
"We expected to see 'emissions from airborne aircraft' detailed in your aims to achieve the level 3-plus neutrality that you claim to seek by 2020."
She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the "omitted technical details".
The airport says it is giving proper consideration to the mayor's views, but the consultation remains open for people who want to have their say.
A spokesman said: "The draft master plan is an opportunity to share views on how the airport can respond to the significant demand for air travel in London and in particular east London.
"We recognise the challenge of climate change in our draft master plan. Our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates our commitment to deliver a step change in sustainable aviation."
The 12-week consultation proposes to relax the 24-hour weekend break and add more early morning and late evening flights.