Aircraft Noise over SE23 [2019] (August - new campaign launched re London City Masterplan)

Agree that’s worth asking. Anyone care to contact her with the suggestion? She probably hears enough from me.


As rumoured, London City Airport want to double their flights, start earlier in the morning, finish later in the evening and do away with the 24 hour break between midday Saturday and Sunday. Their new draft Masterplan consultation opened today, a month ahead of what was expected. There are consultation meetings planned, but not round here. Link here.

So heads up, anyone who wants or does not want this to happen has the chance to say. There is time to think about it, consultation closes in September.

London City has dropped its old USP of being an airport essential for London business, you only have to look at the list of destinations,,68UL,2FUB7F,MFD9,1

They want a bigger, leisure travel orientated airport.

and here is HACAN East’s take on the issues of expansion:-


To respond to the London City Airport Masterplan Consultation, here is an excellent briefing from HACAN East, who recommend we do not answer the loaded questions compiled by London City Airport, but freestyle. Their briefing and your own experience and observations will be all you need.
*"What we suggest you do: *
Write down what you want to say about the consultation in your own words and email it to London City: or send it the airport at the Freepost address. "


Sadly for those impacted, Consolidated flight paths have changed the rule book!

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Last week I met with Lewisham West and Penge MP Ellie Reeves to discuss Heathrow and London City flight paths, expansion plans and aircraft over Lewisham. We also talked about the London City proposed Masterplan which will increase east-west air traffic across Lewisham, start earlier and finish later, and end the 24 hour respite period at weekends. It will also use the same low altitude concentrated flight path as at present until at least 2025, when changes may be introduced, but there is no guarantee. We had a very positive discussion. Forest Hill Society will be responding to the consultation and we would encourage all residents affected by noise from the current overflight to do the same. Details of how to do this are a couple of posts above this thread.

No consultation event has been organised by London City Airport in our area, but the idea is under consideration locally. More details when known.

Meanwhile one for the diary and a chance to express support or opposition in person. Janet Daby MP has organised public meeting on 26 July with both airports in Catford. Its aimed at her constituents in Lewisham East really, but it would be good to have strong attendance and ensure a robust community discussion with the two expanding airports.


There’s a new petition aimed at Newham Council in protest against the earlier starts, later finishes and the removal of a 24 hr no flying window at weekends. All of this is proposed by London City Airport who are regulated by Newham but overfly 13 different London Boroughs. Every voice counts in letting Newham policy makers hear what Londoners think.

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Public meeting about increase in aircraft noise in SE London this Friday. Hope it is well attended. We encourage our MPs by attending and participating in their events and demonstrating our concerns - hoping in turn they will support us.


And a few questions you could ask. I will be away and unable to attend.

You claim that new generation planes will be quieter on takeoff but say nothing about arrivals. You fly level under 2000 ft for 20 miles over our area. Exactly how much quieter are you claiming, and why have you published no data on this? Peak noise level for an Embraer Jet is currently 75-80 dB under the low altitude flight path round here.

We understand from noise expert sources close to the airport that round here, actually in level flight at low altitude , new generation jets will only give a 2 to 3 decibel reduction - barely noticeable to the human ear. When will you release data that is relevant to our area?

In 2017 you flew 10k aircraft at low altitude over Lewisham. With increasingly more easterly winds, you will double this by 2022 when you will increase overall aircraft movements to 111 000. How on earth do you expect support from Lewisham to treble flights over our area by 2035 when you have made absolutely no commitment to fly higher or offer alternative flight paths to the single low altitude path over our homes.

You consistently claim to have a steep 5.5 degree descent landing angle. Yet you fly in level flight at under 2000 ft for 20 miles over SE London. Your claim seems a rather dishonest representation of the truth as far as Lewisham is concerned does it not?

After three years of record complaint numbers why does your Masterplan seem to make no mention of the low altitude single arrivals flight path over SELondon that you introduced against considerable opposition in 2016? Or any objective to change it?

We understand that your low altitude flight path over SE London cannot change until 2025. You have made no commitment and set no objective to put right the damage you caused in 2016. We should not even give this Masterplan a hearing until you have introduced a proper flight path arrivals plan for SE London.

You say , without giving evidence, that new generation aircraft will be quieter. So introduce them. Let us hear for ourselves, then we might be able to talk about expansion. But the truth is, your plan says you will only have 75 per cent of the fleet as next generation by 2035. That means we will have about the same number of noisy ones that we have today plus added to that about twice as many of the so called quieter ones as well. And no guarantee or credible plan to say that they won’t be on exactly the same low altitude path as today.

Last November you assured the London Assembly Environment Committee that you would work together towards stopping your two flight paths crossing, fly higher, offer respite routes. But nothing has changed. I found no reference to the low altitude concentrated SE London flight paths in the Masterplan. Isn’t the truth that you are , without any care, abandoning SE London to an increasingly noisy future in pursuit of your own ends?


The meeting was well attended with a lively Q & A session following the usual corporate presentations by Heathrow, London City, and Head of Corporate Affairs at NATS.

Janet Daby MP did a great job chairing the meeting, and impressed me as someone who understands the situation, and the anger and dismay of suffering residents.

One Lewisham Councillor attended, but none from our ward.

Attendees had a lot to say and many questions, so were limited to one question each. I asked about the introduction of Performance Based Navigation (concentrated flight paths) which they claimed was “mandated by government”. Neither the airport reps, nor the NATS rep could point to exactly what the mandate was: i.e. was it regulation, voluntary agreement, some other instruction? They also did not know where it came from.


Angry London residents turned out in numbers at another public meeting last Friday to challenge London City Airport expansion plans. John Cryer MP summed up the truth for many:- ‘The MP stated the skies over his constituency were already overcrowded with planes and that these proposals would simply make things worse.’

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As the word spreads about what London City wants to do, the fight back is being led by a new campaign from HACAN East which needs support from the overflown right now. ‘Back the Ban’, supports the retention of the existing 24 hour ban on flights between Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes. London City say they now want to fly in this period. What can you do?

  1. Fill out a Back the Ban postcard and post it to London City at their Freepost address. Here it is.

2.Sign the Change petition to Newham Council, which is the body with approval over the airport’s planning applications and activities. Here it is.

Meanwhile, hard on the heels of discussions with our MP Ellie Reeves last month, the Forest Hill Society has been invited to brief a group of Lewisham Councillors at the Civic Suite on the issues arising for residents from Heathrow and London City overlapping flightpaths, lack of joint planning by the two, and their noise and emissions. In the context of the Climate Emergency, we will be suggesting that the Council use its influence through consultation responses etc to defend residents from additional environmental disturbance, and develop a clear policy position for the Borough on these matters - as many other London Councils have done.


Ellie Reeves our local MP has written a terrific letter to London City Airport expressing her concerns about the LCY expansion masterplan. Can I encourage everyone to have a read of it but more importantly, please can you like, comment on, and/or retweet the letter - it’s important now that Ellie is engaged on this issue that she hears from local constituents that this is an issue they care about and encourage her to remain involved. LCY have demonstrated over the past few years that they don’t give a damn what the average joe (or jane!) thinks and the masterplan shows they fully intend to make air and noise pollution over our area significantly worse in the future - we really need the support of local politicians to ensure our voices are heard and LCY don’t continue to ignore us.


Published yesterday, the London Assembly submitted a response to London City Airport’s ‘Our Future Skies – Airspace Modernisation’ plans in a short but pleasing press release:

Commenting on the submission, Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee, Caroline Russell AM, said:

“The Environment Committee has been reviewing and monitoring airspace in London for several years. The Committee has uncovered concerning evidence about how aviation noise impacts Londoners’ quality of life.

“The damaging effect of aircraft noise on Londoners’ lives can no longer be ignored. The London Assembly is recommending that any changes to airspace and flight paths at London City Airport prioritise the health and well-being of overflown Londoners, over and above the commercial interests of the airport.”

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It is good that the London Assembly has come out in opposition to LCY’s plans but I remain slightly bemused by what powers the London Assembly actually has. Last year they wrote a damning report about the impact of aircraft noise on Londoners and singled out LCY’s concentrated flight paths for particular criticism and made a number of recommendations none of which have been followed. It seems like, other than a little bit of bad PR, LCY just ignore any criticism or recommendations and continue to impose whatever arrangements they want on our skies.

[Edit: Actually the previous report was as recent as January 2019 and can be read here:]


I wrote to the Mayor’s office when the consultation came our asking for what his response was going to be. I got this response last week

Thank you for writing to the Mayor on 1 July about City Airport. I have been asked to respond on his behalf. The Mayor has repeatedly said that where airport growth takes place it should not be at the expense of London’s environment or the health of its residents. London City Airport’s draft master plan appears to be a first step towards seeking an easing of restrictions at the airport, with potentially significant consequences for our environment, transport network and personal health and wellbeing.
Officers at the Greater London Authority and Transport for London are carefully scrutinising the detail of the proposals set out in London City Airport’s draft master plan. This work will inform the Mayor’s response to the consultation, which will be made in September.
Thank you again for writing to the Mayor, I hope this reassures you the Mayor is committed to standing up for Londoners and our environment.

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Forest Hill Society met with Lewisham Council and London City Airport last week to discuss the expansive Masterplan. I presented to Councillors about the flight paths over our area, low altitude concentration, flaws in the London City plans and argued that the Borough should take a clear public position and use their influence to protect the health and wellbeing of Lewisham’s overflown against further aviation expansion over our homes, in the context of the Climate Emergency. Our presentation and briefing was very well received. We recommended that they endorse the London Assembly report from January 2019 ( which incidentally I am pleased to say referenced my own report of August 2018 on the problems over our area).

We will be sharing our responses to the London City Flight path design consultation, and the simultaneous Masterplan consultation with LB Lewisham, again to ensure our analysis can be used in influential places by our elected representatives.

This week I have been invited to meet along with two fellow campaigners with the two key aviation and transport advisers to Sadiq Khan, and hope to put our case directly to them, and to influence the Mayor’s response to the draft Masterplan.

We are discussing the possibility of arranging a public meeting with London City in our area, probably week of 2nd September, when residents from Forest Hill, Honor Oak, Dulwich etc would have the chance to hear from the Airport and ask questions.

The Back the Ban campaign is receiving massive support from London residents, and it is quite possible that the Masterplan expansion will be stopped. Please respond to the Masterplan consultation if you have an opinion.


Not satisfactory that the Mayor did not reply; this issue affects thousands of residents in his Borough.

Indeed, this is a point I made recently in a letter to Ellie Reeves MP. There are no noise standards and there is no authority (local, city-wide, or national) tasked with enforcement. New legislation is urgently required.

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A good meeting today with Sadiq Khan’s team to put the case against London City expansion. We will see what his consultation response is. Meanwhile campaigning efforts are making progress with a firm steer to the airport from its planning authority, Newham. What next?


This is promising, although I would rather there was a focus on the health emergency rather than climate emergency

The health and wellbeing argument is gaining traction and is well understood in meetings with Lewisham councillors and Sadiq Khans team in the last week. But public climate emergency recognition has struck a more urgent chord with politicians and public alike and seems to have supercharged the acceptance that we need to stop and think about aviation expansion.

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