This week the public consultation on plans to expand London City Airport come to a close. Over the last few weeks Jon Cruddas MP has been contacted by many constituents raising their concerns about impacts on air quality.
Jon Cruddas MP commented: "I've been running a campaign on air quality in relation to the proposed incinerator at Bexley for the last year, so I take any concerns around air quality very seriously. There are worries about increased air traffic resulting in more noise pollution, and with the prevailing easterly wind there is a worry about the concentration of harmful emissions over my constituency."
Constituents are particularly frustrated about the proposed changes to weekend flight times. One resident who wished to remain anonymous claimed; "during peak weekday flight times I have to keep all the windows shut otherwise I can't hear the television. We all know that ‘more flexibility on the number of flights during the first and last half-hours of operations during weekdays' means more, not less planes in the sky at those times."
The consultation questions suggest that increased capacity will ‘accelerate investment in quieter, cleaner, new generation aircraft.' However, reports suggest that the commercial aviation industry are still between 10 – 25 years away from electric flight. The frontrunner in this race is easyJet who aim to have a carbon neutral flight by 2027 but they do not currently fly from London City Airport.
Recent reports from the British Lung and British Heart Foundations have highlighted concerns around air quality and human health across Dagenham and Rainham. The Lung Foundation reports Barking and Dagenham as having the highest annual rate of lung disease related deaths in London with Havering coming fourth. This week the British Heart Foundation reported that Dagenham and Rainham is in breach of World Health Organisation limits for particulate matter and emissions, with the 51st highest concentration out of the 650 constituencies nationwide.
Jon Cruddas MP recently met with London City Airport representatives and in the coming weeks will be meeting with HACAN East, a campaign organisation against airport expansion and increased noise pollution from flights.
Jon added: "at present I just can't see the justification for supporting airport expansion in London. Knowing what we do now about emissions and the goal to reach net-zero carbon in 11 years, airport expansion is at odds with the current social, economic and political direction of travel."