Residents affected by aircraft noise say flights from London City Airport are making them feel like their lives have been “taken away”.
Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have revealed that noise from planes flying over homes from London City Airport is affecting 74,000 people – more than any airport in the country with the exception of Heathrow and Manchester.
John Stewart, the chairman of HACAN – a group campaigning against aeroplane noise on behalf of residents in Leyton, Leytonstone and Wanstead – said people are being “driven crazy” from the noise of planes overhead.
Mr Stewart said: “People get annoyed and stressed out, and they just feel like their life has been taken away from them.”
In 2016, the airport decided to make flight paths from London City Airport more concentrated, so they were only flying over one part of the Capital as opposed to the whole city. But the change in flight paths meant residents in East London had to suffer from more noise caused by an increased number of planes.
Mr Stewart described the increase in flights as a “sudden jump”, adding: “People’s lives were turned upside down by the concentrated flight paths. Our view is that it’s simply not fair.”
Figures from the CAA showed that last year 747,300 planes flew over people below 4,000ft – planes usually fly at around 41,000ft. HACAN claims some planes fly as low as 2,000ft and 3,000ft.
Mr Stewart said: “It makes planes feel very close. People are sitting in their garden or having a picnic at the park, and then a plane flies over at 2,000ft and makes them feel like they are sharing the park with it.”
City Airport is due to have a consultation over flight paths later this year – the date has yet to be confirmed.
Mr Stewart said this is “good news” for residents and said it could be a “light at the end of the tunnel”.
He added: “Now residents in Leyton, Leytonstone and Wanstead need guaranteed predictable breaks from noise from London City Airport and Heathrow Airport. We hope that will give people some respite.”
A London City Airport spokesperson said: “As the government outlined recently, modernising the UK’s airspace is vital to delivering quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.
“The airspace change to London City Airport, introduced in 2016, for example, has already resulted in 1.2million fewer people overall living under arriving aircraft up to 7,000ft and is endorsed by the CAA.
“We, along with all the airports in the south east, will engage with our local communities in 2019 to hear their views about this complex yet crucial issue, ahead of formal consultation in due course.”
Lead image by Andrew Baker