The policies, procedures and projects aimed at keeping the Airport environmentally sustainable
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LONDON CITY is a city centre airport and a close neighbour of a number of residential communities, especially to the south in Silvertown and North Woolwich where there are homes within approximately 100 metres from the runway. The Airport is keen to minimise the environmental impact of its operations on these communities and generally to keep the Airport sustainable in environmental terms
On this Page, and the Airport Operations, Noise and Air Quality pages, we describe in detail the policies, procedures and projects recently agreed with the local planning authority, the London Borough of Newham, to secure these important objectives.
Annual Performance Report
The Airport has agreed that on 1 July each year it will send to the local planning authority an Annual Performance Report describing its performance and compliance with the latest planning agreement in the preceding calendar year. The Report is to be published on this website.
Airport Monitoring Officer
THE local planning authority employs a full-time senior officer to monitor compliance with the planning agreement, the associated planning permission and other Airport related matters. The cost of this, and any necessary consultancy support, is met by the Airport which makes annual index linked payments.
AS at most other Airports noise is the environmental issue which attracts the most attention, especially among local residents. At London City, which operates in an area which is substantially residential, there have always been rigorous and detailed arrangements to minimise Airport noise and its impact on local people. These have recently been reviewed and brought up to date in the latest planning agreement. They are fully described in our Noise Page.
AIRPORTS also give rise to concerns about local air quality and odours. This is, therefore, a matter of ongoing concern to the Airport which already operates air quality monitoring equipment as part of an Air Quality Strategy adopted some time ago.
There are plans now for an Air Quality Action Plan which is described in the latest planning agreement as a plan for the management and mitigation of any air quality impacts affecting the local community flowing from the operation of the Airport - including those arising from vehicles going to and from the Airport. For more information see our Air Quality Page.
Damage to property caused by wake turbulence (vortices formed by lift being generated through the creation of a pressure differential over the wing surfaces of aircraft) is a problem at some airports and in 2010 the Airport commissioned a Wake Turbulence Study. A copy of the Study was posted to this site on 15 August 2011.
An Airport note for residents about damage to property caused by wake turbulence was published in October 2012.
THE Airport will continue to maintain a record of all complaints about the environmental impact of the operation of the Airport and any action taken to deal with or remedy such complaints. Under the latest planning agreement the Airport has undertaken to submit a detailed report of such complaints (and any action taken) to the Council within 15 days of all such complaints being made. The Airport will also submit a summary of such complaints:
London Assembly - Investigation into Environmental Impacts of Future Expansion at City Airport
In mid 2010 the Committee heard that the Environment Committee of the London Assembly had launched an investigation into the environmental impacts of the future expansion at London City Airport but that the investigation had been suspended until the Judicial Review had been completed.
It was some while before the Judicial Review process came to an end and the Environment Committee finally held a public session on Thursday 1st December 2011 at which representatives of the Airport and the London Borough of Newham were asked questions on noise and air pollution issues. You can see a webcast of the session on the Assembly's website - click on the Environment Committee - Thu 1 December button.The exchanges about the Consultative Committee are about 30 minutes into the Committee's session.
Following the meeting the Committee issued a press release in which it is suggested that the membership of the Consultative Committee should be enlarged to include a representative of the Assembly and of HACAN. This is recognised as being largely for the Airport to decide but the Consultative Committee has been asked for its views and it will be considered at the meeting of the Committee in April 2012.
Health Impact Assessment
FOR many years the Airport has pursued a policy framework for surface transport covering both passengers and those working at the Airport. The original aims of the policies, which are still valid today, are:
The Airport has agreed that by January 2010 it will draw up Staff and Passenger travel plans and once these are approved by Newham Council they will be implemented within six months. The planning agreement includes a draft of the Travel Plan (.pdf 2.53mb). At Appendix A to the draft are the results of the most recent (2005) staff travel survey.
THE Streetcar car scheme was introduced at the Airport in August 2008. The Streetcar car club gives its members all the convenience of owning their own car, but without the cost and hassle. Booked online or by phone members can reserve a car for just 30 minutes or as long as six months. The car can then be left at over 500 locations all over London, all within a five to ten minute walk of each other. Visit www.streetcar.co.uk to join the club and for more information.
The key benefits of car clubs are the reduction of traffic congestion, on and off-street parking pressure and CO2 and particle pollution. The Airport says these initiatives are another step in their commitment to developing a strategy which will focus on renewable energy, recycling and reducing waste, energy and water consumption.
WASTE management in the UK has grown rapidly over the last ten years. Initially the focus was on collection and disposal but with new legislation over the last few years there has been a shift attention towards recycling.
An audit carried out by the Airport in 2000 established baseline values of the waste produced by the airport and identified waste types and sources, e.g. in-flight waste, terminal waste and office waste. Using this data, and with the collaboration of staff, a Waste Action Plan was implemented starting with the recycling of paper in the Airport's offices.
In July 2004 the Airport commissioned a new waste contract with Grosvenor Waste Management Ltd. Grosvenor is an independent waste management company based at Crayford , Kent . The company has its origins in waste paper and from this has expanded to handling all types of waste including dry recyclables and general and clinical waste. Grosvenor currently recycles 96% of all waste handled and is therefore able to provide the Airport with an efficient method of waste recycling that has had a minimal impact on the previous collection service.
Grosvenor operates an MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) at Crayford, sorting dry recyclables collected from the airport. The MRF uses proven technology in the UK and combines this with new technology sourced from around the world. Utilising what is known as a ballistic separator, the machine separates materials as to their weight and shape: paper products plane off the machine; glass, cans and plastic fall back. The facility can separate any mix of materials from the list below:
Any residual material is shredded and then made into a brick for use as a coal substitute to generate electricity.
ON 31 July 2008 the Airport brought into use the the airport's first ever solar energy initiative. Part of the Airport's noise monitoring equipment is now entirely powered by solar panels and once this has proved a success they plan to upgrade all noise monitors to similar technology.
Sustainability and Biodiversity
THE Airport has agreed that by October 2010 it will develop Sustainability and Biodiversity Strategies. Once approved the Airport will have six months in which to implement the agreed measures including the Airport Sustainability Action Plan (ASAP) which will form part of the Sustainability Strategy
Each July the Airport will include in its Annual Performance Report details of its performace against the targets in the ASAP and every two years on its performance against the objectives and measures specified in the Airport Biodiversity Strategy ABS). In addition every five years after its approval the Airport will prepare a full review of its performance against the ABS.
Maintaining water quality in the Docks
THE Airport is located within the Royal Docks, between the King George V Dock (KGV) and the Royal Albert Dock. The quality of the dock waters is directly influenced by the quality of the water in the tidal Thames. Water is pumped into and out of the Thames so as to maintain water levels in the Docks at a reasonably consistent level. Levels do of course vary, for example because of continual water seepage through the dock bed or rainfall and surface water running off in to the docks.
The Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA) monitors the docks fortnightly at six pre-selected sites. They are responsible for the maintenance of the marine infrastructure, impounding and the maintenance of water quality through dredging and the removal of litter, leaves and other floating debris. The observations at each site take into account the colour of the water, the presence or absence of oil film and floatables and weather conditions. Continuous measurements record the pH levels, electrical conductivity, water and ambient temperature and the transparency of the water as well as dissolved oxygen saturation.
Using the information interpreted from these results, RoDMA is able to make recommendations regarding the safety of the water for recreational sports. For example, if the pH level gets high, it is recommended that showers should be taken following all activities. Often changes in pH and dissolved oxygen concentrations result from temporal and seasonal changes. During the summer months the warm weather encourages the growth of algae, thus depleting the level of carbon dioxide within the water increasing the acidity and pH levels.
At the Airport
As a major player in the Docks it is vital that the Airport should play its part in maintaining the quality of the dock waters. Many of its activities have the potential to affect the water quality. These include the de-icing of aircraft and the runway as well as the use of pesticides and herbicides for habitat management. It is therefore imperative that the Airport should have both a drainage system which minimises any potential contamination by containing it on the airport site and a comprehensive system of operational procedures.
With the extension of the apron a new set of slot drains and pipes was constructed including a new fuel/oil interceptor. This has an automatic closure device, so that any pollution from the apron is detected and contained.
To maintain the quality of the water it is important wherever possible to avoid the use of polluting materials. To this end the Airport's Fire Service has been experimenting with a newly developed ‘Fluorine Free Foam’ (F3). This is thought to be more environmentally friendly than the Film-Forming Flouro Protein (FFFP) foam which is commonly used in fire fighting at UK airports.
FFFP contains Fluorine compounds, essential for providing rapid extinguishment of fires. However, recent concern over the potential long-term toxic effects of these Fluorine compounds led to the trial of F3 at London City. The Airport's Fire training ground has a fully contained system of interceptors, so that contaminants are contained on site and stored for collection by an authorised waste collection contractor for appropriate treatment and disposal thus avoiding the release of any potential contaminants into the public sewerage system.
An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
Page last modified: 4th October 2012