News from Caroline Russell: Mayor sending ‘mixed signals’ on City Airport expansion

21 September 2016

Following a written answer to a question to the Mayor on City Airport, London Assembly member Caroline Russell has stated the Mayor is sending mixed signals on the expansion of London City Airport and called on him to publically oppose the expansion.

In May, one of the Mayor’s first acts was to withdraw City Hall’s objection to the expansion plans. [1] This week, in a written answer to a question from Caroline Russell, the Mayor stated that he was “not persuaded further expansion of airports within London would be compatible with my aim of achieving legal limits for air quality as soon as possible.”

Caroline Russell commented:

“While it’s welcome news that the Mayor recognises that further airport expansion will make it impossible to end the illegal levels of air pollution across London, many people will be confused about why he removed City Hall’s objection to the City Airport expansion back in May.

“The Mayor should stand up for the people of East London, who are set to be blighted by even more air pollution and aircraft noise, stop sending mixed messages and say he’s against the expansion of City Airport if it means that his air pollution plans will be in tatters.”

Notes to editors

Caroline is available for interview.

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/e27a38ee-16c8-11e6-b197-a4af20d5575e

Caroline’s question to the Mayor and response was:

In light of the Government's decision to approve the expansion of London City Airport, what are the air pollution implications for the local and surrounding areas and for your plans to 'battle London's toxic air'?

I am not persuaded further expansion of airports within London would be compatible with my aim of achieving legal limits for air quality as soon as possible.

The Secretaries of State for Local Government and Transport approved London City Airport’s planning application without the additional protections that my predecessor and I both sought. 

However now that expansion has been approved we need to ensure air quality will not be adversely affected. I am therefore glad measures will be put in place by the airport, should it expand, such as the provision of electric power to reduce aircraft engine use on the ground and improvements in the ground vehicles at the airport. There will also be extensive monitoring undertaken and if the airport does not deliver on its commitments not to worsen air pollution I will hold them to account.

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