It is now five years since Bromley Council granted an extension in operating hours to Biggin Hill Airport Ltd, at which point BHAL’s Noise Action Plan is due for review. BHAL’s report is now available and gives rise to many concerns.
Click here for Flightpath Watch Ltd’s comprehensive response to this report:
Newsletter October 2021
This being the five-year anniversary of the granting of the extension to the operating hours at Biggin Hill Airport, a review of the Noise Action Plan (NAP) is required and BHAL published its review at the end of August. We have serious concerns about the consequences of this report as we believe that , in spite of BHAL not having complied with a number of important conditions imposed by Bromley Council when the new operating hours were granted, BHAL will be using this opportunity to seek further concessions to the Lease to support its business development.
Flightpath Watch Ltd has considered the BHAL report and has, in turn, produced its own review which was sent to the Leader of Bromley Council last week, copied to LBB’s CEO, all Councillors and to the Council’s Airport Monitoring Officer.
To read the full report please click the link above:
Our report is a comprehensive review of all aspects of the conditions with which BHAL should have complied in order to be awarded the additional hours and the effect that this concession to expand the commercial activities at the airport has had on residents since. We have made it clear that Bromley Council should no longer delay enforcing the terms of the Lease and of the Deed of Variation which documented the new operating hours and have suggested that it would be appropriate for the Council to obtain advice from legal Counsel on aspects which have not been properly complied with, of which there are several.
To highlight a quote from our report:
“The approval to grant extended operating hours has suddenly created a totally different, unwelcome and oppressive local environment, which is detrimental to residing in this part of the borough. A strict limit on movements is essential to try and keep a balance on the damage (physical, mental and economic) caused to residents, and LBB’s legal Counsel needs robustly to defend the cap as a condition of granting extended hours and to bring it back to how it was intended and approved.”
The Noise Action Plan review is due to be considered by the Executive Committee of Bromley Council on November 24th 2021. BHAL suggests that the limit of 50,000 flight movements per annum which has been in effect since the extended hours were approved will no longer apply if the Council agrees that BHAL has met all its conditions during the first five years. This agreement will be sought at the meeting in November.
Flightpath Watch Ltd is concerned that meetings have been taking place between Bromley Council and BHAL and that some form of trade-off is being negotiated which will further dilute the protections for residents afforded by the Lease and the Deed of Variation. This could, for example, mean that the clause prohibiting fare paying passengers, which was supported so strongly by residents in May this year, could be amended or replaced as a quid pro quo for other commitments from the Airport.
Flightpath Watch Ltd has been accused of scaremongering by BHAL in the past and yet our concerns about the nature and frequency of the flights resulting from the additional hours have always proved to be well-founded. Yet again, we cannot stress strongly enough the importance of residents contacting their Councillors to voice their objections to any further changes to the Lease, and in particular, to the Permitted User Clause, which is THE fundamental clause in the Lease governing the use of the airport. In the past Bromley Council had to defend this clause through the High Courts, and won. Should it have lost, the onset of commercial flights would have completely changed the nature of Biggin Hill Airport, with very detrimental effects on our quality of life.
We need to alert our ward councillors that this challenge may be on the cards again on the occasion of the Review of the Noise Action Plan and to ask them to stay firm on this very fundamental clause.
- Please take the time to read our report and to see the body of evidence we have gathered together to support our case to the Council.
- Please share its contents with as many people as you can in your neighbourhood.
- Please encourage them all to contact the Council and make their opinions heard. When the Executive Committee meets in November it must be in no doubt about the strength of feeling, not only about how living with the airport’s operations affects us today, but also about our fears for the future. Contact details of ward Councillors and members of the Executive Committee can be found here:
One final note, it is extremely important, when contacting the Council, to ensure that you include your name and address with your letter or email, so that the Council knows which areas are affected.
Once again we have had to bring serious and worrying news to your attention. We know you will support us in every way you can and we thank you now for your efforts.
With best regards
Flightpath Watch Ltd
- Engages with local residents to ensure that it fully represents their opinions and concerns about the local environment to the London Borough of Bromley
- Is the representative body of people affected by the day-to-day operations of Biggin Hill Airport
- Opposes any changes to the terms of the Lease Agreement between London Borough of Bromley (Landlord) and Biggin Hill Airport Ltd (Lessee) which have the potential to threaten the environment and quality of life of Bromley residents
- Engages with the Councillors of the London Borough of Bromley to ensure they meet the obligations of the Landlord as defined by the Lease
- Engages with the Councillors of the London Borough of Bromley to ensure that they provide mechanisms to monitor that Biggin Hill Airport Ltd operates within the restrictions defined by the Lease and that appropriate penalties are levied when this is not the case
- Engages with the Councillors of the London Borough of Bromley to ensure they work with the airport to implement noise mitigation measures and where possible to establish flight paths which do not over-fly residential area
- Monitors further developments at the Airport that could affect the living environment of the local residents.