COMPLAINTS about London City Airport have almost trebled cent since flight paths were concentrated over east London.

Released yesterday (August 2) the airport’s annual performance report shows there were 378 complaints in 2016, compared to just 95 the previous year.

The report admits the considerable increase in complaints (298 per cent) is down to its decision to concentrate flight paths over parts of east London like Leyton, Leytonstone, and Wanstead.

It reads: “The spike in complaints, particularly from areas outside Newham, can likely be attributed to the implementation of Phase 1a of the London Airspace Management Plan (LAMP) which occurred at London City Airport from February 4 2016.”

The LAMP plan saw City Airport’s air corridors narrow so that planes now fly over areas of Waltham Forest and Redbridge every three minutes.

Of the near 400 complaints, 164 were over aircraft noise, 113 about flight paths, and 44 related to aircraft frequency.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

HACAN East's John Stewart 

Chairman of east London campaign group HACAN East John Stewart said: “This dramatic jump in complaints comes as no surprise to us. It reflects what we have been hearing.

“It is essential that the airport reconsiders its decision to concentrate all its flight paths.”

The airport argued that the number of complaints is “relatively low” compared to others in the capital, at less than one complaint per 1,000 planes landing and taking off.

But the organisation is under increasing pressure to scrap its narrower flight paths after London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed campaigners’ claims they are turning parts of the city into “noise ghettos”.

Speaking at City Hall last month, the Mayor said: “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with the airport.

“We also continue to make the case to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.”

While campaigners wait for the CAA to assess a report on City Airport’s traffic concentration they are keeping up momentum with peaceful protests, which last week (July 28) included delivering a “flight paths cake” to its headquarters in central London.

An airport spokesman said: "London City Airport has one of the most stringent noise management schemes of any airport in the UK, with no night flights and a 24 hour respite closure at weekends.

"We are also introducing quieter planes such as the Bombardier C Series, which begins operations on Tuesday, and has the smallest noise footprint in its aircraft class.

"In February 2016, in line with government policy, an alternative form of aircraft navigation was introduced, as part of an initiative to modernise London’s airspace.

"Flight paths have not changed but rather aircraft now use a more accurate form of navigation which means a change in how aircraft navigate when departing and arriving.

"The CAA is currently assessing the effectiveness of this change, and whether aircraft now fly over less homes, with a decision expected by the end of the year."