About the Committee
Describes the Consultative Committee's history and outlines its constitution, membership, terms of reference and meetings
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LONDON City Airport's consultative machinery is as old as the Airport itself. When planning permission for the Airport (then known as "the STOLport") was first given in the mid-1980s the developer, John Mowlem & Co plc, entered into an agreement with the former London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC), the London Borough of Newham (LBN), the Port of London Authority and the then Greater London Council. Its purpose was to regulate the environmental impact of the Airport including, in particular, noise and the hours during which the Airport would operate.
The agreement required the setting up of a consultative committee to "monitor all aspects of the operation of the Airport and to advise on operating procedures.....with a view to minimising noise pollution or other nuisance from whatever source". The Committee was charged also with monitoring the implementation of the agreement and to "advise from time to time on the need for any revision thereof". It was agreed later that the Committee would also "discuss and act on complaints from the public".
In the autumn of 1986 a Steering Group was set up to establish the Committee. The group met several times over the winter of 1986/87 leading to the first meeting of the Consultative Committee on 30th June 1987. The notes of the steering group, and a complete set of the minutes of the consultative over the years, can be seen on our Archive Page
The Committee's mandate was renewed and updated in a new s.106 agreement entered into in 1990 when planning permission was given by LDDC for a longer runway.
IN May 1996 the Secretary of State for Transport made The Aerodromes Designation (Facilities for Consultation) Order 1996 (SI 1996/1392)**. This order, made under s.35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, had the effect of requiring the Airport, with effect from 1st July 1997, to provide facilities for consultation on matters concerning the management or administration of the Airport for users of the Airport, for any local authority and for any other organisation representing local interests. Where Airports are designated in this way the Department for Transport recommends the setting up of a consultative committee according to Guidelines published by the Department. (The most recent Guidelines - published in December 2003 - can be seen on the website of the Liaison Group of UK Airport Consultative Committees which includes also more detailed information on the statutory background and role of consultative committees as well as the judgement in the case of Regina v. Fairoaks Airport Ltd. ex parte Richard Roads in November 1998 which need to be taken into account in settling the membership of a consultative committee).
In July 1998, when the London Borough of Newham (LBN) gave permission to raise the limits on the permitted number of air transport movements, the Airport entered into a new agreement under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which (in Schedule 4) again updated the Terms of Reference, membership and running of the consultative committee and harmonised the provision made for the consultative committee with the Department's Guidelines.
The Present Constitution
IN January 2002, following discussions in a working group of the Liaison Group of Airport Consultative Committees set up to review the Guidelines for Consultative Committees, it was decided that the term for which members of the Committee are appointed should be increased to three years. This required amendments to the constitution and the opportunity was taken to incorporate a number of provisions reflecting changes in the Committee’s membership, working practices and procedures as they had evolved over time. At the Committee's meeting in April 2002 a new constitution, submitted in agreement with the LBN and the Airport, was approved. This is now the Constitution of the Committee which incorporates its Aims and Purposes and Terms of Reference. Within its overall constitutional framework the Committee has a number of specific functions as laid down in the July 1998 s.106 agreement.
Since 2002 there have been a number of agreed changes to the membership of the Committee which now includes representatives of the the London Broughs of Tower Hamlets and Barking and Dagenham and the Guild of Travel Management Companies has now succeeded ABTA in representing the travel trade. Following the abolition of the Community Forums in Newham, and the winding up of some tenants' and residents' associations, there is a new system for appointing representatives of those living near to the airport in North Woolwich, Silvertown, West Silvertown, Custom House and Canmning Town and south Beckton. There are also now representatives appointed by Tower Hamlets Local Area Partnership 7 and the West Thamesmead Residents Forum and Canary Wharf Limited has been invited to send a representative of airport users as well as the Docklands Business Club.
These changes in membership, and agreed changes in the arrangements for public participation in the Committee's meetings, mean that the Consitutuion will again need to be revised and full review is in progress. A new draft constitution will be submitted for discussion in 2012
The July 2009 Planning Agreement
Meanwhile on 9th July 2009 the London Borough of Newham granted planning permission in response to an application submitted by the Airport in August 2007 to raise the limit on the permitted number of flights. Permission was granted subject to a new agreement under s. 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This new agreement supersedes all earlier s. 106 agreements and there are new, simpler, provisions in relation to the Consultative Committee. These can be found in Part 5 of Schedule Three to the Agreement - see attached extract
For a list of the present members see Committee List. Committee members now serve for a period of three years unless in the meantime the nominating organisation decides to nominate someone new. The Committee is currently being renewed with the new members serving until July 2012.
Where a member is unable to attend a meeting of the Committee he or she is permitted to send a deputy. But the name of the deputy must be notified to the Secretary before the meeting.
IT is the responsibility of the Airport, after consultation with the Committee and with its agreement, to appoint the Chairman and Secretary and such other Officers as it thinks necessary to ensure the independent and efficient working of the Committee. The Chairman and the Secretary must be independent of Airport and of any other interest represented on the Committee or of any interest in, or affected by, the Airport and its operation. The procedures adopted by the Airport for the appointment of the Chairman and the Secretary, must be framed such that the independence of the Chairman, the Committee and its officers is assured and seen to be assured.
The Committee's present chair, is John Adshead (pictured left). He is independent of the Airport. Before his retirement, John was a deputy chief planning inspector in the Department of the Environment. He has chaired the committee since it first met in mid-1987, a few weeks before the Airport opened for traffic.
The Deputy Chairman is now Glynis Webb (pictured centre), a resident of North Woolwich. She suceeds Bill Dunlop who sadly died in March 2009 after many years service with the Committee.
The committee's secretary is Stuart Innes (pictured right), a former officer of the LDDC, who has served the Committee since the beginning.
The expenses of the Committee, including the fees payable to the Chairman and Secretary, are borne by the Airport.
MEETINGS are held at the Airport once a quarter usually at 4.30 pm on the the first or second Tuesday of January, April, July and October. The meetings are open to the press and public and the committee's agenda papers and minutes are widely circulated. There are sometimes Presentations and where possible these are posted to this site.
At every meeting the Director of Business Development reports on developments at the airport including changes in the route network, the number of flights and passenger numbers. There is also a standing item on environmental issues including complaints and the noise and other requirements of the planning permission and the s.106 agreement. Invariably there is discussion of the problems and concerns of local people. These are mostly concerned with planning and environmental issues but there is also discussion of other issues such as road safety, signage, boundary security etc. The Committee also takes an interest in wider issues. For example it takes a keen interest in surface access to the airport - it has been pressing for some time for a fixed rail link - and there is discussion of aviation and airport issues generally, for example the need for a more integrated and efficient air traffic control regime across Europe.
Through the Annual Familiarisation Visit committee members have an opportunity each year to experience the Airport as a passenger and to see some of the destination airports. So far there have been visits to Dublin (twice), the Isle of Man, Jersey (twice), Dusseldorf, Paris (twice), Luxembourg, Geneva (twice), Amsterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Committee held its 25th Anniversary meeting on Tuesday 10th July 2012. After the meeting there was a celebration reception. The following day, after the Committee's Familiarisation Flight to Geneva, there were presentations (see picture right) - to the Committee's Chairman and Secretary both of whom had worked with the Committee for the whole period since its first meeting on Tuesday 30th June 1987. Since then there had been 122 meetings all of which had been attended by the Secretary.
The minutes of the Committee's meetings since the beginning are available on this site [Committee Minutes].
Visit our Picture Gallery to see the photographs taken at the Celebration after the 20th Anniversary meeting in July 2007.
The Wider Scene
THE Committee keeps in touch with the equivalent committees for the other London area airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted - with whom there are arrangements for exchanging agenda papers and minutes. There is also contact with airport consultative committees across the country. Each year the Committee's officers meet with their opposite numbers at 22 other UK airports to discuss common issues and to share experience. This Liaison Group has established the UKACCS website which includes the agenda papers and minutes of the liaison meeting held at London Gatwick (2002), Birmingham (2003), Bristol (2004), Liverpool (2005), Manchester (2006), Stansted (2007), Heathrow (2008), Belfast (2009), London City (2010) and Aberdeen (2011) .The site also includes information on the statutory background and role of consultative committees and on current aviation issues both in the UK and at European level.
Civil Aviation Act 2012
On 20th January 2012 the Government introduced a new Civil Aviation Bill for the consideration of Parliament and in fact this Bill received the Royal Assent on 19th December 2012. For more information on what the Act aims to do, the Department for Transport has published information on its website - the Department's press release is available here and a set of Questions and Answers is available here.
Now that the Act is law, the Department is focusing on the next steps which are:
Please note that the Department for Transport's corporate website has now moved to www.gov.uk/dft as part of Government’s move to centralised digital information from all Departments.
How the proposed new measures will affect London City Airport is still not very clear.
Stuart Innes, c/o London City Airport, Royal Docks,
London, E16 2PB.
** This order was amended by the Aerodromes (Designation) (Facilities for Consultation) (Amendment) Order 2002 (SI 2002/2421) which came into force on 15th October 2002
An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
Page last modified: 31st March 2016