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London City Airport Notes Airports Commission Concern That Links to London from UK Regions Are Decreasing

In its Interim Report, launched on December 17, the Airports Commission has said that by 2040, without extra capacity, the number of domestic routes served by Heathrow will have fallen to four, and that this is of concern to the UK’s regions. 
London City Airport (LCY) gets the Airports Commission’s message that, in the short to medium-term, short-haul (specifically domestic) needs to shift to smaller London airports, and LCY is ideally placed to take up such opportunities - in particular on key business routes to UK and Northern Irish destinations. 
At least 15% of LHR movements are short-haul and could, theoretically, operate into London City Airport. Based on Heathrow’s estimate for transfer passengers of 36%, the remaining 64% of the passengers on these short-haul flights are Origin and Destination (O&D) passengers and – in terms of convenience, location and speed of transit – would be better served flying into, and out of, London City Airport. This has the added benefit of freeing capacity for long haul services at capacity-constrained airports, such as Heathrow, and driving more efficient usage of existing capacity in general.
Declan Collier, Chief Executive, London City Airport, commented: “LCY is an unique airport in terms of location, convenience (transport links) and speed of transit, which serves crucial sectors of the UK economy and the centres of finance, commerce and government in The City, Canary Wharf and Westminster. In the short term, London City Airport can make a contribution to relieving existing capacity constraints at Heathrow.
“The airport is also proposing enhancements to its existing infrastructure – new aircraft stands and an extended terminal – which will act as a positive catalyst for the future development of Greater London as a whole and, in particular, the burgeoning east of London. 
“In the medium-term, the City Airport Development Programme (CADP) will allow the airport to reach its already permitted yearly level of 120,000 flight movements and to double current passenger numbers, accounting for an extra 3 million passengers every year  – some 10% of the projected passenger increase in the London airport system over the next 10 years.”
The Government’s Aviation Policy Framework (APF) of March 2013 stresses the significant role which air service connectivity plays in the business and financial services sector, noting that “The financial services industry requires on average six times as much air travel as some other sectors.”   This is of particular relevance given the unique role of London City Airport in serving the core financial services and business centres of The City and Canary Wharf, and the political centre of Westminster.
LCY contributes some £750m of economic value to the UK economy each year and today employs over 2,000 people, 67% of whom are from within five miles of the airport.  The passenger profile at the airport is 63% business, with over 60% of the passengers using LCY purchasing their tickets at the other end of the route.  The airport is a facilitator for inward investment into London and, because of the nature of its traffic (predominantly business and inbound) it complements the passenger/traffic mix of London’s other airports. 

Editors note

London City Airport (LCY) is the only London airport situated in London itself, just three miles from Canary Wharf, seven miles from the City and 10 miles from London’s West End and linked to all via the Docklands Light Railway. Catering for around 3.5 million passengers (63% travelling on business) and 70,000 movements annually, in 2013 LCY celebrated 26 years of operation. LCY offers a unique rapid transit proposition – a short check in (door to lounge) of around 20 minutes, and a shorter arrival (tarmac to train) of around 15 minutes. 10 airlines fly out of LCY, serving 47 mainly European destinations, eight of which were new for 2013. The airport has permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum – carrying 6 million passengers - which it intends to do by 2023. Further information about the airport and its services can be found on our website.

Further information

Please contact our External Communications Manager, Charlotte Beeching at

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