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Expansion of London City Airport gets Go-ahead


In a step forward in easing aviation capacity in the South East, plans to expand London City Airport have been given the go-ahead.

The decision, granted on Tuesday [3 February], clears the way for a £200 million investment that will enable the airport to operate up to a permitted 111,000 annual flights, from the 70,000 currently flying. This new capacity will help ease the pressure on existing airport infrastructure in London and the UK while a decision is made on where new runway capacity will be delivered, and in the period before it becomes operational in the late 2020s.

By 2023 the expansion programme will:

The plans include developing existing infrastructure to increase runway capacity, to allow more take-offs and landings at peak times and accommodate the next generation of quieter, more fuel efficient aircraft. These aircraft have longer ranges and will open up new markets not currently served from London City Airport.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said: “The development of the airport will culminate in 2023 when, having constructed seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and terminal extensions to the west and to the east, the airport will be welcoming some six million passengers every year.”

Around two thirds of passengers using London City Airport are business travellers, with the convenient connections to Europe’s commercial centres acting as a catalyst for inward investment in East London.

A recent Com Res survey found that 68% of Newham residents supported the expansion plans, while a further 20% were neutral. 84% of respondents said that the airport brings mostly advantages to the local area.

Editors note

  • London City Airport is the only airport actually in London, just three miles from Canary Wharf (12 minutes by DLR) and seven miles from the City of London (22 minutes by DLR). It is the UK’s leading business airport, serving 46 destinations across the UK, Europe and USA (New York).
  • 61% of LCY’s travellers use the airport for business purposes. This compares to around 30% at Heathrow and 15% at Gatwick.
  • Target departure times from entering the airport to boarding aircraft is 20 minutes (often bettered). Target arrival time is 15 minutes from disembarking the aircraft to leaving the passenger terminal (often bettered). No other airport offers such a service.
  • In 2014 LCY had its busiest ever year handling 3.65 million passengers. This represented an increase of 8% over 2013.
  • LCY has retained its position as the UK’s most punctual airport for over 2 years (according to the most recent Civil Aviation Authority data - April 2012 to June 2014).
  • Through the connectivity it provides to European business centres the airport is a catalyst for significant inward investment into Newham and East London. Examples of this include Canary Wharf, Excel and planned developments like the Asian Business Park and Silvertown Quays. LCY is cited as underpinning the massive regeneration of the Royal Docks.

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