London City green light for £200m expansion

London City green light for £200m expansion

A £200 million plan to expand London City airport has been given the green light.

The decision clears the way for investment that will enable the airport to operate up to 111,000 flights a year, up from the 70,000 currently operating.

The plan includes 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.

The airport says the new capacity will help ease 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.

The expansion by 2013 will:

  • Generate additional short-haul aviation capacity for the UK
  • Create 1,500 new jobs and a further 500 during construction
  • Double economic impact to £1.5 billion a year
  • Facilitate greater levels of inward investment in East London
  • Deliver a world-class international gateway to London

Airport chief executive Declan Collier 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 are business travellers, with connections to Europe’s commercial centres acting as a catalyst for inward investment in East London.

The airport said a recent ComRes survey found that 68% of local residents in Newham supported the expansion plans, while a further 20% were neutral. Eighty four per cent of respondents said that the airport brings mostly advantages to the local area.

Newham Council said the plan included flight restrictions, a noise barrier and soundproofing packages for residents.

Based on the responses received the council said it had listened to all views and agreed to the plan with 131 conditions, including limits on the number of passengers and restrictions on flights at certain times of the day.

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