In a step forward in easing aviation capacity in the south-east of England, plans to expand London City Airport have been given the go-ahead.
The decision 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 see the airport create 1,500 new jobs and a further 500 during construction.
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, chief executive, 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 per cent of Newham residents supported the expansion plans, while a further 20 per cent were neutral.
Some 84 per cent of respondents said that the airport brings mostly advantages to the local area.
London City Airport is the only airport actually in London, just three miles from Canary Wharf.
In 2014 LCY had its busiest ever year handling 3.65 million passengers, representing an increase of eight per cent over 2013.