London City Airport has submitted a planning application for permission to expand its current infrastructure to accommodate up to 120,000 flight movements per year, a level already permitted under an application granted in 2009.
The proposals will also allow the airport to double its passenger numbers - to six million - over the next ten years, while continuing to attract inward investment into east London and acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the area.
LCY – based in the Royal Docks and predominantly serving the business and political centres of Canary Wharf, The City and Westminster – currently handles 70,000 flight movements and three million passengers per annum.
The need for enhanced and expanded infrastructure is driven by three factors:
- The majority of passengers travelling through LCY are doing so for business reasons, and want to fly during the morning and evening peaks – freeing up capacity on the existing runway is the only way to meet demand and achieve the permitted level of movements.
- The next generation of aircraft, expected to arrive at the airport in 2016, are larger (and quieter and more fuel efficient) and require bigger parking stands.
- Increasing the capacity of the existing runway to allow more flights at peak, combined with larger aircraft, will mean greater numbers of passengers, all of whom will still want the convenience and time-saving of using LCY.
The £200m expansion planned for the airport includes new aeroplane parking stands – to accommodate larger aircraft – a parallel taxilane to optimise runway capacity in peak operating hours and a terminal extension to ensure that LCY’s convenience and speed-of-transit propositions are maintained.
Crucially, the airport is not proposing a second runway, or any extension to the existing runway.
Declan Collier, chief executive officer, London City Airport, believes that the expansion of the airport is vital – not just to satisfy growing demand for business travel, but also for the ongoing development of the Royal Docks and the east of London.
“The airport currently employs just under 2,100 people, of which more than 60 per cent are local.
“The proposed development has the potential to create as many as 1,500 new jobs, providing further employment in east London.
“Increasingly, this area is a focus for foreign investment – the recent announcement by ABP of its intention to build a multi-billion pound business park on Royal Albert Dock is one such example – and the connectivity to business centres across Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East that the airport provides, or will provide in the future, is central to this continuing.
“In terms of the wider UK economy, the airport already contributes £750 million every year - through business and leisure tourist spend, the operation of businesses on site, productivity savings and air passenger duty – and when this project is completed, we can expect to double that amount.”
London City Airport’s planning application has been submitted to the London Borough of Newham for determination.
The airport has also made submissions to the Davies Commission – around optimising use of existing infrastructure and commenting on proposals for new infrastructure – outlining its development proposals and highlighting its ability to relieve capacity pressure on other airports by accommodating more short-haul flights.