The significant extent of London City Airport’s contribution to the UK and London economy has been revealed in a new report by Oxford Economics.
The research group has found that trips from the airport can be associated with approximately £11 billion of UK trade exports to ten key European markets – accounting for five per cent of all the UK’s exports to these countries, which totalled £218 billion in 2014.
Alongside the Oxford Economics report, a new survey of over 1,000 business decision-makers in Central London business districts, conducted by ComRes, has found strong support for London City Airport’s plans for expansion, with 73 per cent backing the plans set out in the City Airport Development Programme.
The ComRes survey also found that four in five of those surveyed consider increased aviation capacity in the south east as necessary for business growth in London, while more than half think that a short-term capacity solution is needed before 2029 – with 2030 the deadline which the Government has set for a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow.
Chief executive Declan Collier said: “London City Airport is poised to provide an interim solution to much needed aviation capacity in the south east.
“Today’s report and survey prove that our expansion would provide clear benefits for the UK economy and that there is a huge appetite among key business leaders, who rely on air connectivity for their companies to thrive.
“If we get the green light, we can start delivering extra capacity within 18 months, meeting this demand and increasing our contribution to both the local and national economies, from our location just a few miles from London’s key financial and business districts.”
The figures have been published as a public inquiry comes to a close regarding the proposed airport expansion plans, which would create 2,000 new jobs (500 of these during construction) and enable new routes to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North America.
The 11-day planning inquiry follows the Mayor of London’s direction to refuse London City Airport planning permission in March 2015, despite approval for the plans by Newham Council and support for expansion from his own advisors.
Last year the airport attracted a record-breaking 4.3 million passengers - the largest number since it opened its doors in 1987, and on Thursday March 24th 2016 welcomed 17,846 passengers – the most passengers ever recorded at City Airport in a single day.
With more than half of passengers using the airport for business travel, the Oxford Economics report compliments the existing buoyant outlook for business air travel in the UK, with recent estimates by the Global Business Travel Association of a six per cent growth in the £26 billion UK business travel market in 2016.