More flights 'possible' from London City Airport

11 July 2018 07:58

London City Airport could see more flights

London City Airport could see more flights

London City Airport is considering lodging an application to increase flight and passenger numbers, its boss has revealed.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the East London base, believes it will approach its current operational limits in the next three to four years.

The airport, located in the London Docklands, is currently limited to 6.5 million passengers and 111,000 flights per year.

A local campaign group opposed to any expansion of the airports operations has pledged to "fight tooth and nail" against plans to loosen restrictions.

Runway capacity

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Sinclair declared that London City can play an increasingly vital role in providing important runway capacity in the South East, as Heathrow's expansion is not due to be completed until 2026 at the earliest.

He said: "In the fullness of the next year or two we will be reflecting on the future and life beyond our current planning caps."

"We will be considering the potential options, which could include raising the caps."

Annual passenger numbers have grown by 50% since 2012 and are expected to exceed five million next year, while annual air traffic movements currently stand at around 80,000.

Any bid to increase operational caps would be made to Newham Council.

Protest

Some people living nearby already protest against the noise and air pollution linked to the airport's existing operations.

John Stewart, chairman of campaign group Hacan East, said: "Local residents would fight tooth and nail any attempt by London City to raise its limits on flights and passengers.

"Many of them feel their lives are already blighted by planes from the airport.

"The preservation of the current cap is the reddest of red lines for residents and I suspect for many local authorities."

A £480 million programme is already under way at London City to enhance its facilities, which will include eight new aircraft stands, the UK's first digital air traffic control tower, and an extension of the terminal building.

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