Both Stansted and London City airports have been granted permission to increase the number of yearly flights and passengers.
Both airports had requested increases in the number of movements (one movement being either a plane taking off or landing), with Stansted’s request having initially been refused back in November 2006.
Following an independent public inquiry this has now been granted, with Stansted’s limit of movements per year now increased to 264,000 (up just under 10 per cent from 241,000), and its passenger numbers up to 35 million (from 25 million).
In the case of LCY the increase in movements is even more significant, with a 50 per cent increase in the limit of movements from 80,000 to 120,000. The airport says that passengers volumes rose by more than 20 per cent in both 2006 and 2007, and is expected to rise to around 3.2 million this year (from 2.9 million).
Both Stansted and LCY are single runway airports, and Stansted has been quick to emphasise that its application for flight increases did not include asking permission for “any additional physical developments or facilities that do not currently have planning approval”, nor did it seek “any modifiaction to current night flight flight restrictions”.
Meanwhile the discussions over a proposed third runway at Heathrow continues, with the Conservatives recently saying they would scrap the plans in favour of north-south high speed rail link. Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable also said this week that the business case for a third runway is “weak and overstated” (see online news October 8).
Report by Mark Caswell