Mayor blocks London City airport expansion

27 Mar 2015 by GrahamSmith

Plans for a £200 million expansion at London City airport have been blocked by Mayor Boris Johnson.

Last month, Newham Council gave the goahead to an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft at the airport in east London (see news, February 5).

This would have allowed the airport to operate up to 111,000 annual flights, up from 70,000 currently. LCY said the new capacity would help "ease the pressure" on existing airport infrastructure in London and the UK.

However, yesterday Johnson ordered the council to veto the application on the grounds of an "unacceptable" increase in noise that would "blight the lives of thousands of people".

A spokesman for the mayor said Mr Johnson had already argued against expansion at London Heathrow due to the noise pollution it would generate over households in west London, and that he is adopting the same policy for east London.

Johnson's office said the mayor still favours a new airport in the Thames estuary, a proposal that was dismissed by the government's independent commission on aviation last year (see news, September 2014).

London City airport CEO Declan Collier said: "It is ironic that the mayor of London, whose platform has always been one of advantage for business in London, is denying the capital the business opportunity presented by growth at London City Airport.

"It is doubly ironic that this decision was taken on LCY’s busiest-ever day, when more than 16,500 passengers passed through the terminal.

"Demand for the connectivity the airport provides is growing, driven by the success of London as a global business centre, and to service this demand, the airport needs to grow.

"Development at London City Airport, which is in line with current aviation policy, would also inject extra airport capacity into the London system at a time when that capacity is very constrained – and will continue to be at least until 2030, which is the earliest date that new runway infrastructure could be delivered.

"The mayor's decision has also jeopardised this additional capacity uplift."

Around two-thirds of passengers using London City are business travellers.

Graham Smith

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