City Airport £200m expansion gets go ahead
City Airport £200m expansion gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create ‘ghettos and misery’
A £200million expansion of London City airport was today hailed as a “vital boost to London’s aviation capacity” as it was given planning approval.
Newham Council last night gave the green light to an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft at the airport in east London.
A new six-storey four-star hotel with up to 260 bedrooms will also be built on site.
The expansion will increase the number of take-offs and landings at the airport from 70,000 a year to 111,000 and will almost double the number of passengers to six million a year by 2023.
The number of stands for aircraft will increase from 18 to 25, and the newer, larger planes they will accommodate will expand the airport’s reach from destinations in western Europe to Russia and North Africa.
It has been described as a boost for London’s aviation capacity while uncertainty hangs over proposals for further runways at either Gatwick or Heathrow.
The development will create 2,000 new jobs, at least 35 per cent of which will be given to people in Newham and strengthen the airport’s position as a preferred choice for business travellers.
The expansion involves the tripling of the size of the airport terminal to 51,800 square feet and will see the number of flights increase from 38 to 45 during peak morning and evening flight times.
It is expected to double the contribution to the local and UK economy from the airport from £750million to £1.5billion by 2023.
Building work, subject to final planning approval being given by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is expected to start by the end of the year, with the first new aircraft seen on the runway in 2016.
imgExpansion: it is hoped the plans will be a major boost for the capital Airport chief executive Declan Collier said it was a major boost to London’s economy and would provide an urgent increase in air capacity the capital “desperately” needs.
He said: “Expansion will allow us to increase the flight capacity over the next few years that London so badly needs now.
“This is a great result for the capital and will be a catalyst for significant inward economic growth and regeneration.
“It will deliver a world-class international gateway to Newham and London and generate additional short-haul aviation capacity for the UK.”
London City airport’s expansion has been met by opposition by campaigners concerned about air and noise pollution.
Tamsin Omond, representing neighbours, said: “The impact on people already suffering from very high levels of air and noise pollution will be immense.
“More air traffic over one of the most densely populated areas in London does not seem to be to be a development that will make people live, work and stay in this part of London.”
Robert Barnstone, from the anti-expansion group Hacan East, said: “The expansion will create noise ghettos and misery for hundreds of thousands of people living below the flight path.”
The airport and council planners say they do not expect an increase in noise levels because the new fleet of Bombardier C Series aircraft would be quieter but admitted homes will be affected by the increase in flight numbers.