London City Airport to appeal extension refusal


London City Airport is to appeal against a local council’s refusal to increase its passenger numbers and opening hours.

The airport submitted plans in December 2022 to increase its annual passenger cap from 6.5 million to 9 million, to fly on Saturday afternoon until 6:30pm and add three more flights in the first half hour of operations during the week – with no increase to the annual number of flights.

According to London City Airport the proposals would create 4,500 additional jobs across London; contribute an additional £702 million in Gross Value Added to London’s economy and enhance connectivity and passenger choice by enabling airlines to serve new routes.

The airport’s application proposed a UK airport first – a commitment that only the latest cleaner, quieter aircraft would be allowed to fly during the extended periods.

The application was refused by Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee due to their concerns about the impact of noise on local residents on Saturday afternoons and the three additional morning flights.

The airport considers that this was the wrong decision that did not properly balance the limited impacts with the very significant benefits of the proposals, particularly in the context of UK Government policy, including making best-use of existing runway capacity.

London City Airport’s CEO Robert Sinclair said: “We are disappointed with Newham Council’s refusal of our proposals that will deliver significant benefits to our local community – including new jobs, more choice of holiday destinations for passengers and better local transport connections.”

“We have worked incredibly hard to develop proposals that genuinely reflect concerns raised, sought feedback from our local community and worked closely with the Council’s planning officers. Their views are built into our proposals to ensure that we addressed appropriate concerns and continue to be a good neighbour and local employer.”

“If the appeal can be determined shortly, our airlines will be able to progress refleeting to cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft sooner; delivering more choice for passengers, more jobs for local people and reducing the overall noise impact as early as next summer.”

John Dickie, Chief Executive at BusinessLDN said, “City Airport is an important part of the aviation network that keeps London – and the UK – connected to the global economy. We must continue to enhance our links with the rest of the world in the face of strong international competition for talent, investment, and tourism. Private investment in better connectivity across the UK and other overseas markets will give Londoners and inbound tourists alike more choice and boost the British economy.”

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