In what could be viewed as a Brexit soother, London City Airport (LCY) has been granted planning permits to proceed with an expansion of its facilities and improvements to passenger services.
The approval supports rapid growth at the airport which hosted a record-breaking 4.3 million passengers last year.
The privately funded City Airport Development Programme (CADP) will support a £344 million investment to build new facilities including seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and an expansion of the airport’s passenger terminal.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the airport had been granted planning permits.
Good to Grow
The London City Airport expansion project is expected to support 1,600 airport staff jobs and generate 500 construction jobs. The UK economy is expected to benefit from an estimated £1.5 billion from the LCY project by 2025.
“London City Airport’s ambitious growth plans will boost international connections, strengthening the City of London’s links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business. Making it easier to visit and do business in the City of London will help drive forward our economy and further strengthen the city’s status as the world’s leading financial centre,” said Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. “This is a real vote of confidence in the resilience of our economy, creating over a thousand new jobs.”
The plans will increase connections between the UK and Europe and create new business opportunities.
The project scope would improve facilities to accommodate larger, more modern, fuel efficient and quiet planes. The airport expects up to 32,000 additional flights could be served out of LCY by 2020, and that there would be new opportunities for airlines to introduce long-haul services, including from The Gulf and Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the east coast of the United States.
“Today, the new Government has shown it is ready to act in the best interests of the British economy,” said Declan Collier, CEO, London City Airport. “Expansion at London City Airport will create more than 2,000 new jobs in East London, add much-needed aviation capacity in the South East, and generate an additional £750m per year for the UK economy. As the airport serving by far the highest proportion of business travellers in the UK (52%), who do some £11 billion of trade in Europe annually, today the Government has sent a strong message that London and the UK are very much open for business. I welcome the decision and look forward to delivering new airport capacity for the South East by 2019.”
Because this expansion will mean that there will be more flights available at LCY at peak times, the terminal facilities will also be extended to create comfortable space for passengers. The airport will also introduce new services to improve the passenger experience.
“This is fantastic news for London and Britain as a whole. I am determined to invest in the infrastructure this country needs, to help people get around more easily, boost investment and create opportunities,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. “London City Airport is an engine for growth in the City, serving the community in which it operates and providing a vital link to our regional airports and the rest of the country. These new plans for London City Airport will deliver jobs and business in the capital and more widely. Companies across the UK will be able to bid for construction and procurement contracts worth £294 million, meaning the benefits will be felt up and down the country.”
LCY will also improve transport links around the airport by funding additional DLR rolling stock (£2.6 million), investing in a bus and taxi access scheme, and improving walking and cycle routes to the airport.
“This decision clearly indicates that Britain is open for business,” Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. “The expansion of both the airport and terminal building will provide a real boost to economic growth and job creation. Commuters also stand to benefit from the expansion of the terminal and improved facilities which will make using the airport more pleasant and efficient.”
Local residents affected by the traffic increase are promised “a generous compensation package” from the airport.
If you haven’t flown through LCY, I recommend it as convenient for London, easy to navigate, and productivity friendly.
If you’re waiting a while for your flight, there are many spaces to sit and work while enjoying a light meal or beverage, and plenty of USB outlets and power outlets at the restaurants and bars, as well as at the gate seating areas.
One piece of advice: don’t give up your seat from 5:00 PM onwards. You’re unlikely to find another. That will improve as the airport grows with these new facilities.
No doubt Heathrow Airport and Gatwick will hope for similar approvals to facilitate growth. While plans have been delayed for years, expansion at each of these airports would also benefit the UK economy.