London City Airport’s (LCY) expansion plans have been rejected by a local council due to environmental and noise concerns.
The airport’s management applied to increase the airport’s annual passenger capacity from the current 6.5 million to 9 million, as well as extending the timeframe when aircraft are allowed to arrive and depart during the weekend.
Currently, flight activity is banned from 1:00 PM local time (UTC +0) on Saturdays to 12:30 PM local time (UTC +0) on Sundays. LCY requested that the timeframe be expanded until 18:30 PM with up to 12 arrivals for a further hour during the summer season on Saturdays. Approvals were requested for other, “minor design changes, including to the forecourt and airfield layout,” according to the proposal document.
Furthermore, the document noted that the total number of air transport movements (ATM) would remain at the same level of 111,000 annually and 45 hourly.
However, London’s Newham Council, responsible for the governance of the borough of Newham where LCY is located, voted against the expansion. The council’s agenda before the vote recommended against the notion.
“We are disappointed with the decision of Newham Council’s Strategic Development committee. Our proposals will create almost 2,200 jobs at the airport, support an additional 2,300 London jobs through tourism and increased business productivity,” said an LCY spokesperson in an email to AeroTime.
According to the spokesperson, the expansion would also contribute an additional £702 million ($904 million) to London’s economy in gross value, while also improving connectivity.
“Our proposals include no more flights than are currently permitted and – a UK airport first – a commitment that only cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft will be allowed to fly in any extended periods,” the spokesperson continued.
The council argued that the expansion would “result in a materially new and substantial harm” with an expanded noise pollution footprint.
“There is so much potential for this area but it is being held back by a polluting airport which is causing misery for residents and is used by so few,” said Nate Higgins, a council member from the Green Party.
“We firmly believe in our proposals, which are carefully balanced and make best use of our infrastructure. We are actively considering next steps,” the LCY spokesperson added.