London City Airport relaunches expansion plans

London City Airport has returned to expansion plans which were put on hold in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.

The airport has launched a 10-week public consultation on plans to increase annual passenger numbers from 6.5 million to 9 million.

To manage the number of additional passengers, London City Airport has confirmed that it will revert to previous plans to expand the airport terminal.

The airport’s consultation document adds: “The current terminal is permitted to be expanded as part of the PCA development.

“This development, together with improved passenger handling technologies, will allow more passengers to be handled at a higher level of service than is achieved today. This includes the continuous improvement of services for passengers with additional service needs, including engagement with representative groups and investment in facilities.

The airport master plan adds: “A new terminal will not be necessary to achieve the growth foreseen in this master plan. The planned transformation and expansion of the terminal […] will offer efficiencies through an internal redesign, but may need to be reconfigured and further optimized to provide sufficient capacity to handle the anticipated increased demand.

Permission is also in place for a reconfiguration of the terminal forecourt to the east of the terminal to provide new accommodations for buses as well as new drop-offs and pick-ups for taxis and passenger cars.

The proposed airport expansion does not require any additional work on the runway or airfield due to pre-pandemic construction activities.

Between 2017 and 2020, London City Airport’s airfield infrastructure was transformed, with the construction of a new 70,000m2 concrete deck to house the parallel taxiway and aircraft stands.

The bridge was created by drilling 1,000 concrete piles 20m below the bed of King George V Dock. The project was carried out by Bam Nuttal.

The parallel taxiway is now operational, maximizing the potential of the airport runway and providing the capacity to allow 45 aircraft movements per hour when demand returns.

In addition, the airport now has eight new aircraft stands.

London City chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “The strength of our rebound [since the pandemic] demonstrates the huge pent-up demand for air travel and the need to plan for the future responsibly.

“Following our commitment to be the first net zero airport in London by 2030, these proposals define how London City and its airlines can meet future demand in a sustainable way.

“In particular, it will accelerate investment in cleaner, quieter, next-generation aircraft to be used for extended periods of time, giving our local community the benefit of quieter aircraft throughout the week.”

The 10-week public consultation runs from July 1 to September 9.

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