London City Airport has submitted an application to the London Borough of Newham to make changes to its existing planning permission.
The application follows a 10-week local consultation carried out by the airport and includes increasing the current planning cap on the number of passengers from 6.5 million to 9 million passengers per annum by 2031. It also includes an extension to the operating hours on Saturday from the current closing time of 12:30pm to 6:30pm, with an additional hour in summer for arriving flights only, up to a maximum of 12.
The airport has also asked if it can allow three additional flights in the first half hour of operations on Mondays to Saturdays (6:30am-6:59am) with a new limit of nine flights instead of the current limit of six flights, and has applied to instate the requirement that all aircraft operating in the newly extended hours on Saturday or additional flights in the first 30 minutes must be cleaner, quieter, new-generation aircraft, operating to the highest noise and emissions standards.
This is intended to encourage airlines to replace their older fleets with new generation aircraft in order to benefit from any increased flexibility, which in turn will accelerate the benefits of quieter aircraft for local residents throughout the week as the airport becomes home to one of the youngest, most modern, aircraft fleets in the country.
However, the airport is not seeking any changes to the annual number of permitted flights, the existing eight-hour nightly curfew, infrastructure, Sunday operations or the restrictions in the last 30 minutes of operations.
As part of the plans, the airport will offer a new Community Fund of £3.8m (US$4.6m) over 10 years to be distributed directly to local causes via the established trust. Previously, the airport’s Community Fund awards £75,000 (US$91,400) per year. The plans also include improvements to the airport’s sound insulation scheme. In addition, the airport plans to create a Transport Fund which could be used to increase bus connections between the airport and the Elizabeth Line and DLR operations in the mornings.
Robert Sinclair, chief executive of LCY, said, “As we bounce back from the pandemic and demand increases, we need to ensure London City can accommodate the increase in business and leisure passengers forecast over the next decade or so, particularly as East London grows, and more and more passengers choose to fly through London’s fastest and most convenient airport. Most importantly, the proposals have been very carefully designed with input from our airlines to ensure that flying from London City becomes more sustainable, with more new generation aircraft, reducing noise impacts and emissions per passenger.
“We are committed to working with our local community to ensure our plans work for residents as well as our airlines and passengers. We have listened to the feedback provided in our extensive consultation, and have adjusted the proposals to reflect concerns raised, including reducing the proposed increase in operating hours on Saturdays, reducing the proposed increase in flights in the first 30 minutes and retaining the existing limit on flights in the last 30 minutes. Our proposals will create more jobs, invest more money into the local community, fund better transport connections and improve sound insulation for local residents.”