London City Airport has submitted an application to the London Borough of Newham to make changes to its existing planning permission, increasing flights and extending hours of operation.

The application follows an extensive 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
    An extension to the operating hours on Saturday from the current closing time of 12.30pm to 6.30 pm, with an additional hour in summer for arriving flights only, up to a maximum of 12
    Allowing three additional flights in the first half hour of operations on Mondays to Saturdays (6.30am-6.59am) with a new limit of 9 flights instead of the current limit of 6 flights
    A 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

What will not change as part of the application:

  • The airport is not seeking any increase to the annual number of permitted flights, which will remain at 111,000
    No change to the existing 8-hour nightly curfew
    No additional infrastructure
    Sunday operations will be unchanged, commencing from 12.30pm until 10.00pm
    No change to the restrictions in the last 30 minutes of operations, which will remain capped at 400 per annum for late departing or arriving aircraft
    In a first for a UK airport, London City will mandate that only cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft will be allowed to operate in any newly extended hours on a Saturday, and for any new flights in the first half hour of the day.

This will result in airlines replacing 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.

The proposals have been developed in close consultation with the airport’s major airlines who support the sustainability ambitions in the plans.

Increase in business and leisure passengers

Commenting on the plans, the airport’s chief executive, Robert Sinclair, 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.”
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