Friday, April 3, 2015

London City Airport ‘perplexed’ by mayor’s refusal

London City Airport (LCY) reports being ‘perplexed and disappointed’ at the refusal of the city’s civic head to allow a major expansion to proceed.
Mayor Boris Johnson said the plan would lead to an “unacceptable increase in noise” for local residents.

The City Airport Development Programme (CADP) involved a £200 million ($295 million) investment designed to triple the size of the terminal to some 50,000 ft², build a parallel taxiway along the length of the single runway and add seven new aircraft stands.

LCY is located in the capital’s former docklands, close to its major financial district and handles primarily business traffic. It handled a record 3.65 million passengers last year. It already has permission to increase the annual number of flights from 70,000 to 120,000; the CADP was designed to allow the airport’s infrastructure to reach the higher figure.

“It is ironic that the mayor of London, whose platform has always been one of advantage for business in London, is denying the capital the business opportunity presented by growth at LCY,” said LCY CEO Declan Collier.

“Demand for the connectivity the airport provides is growing, driven by the success of London as a global business center, and to service this demand the airport needs to grow.”

An airport spokeswoman said that an appeal against the mayor’s decision was being considered, but no decision had yet been taken.

The local borough council had earlier approved the plan, but was overruled by the mayor.

A spokesperson for mayor Johnson said: “The mayor believes that granting planning permission for this scheme would lead to an unacceptable increase in noise for East Londoners and would not be for the greater benefit of the city.

“He has long argued that Heathrow Airport cannot be expanded due to the increased noise it would lead to in West London and he is not willing to expose East London to additional noise either.”

The ebullient Johnson has long campaigned for a ‘clean-sheet’ airport to be built in the Thames Estuary to the east of London, but this option has been ruled out by the independent Airports Commission studying proposals for a new runway in the capital.

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

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