London City Airport Submits Passenger Expansion Proposal

Under the proposals, LCY's passenger cap would increase to 9 million per year by 2031, but how will the tiny Docklands airport deliver that number?



December 20, 2022

DALLAS - London City Airport (LCY) has submitted plans to the London Borough of Newham to increase its passenger capacity from the current 6.5 million to 9 million by 2031. The move follows a 10-week consultation exercise.

Under the plans, LCY has asked the council to allow it to extend its operating hours on Saturdays from the current 1230 GMT to 1830 GMT, plus an extra hour during the peak summer period to allow additional flights. 

It also hopes to add three additional flights during the initial half hour of operations (0630-0659 GMT) on Mondays to Saturdays. This would increase the current limit of six flights during that time to nine. However, in a statement, the airport said, '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.'

LCY has stated that it does not intend to increase the annual number of permitted flights from 111,000, nor does it wish to change the current eight-hour night curfew.

BA CityFlyer is LCY's biggest operator. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways.

Adapting for Growth

Speaking of the plans, LCY's CEO 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." 

Indeed, the airport has stated that if the proposals are given the green light, it could create almost 2,200 new jobs across London and contribute £702m (US$853m) in Gross Value Added to London's economy.

The airport welcomed some 5 million passengers in 2019. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways.

Featured Image: Currently, LCY's passenger numbers are capped at 6.5 million per year. Photo: London City Airport.