April 2, 2015
Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor, refuses to allow London City Airport’s expansion
There is consternation all round as, despite the local borough council having already approved plans to expand London City Airport (LCY), London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson has refused to allow the expansion to go ahead. Plans submitted were for a £200 m (US$295m) injection of capital to virtually triple the size of the terminal to 50,000ft2, construct a parallel taxiway along the whole length of its single runway, and add seven new aircraft stands. The reason given by Johnson was very simple as he saw the side-effect of this expansion as being an “unacceptable increase in noise”. A spokesperson for 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.”
Johnson’s rejection of the plans also ties in with his long held belief in the proposal for a ‘clean-sheet’ airport to be constructed in the Thames Estuary to the east of London, despite this option being ruled out by the independent Airports Commission who have been looking into all the options for a new airport to serve the city. LCY is situated in the former docklands area of London, adjacent to its major financial district. It dealt with a record 3.65 million passengers last year and has already been granted permission to increase the number of flights from 70,000 to 120,000 annually, which the City Airport Development Project was designed to allow for. LCY CEO, Declan Collier, stated: “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. 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.”
A spokesman for the airport indicated that an appeal was being considered, but that no firm decision on this had been made as yet.