London City Airport expansion approved
Expansion at London City Airport has been approved in a joint statement by the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities.
The expansion plan involves building 7 new aircraft stands and a new taxiway to increase peak time capacity, as well as expanded terminal facilities to enable the airport to reach its permitted capacity of 120,000 flights a year.
The scheme is expected to cost £344 million, and to allow a 40% increase in flights and an increase in passengers from 4.3m in 2015 to 6.5m each year by 2025. Flights during peak times would increase from 36 to 45 per hour. According to the statement from Hacan East on the application, the plans would lead to an increase in the size of the 57 Leq noise contour, nearly doubling the number of dwellings within the noise contour from 8,300 in 2012 to 15,100 in 2023.
London City Airport is also adjacent to the Newham Air Quality Management Area in which several sites haved breached legal air quality limits designed to protect health.
The planning application was originally turned down by the Mayor of London based on its anticipated noise impacts, leading to the application going to Appeal. The local campaign group Hacan East acted as a rule 6 party, allowing them to question the airport’s expansion plans.
Following his election as Mayor, Sadiq Khan, dropped the Mayor’s opposition and the new Government has now announced the go-ahead for the scheme in a joint statement from several members of the Cabinet.
Commenting on the announcement, AEF’s Deputy Director, Cait Hewitt Said:
“The Government’s decision to grant permission to London City Airport’s expansion plans will significantly increase the number of flights in a heavily populated area where noise and air pollution are already damaging people’s health and wellbeing. It is hard to see how an increase in aircraft and in passengers travelling to and from London City can be compatible with the Mayor’s ambitious plans to tackle air pollution in London.
“Meanwhile, the Government is continuing to approve growth of the aviation industry without a plan in place for tackling its climate change emissions.”
Image credit: Jonathan E. Shaw via Flickr