It follows a 42% increase in passengers at London’s most central airport over the past five years and the continued shift in London’s centre of gravity towards the east, where the rate of growth in population, homes, jobs and office space is higher than any other part of the capital.
At the heart of the draft master plan is sustainability, with measures that will encourage airlines to accelerate investment in the latest generation of cleaner and quieter aircraft that are 17% more fuel-efficient compared to their predecessors. The draft master plan forecasts that these new aircraft, like the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2, could comprise 75% of all jet aircraft by 2035. Several major airlines currently operating from the airport have recently announced plans to re-fleet to these new generation aircraft.
The airport will be carbon neutral by the end of this year and committed earlier this week to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, consistent with the emerging policy of the UK Government, the Mayor of London and the London Borough of Newham.
The draft master plan also sets out how the airport will work with partners to further improve its position as the UK’s best airport for public transport use, raising the proportion of people travelling to and from the airport by public and sustainable modes from 69% today to 80% in 2035. This could be achieved by more capacity and earlier start times on the DLR, the new Crossrail service, adding walking, cycling and riverboat routes, and expanding sustainable transport initiatives for staff.
The airport will retain its eight-hour night time closure, and not permit any noisier aircraft than those currently operating. Most importantly, the airport will also continue to operate within its existing noise contour limit, and seek to reduce this area over the duration of the draft master plan.
The airport can respond to demand by making best use of the existing runway and infrastructure with only limited further development required to 2035. The draft master plan does not consider any provision for a new or extended runway or a new terminal.
The airport predicts that the growth of the airport could create up to 2,500 additional jobs for local people, and will deliver an overall economic contribution of £2 billion per year by 2035. The airport plans to further enhance its excellent track record of sharing the benefits of growth with the local community, and is keen to hear suggestions for how this can be delivered.
With the airport set to welcome over 5 million passengers by the end of this year and based on current trends in the industry and in London, the draft master plan forecasts that the airport will reach its current passenger cap of 6.5m and 111,000 flights in 2022. It also forecasts demand for up to 9.8 million passengers by 2030 and 11 million passengers by 2035, representing only 4% of the London market at that time.
Views are also being sought on some additional operational flexibility in the current restrictions in the first and last 30 minutes of operations and at weekends.
Consultation on the draft master plan lasts for 12 weeks, starting today (Friday 28th June) and ends on 20th September. The airport is encouraging communities and stakeholders to review the documents and provide feedback on how the airport can grow sustainably.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer for London City Airport, said:
“This draft master plan is a long-term vision for London City Airport, detailing how London’s most central airport can meet continued demand sustainably, create jobs and opportunities for East London, and support the capital as a major global city for tourism and business.
“These proposals reflect the airport’s changing role, with an increasing proportion of leisure passengers choosing the airport, and East London’s continued transformation. Most importantly, sustainability is central to our thinking. We have carefully developed these plans to strongly incentivise our airlines to re-fleet to cleaner, quieter new generation aircraft, minimise further construction activity, reduce emissions, limit aircraft noise, preserve air quality, and create meaningful opportunities for our local community.”
A final master plan, taking into account the feedback received during the public consultation, will be published before the end of the year.
Notes for editors
- The current capacity limits of London City Airport, set by the London Borough of Newham, are 111,000 air traffic movements (ATMs) per year and 6.5 million passengers per year.
- The draft master plan forecasts that by 2030, passenger demand to use London City Airport could increase to 9.8 million per year and to 11 million per year by 2035. It is envisaged that the forecast demand could be met with 137,000 movements by 2030 and 151,000 movements by 2035. These forecasts represent 33,000 fewer movements in 2030 than the 2006 master plan, and 20,000 fewer movements in 2035 (a 12% decrease versus the 2006 master plan overall).
- Following a 50/50 split of leisure and business travellers last year, the trend towards a broader customer base at London City Airport is expected to continue, with new forecasts that by 2035 around 64% could be leisure travellers and 36% flying for business purposes.
- The airport is seeking views on allowing more flexibility on the number of flights in the following periods:
- in the first half hour of permitted operations when there is increased demand. This first half hour between 0630hrs – 0700hrs is currently limited to 6 movements;
- in the last half hour of permitted operations for delayed take-offs or arrivals. Flights in the last half hour between 2200hrs – 2230hrs are currently limited to 400 per year, or just more than one per day; and
- at weekends to allow the airport to respond to airline and customer demand for more flexible flight times. There is currently a 24-hour closure at weekends from 1230hrs on Saturday to 1230hrs on Sunday.
- The draft master plan is subject to public consultation for 12 weeks from 28 June to 20 September 2019. Five consultation events are planned:
- Greenwich: Broadwater Village Hall. 1C Goosander Way, West Thamesmead, SE28 0ER/ Tuesday 9th July, 3.30pm until 7.30pm
- Newham: Canning Town Library, Rathbone Market, 18 Barking Rd, E16 1EH. Wednesday 10th July, 4.30pm until 7.30pm
- Central London, The City Centre. 80 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5AR. Wednesday 11th September, 12.00pm until 7.00pm
- Tower Hamlets: Southern Grove Community Centre, Southern Grove, Mile End, E3 4FX. Thursday 12th September, 3.30pm until 7.30pm
- Newham: Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre, Albert Road, Royal Docks, E16 2JB. Saturday 14th September, 10.00am until 4.00pm.
- Interested parties can respond in person, by post, email and online. More information can be found at www.londoncityairport.com/consultation [note: website will go live on Friday 28th June]
- The City Airport Development Programme (CADP) is a £500 million investment which includes eight new aircraft parking stands, a parallel taxiway and an extended and reconfigured passenger terminal. This development received planning permission in July 2016 and is already in progress, with facilities coming from 2022. The draft master plan forecasts take this new infrastructure into account, as well as the UK’s exit from the European Union.