Three quarters of business decision-makers (82%) say aviation capacity in the South East is necessary for business growth in London, and more than half (55%) say more capacity will be needed before 2029, according to a ComRes survey conducted on behalf of London City Airport.
Unlocking aviation capacity in the short-term is therefore crucial and requires immediate action.
London City Airport fully supports London Chamber of Commerce’s priorities for keeping transport moving. Indicators show that UK airports had their busiest ever year in 2015 – London City certainly did, welcoming 4.3m passengers in the year, an 18% increase from 2014.
Growth continues apace and yet a decision on any new runway has still not been made.
The Airports Commission recommended that the UK should make best of existing capacity in the short term. It is crucial that we are allowed to deliver on this recommendation, to boost connectivity and support London’s businesses trading overseas.
With permission to expand, London City Airport can develop its infrastructure to reach an already permitted number of flights, delivering 32,000 extra flights per year to the London system by 2025, with the first phase operational in 2018. That’s at least a decade sooner than any new runway can be delivered in the South East, unlocking much-needed capacity that can help free up slots at Heathrow for long-haul by moving selected short-haul services to London City.
Expansion will enable the airport to serve new destinations such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe and east coast of the US, from London’s Zone 3, just 15 minutes from Canary Wharf and 22 minutes from Bank. It will enable the airport to welcome 6.5m passengers per year by 2025, and it will create more than 2,000 jobs in East London (1,600 airport jobs and 500 during construction).
London City Airport does not need a new runway, or an extension to the existing one, it simply needs to be allowed to make the most of what it already has. As the airport in the UK with by far the highest proportion of business travellers (52%), a capacity boost at London City means a boost for London’s businesses.
Airports generate income, create jobs, enable trade and nurture tourism, and yet future growth is being stifled. Let’s stop wasting time and get on with doing what’s best for London.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport