London City Airport has submitted an application to the London Borough of Newham to make changes to its existing planning permission. 

 The application follows a ten-week local consultation carried out by the airport and includes: increasing the current planning cap on the number of passengers from 6.5 million to 9 million passengers per annum by 2031; and an extension to the operating hours on Saturday from the current closing time of 12.30pm to 6.30 pm, with an additional hour in summer for arriving flights only, up to a maximum of 12. The airport has also requested permission for three additional flights in the first half hour of operations on Mondays to Saturdays (6.30am-6.59am),with a new limit of nine flights instead of the current limit of six, and 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.

The airport is not seeking any increase to the annual number of permitted flights, which will remain at 111,000, nor a change to the existing 8-hour nightly curfew. No additional infrastructure will be required, Sunday operations will be unchanged, and there will be no change to the restrictions in the last 30 minutes of operations, which will remain capped at 400 per annum for late departing or arriving aircraft 

In a first for a UK airport, London City will mandate that only cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft will be allowed to operate in any newly extended hours on a Saturday, and for any new flights in the first half hour of the day. This is intended to result in airlines replacing their older fleets with new-generation aircraft in order to benefit from any increased flexibility, which in turn will accelerate the benefits of quieter aircraft for local residents throughout the week as the airport becomes home to one of the youngest, most modern, aircraft fleets in the country, according to LCY.  

The proposals have been developed in close consultation with the airport’s major airlines, it said.

The growth in passenger numbers will also create almost 2,200 additional jobs across London, with 1,340 being created at LCY itself, and the plans include further enhancements to its sound insulation scheme. The airport plans to create a Transport Fund which could be used to improve bus connections between the airport and the Elizabeth Line and enhanced DLR operations in the mornings, benefiting staff, passengers, and local residents.  

Commenting on the plans, the airport’s chief executive, 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.” 

Image: London City Airport