London City Airport (LCY) will appeal a decision blocking its application to extend operating hours and increase the current cap on annual passenger throughput from 6.5 million to nine million. The London borough of Newham recently rejected the planning application, which was lodged by the privately owned airport in December 2022.
The planning application proposed allowing three more flights in the first half hour of weekday operations between 6:30 and 7 a.m. The airport has also sought permission to allow flights until 6:30 p.m. on weekends and until 7:30 p.m. during summer months. Flights are currently permitted at LCY until 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on weekends.
Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee rejected the application on the grounds that the changes would increase noise impact on local residents. The airport said, however, that it will not increase the total number of annual permitted aircraft movements above the current cap of 111,000.
“The proposals will improve choice and connections for our customers, as well as create considerable employment opportunities and support economic growth in local areas,” commented Tom Stoddart, CEO of British Airways CityFlyer. “The proposed extended Saturday afternoon operating hours will also support the investment in new, more fuel-efficient, and quieter aircraft, which can help benefit the local community.”
According to LCY, its plans to expand operations would create 4,500 jobs and contribute an additional £702 million in gross value to the London economy. The facility is close to the UK capital’s Docklands business and financial district.
The airport’s facilities include the Private Jet Centre FBO, which is available to operators approved to use its 5.5-degree steep approach. Individual aircraft types also need to be cleared to use the airport.
“We have worked incredibly hard to develop proposals that genuinely reflect concerns raised, sought feedback from our local community, and worked closely with the Council’s planning officers,” commented LCY chief executive Robert Sinclair. “If the appeal can be determined shortly, our airlines will be able to progress re-fleeting to cleaner, quieter, new-generation aircraft sooner, delivering more choice for passengers, more jobs for local people, and reducing the overall noise impact as early as next summer.”
LCY will need to lodge an appeal to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate. Its hope is that this agency will set up a public inquiry process under the auspices of an independent planning inspector.