London City Airport: Wikis


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London City Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Global Infrastructure Partners
Operator London City Airport Ltd.
Serves London, England
Location London Borough of Newham
Elevation AMSL 19 ft / 6 m
Coordinates 51°30′19″N 000°03′19″E / 51.50528°N 0.05528°E / 51.50528; 0.05528 (London City Airport)Coordinates: 51°30′19″N 000°03′19″E / 51.50528°N 0.05528°E / 51.50528; 0.05528 (London City Airport)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 1,508 4,984 Grooved concrete
Statistics (2009)
Aircraft movements 76,861
Passengers 2,796,890
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

London City Airport (IATA: LCYICAO: EGLC) is a single-runway STOLport, an airport for use by STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) airliners. It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a former Docklands site, 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi)[1] east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in East London, England. It was developed by the engineering company Mowlem in 1986/87. In 2009 London City was the fifth busiest airport in terms of passengers and aircraft movements serving the London area after Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton and the 15th busiest in the UK.[2]

London City Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P728) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flight training. Only multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft with special aircraft and aircrew certification to fly 5.5 degree approaches are allowed to conduct operations at London City Airport.[3]

The airport has produced a master plan outlining their vision for growth up to 2030. The plan shows an expansion of the airport to a maximum capacity of 8 million passengers per annum, without the addition of a second runway, or significant expansion of the airport boundaries.[4]

London City Airport was purchased from the Irish businessman Dermot Desmond, in October 2006 by a consortium comprising AIG Financial Products Corp. and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for an undisclosed sum. In the final quarter of 2008 GIP became the sole owners of the airport. In 2009, London City Airport served nearly 2.8 million passengers, a 14.2% reduction compared with 2008.[2]


History of the airport


Proposal and construction

The airport was first proposed in 1981 by Reg Ward, who was Chief Executive of the newly formed London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) that was responsible for the regeneration of the area. He in turn discussed the proposal with Sir Philip Beck (Chairman of John Mowlem & Co plc) and the idea of an airport for Docklands was born. By November of that year Mowlem and Brymon Airways had submitted an outline proposal to the LDDC for a Docklands STOLport city centre gateway.[5]

On 27 June 1982 Brymon Captain Harry Gee landed a de Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft on Heron Quays, in the nearby West India Docks, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the STOLport project. Later that year the LDDC published a feasibility study, an opinion poll amongst local residents showed a majority in favour of the development of the airport, and Mowlem submitted the application for planning permission.[5]

The terminal buildings

A 63 day planning inquiry started on 6 June 1983. By the middle of the following year, Nicholas Ridley the Secretary of State for Transport had indicated that he was disposed to agree the application, but asked for further details. After the failure of a court case brought by the Greater London Council in 1985, outline planning permission was granted in May of that year, followed by the grant of detailed planning permission in early 1986.[5]

Construction began on the site shortly after permission was granted, with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales laying the foundation stone of the terminal building on 29 May 1986. The first aircraft landed on 31 May 1987, with the first commercial services operating from 26 October 1987. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London City Airport in November of the same year.[5]

Placing a commercial airport into congested airspace (the London Terminal Area (TMA)) was a challenge for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). In the event, a new airspace authority, Thames Radar, was established to provide a radar control service and provide safe separations for London City arrivals and departures.[citation needed]

Opening and runway extension

Passenger aircraft takes off from London City Airport

In 1988, the first full year of operation, the airport handled 133,000 passengers. The earliest scheduled flights were operated to and from Plymouth, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. With a runway of only 1,080 m (3,543 ft) in length, and a glideslope of 7.5 degrees (for noise abatement reasons), the airport could only be used by a very limited number of aircraft types, principally the Dash 7 and the smaller Dornier Do 228. In 1989, the airport submitted a planning application to extend the runway, allowing the use of a larger number of aircraft types.[5][6]

In 1990 the airport handled 230,000 passengers, but the figures fell drastically after the Gulf War and did not recover until 1993, when 245,000 passengers were carried. By this time the extended runway had been approved and opened (on 5 March 1992). At the same time the glideslope was reduced to 5.5 degrees, still steep for a European airport, but sufficient to allow a larger range of aircraft, including the BAe 146 regional jet liner, to serve the airport.[5]

By 1995 passenger numbers reached the half million, and Mowlem sold the airport to Irish businessman Dermot Desmond. Five years later passenger numbers had climbed to 1,580,000, and over 30,000 flights were operated. In 2002 a jet centre catering for corporate aviation was opened, as well as additional aircraft stands at the western end of the apron. In 2003 a new holding point was established at the eastern end of the runway, enabling aircraft awaiting takeoff to hold there whilst other aircraft landed.[5]

Further expansion

By 2006, more than 2.3 million passengers used the airport. On 2 December 2005, London City Airport DLR station opened on a branch of the Docklands Light Railway, providing rail access to the airport for the first time, and providing fast rail links to Canary Wharf and the City of London. On 30 November 2006, the airport was sold to a consortium consisting of insurer AIG and Global Infrastructure Partners.

London City Airport was granted planning permission to construct an extended apron with four additional aircraft parking stands and four new gates to the east of the terminal in 2001. Work is now completed, with the four new stands and gates operational as of 30 May 2008. They are carried on piles above the water of the King George V Dock.[7]

In September 2009, British Airways commenced the first scheduled transatlantic flights from the airport, with a twice daily service to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport using a specially configured Airbus A318 aircraft. The A318 is the smallest airliner to operate transatlantic since BA's own corporate predecessor, BOAC, began the first jet flights "across the pond" on October 4, 1958, with the De Havilland Comet 4. The first day of the service, which was launched one week after Willie Walsh of British Airways pledge to the United Nations that aviation would deliver deep cuts in carbon emissions, was disrupted by activists from Plane Stupid and Fight the Flights dressed up in business suits.[8][9][10]

The airport today

LCY is located in Greater London
The location of London City Airport within Greater London
London City Airport runway with Canary Wharf in the background.


The airport has stringent rules imposed to limit the noise impact from aircraft operations. This, together with the physical dimensions of the 1508m (4948 ft) long runway and the steep glideslope, limits the aircraft types that can use London City Airport.

Mid-range airliners seen at London City include the ATR 42 (both -300 and -500 variants), ATR72, Airbus A318, DHC Dash 8, BAe 146, Dornier 328, Embraer ERJ 135, Embraer 170,[11] and Fokker 50. Successful compatibility testing for the A318 was undertaken in 2006. On January 30, 2009, trials were completed successfully with the ATR72-500, leading to its approval for use at the airport.[12] The Embraer 190SR underwent trials from the 28th of March, 2009, and thereafter gained approval.[12]

British Airways trans-Atlantic service to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport uses a pair of Airbus A318s that are configured for just 32 passengers in Club World "flat bed" seats. The flights revive the prestigious BA001, 002, 003 and 004 flight numbers, previously used for BA's Concorde operations. Flights take on enough fuel to reach Shannon, Ireland; with a full load of fuel, the A318's takeoff roll is too long for London City's runway. Upon arrival at Shannon, the airliner's fuel tanks are completely filled to complete a non-stop flight to Kennedy. Because of this stopover and the A318's slightly lower cruising speed compared to other transatlantic airliners, the trip from London to New York takes 90 minutes more than a comparable flight from Heathrow International Airport. However, passengers use the stop over to obtain customs pre-clearance, allowing them to bypass customs in New York. The eastbound flight into London City is non-stop.[13][14][15][16][17]

Corporate aircraft such as the Beechcraft Super King Air, Cessna CitationJet series, Hawker 400, Hawker 800, Piaggio Avanti and variants of the Dassault Falcon business jets are increasingly common. Helicopters are denied access for environmental reasons.

The size and layout of the airport and overall complexity caused by the lack of taxiways mean that the airport gets very busy during peak hours. The air traffic controllers have to deal with over 38 flights an hour on a runway requiring a lengthy backtrack for each aircraft needing to depart from runway 28 or land on runway 10.

Operations are restricted to 06.30 to 22.00 Monday to Friday, 06.30 to 12.30 on Saturdays and 12.30 to 22.00 on Sundays. The closure of the airport between 12.30 on Saturday and 12.30 on Sunday gives residents some relief from noise.[18]

The size of the airport, constrained by the water-filled Royal Albert and King George V docks to the north and south respectively, means that there are no covered maintenance facilities for aircraft.

Terminal facilities

London City Airport is small compared with the other four London international airports. Due to its proximity to London's Docklands and financial district its main users are business travellers, but leisure traveller numbers are increasing.[citation needed] Inside the terminal there are 22 check-in desks plus self-service kiosks for Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, VLM Airlines, KLM, Luxair, Swiss International Air Lines and SAS. There are fourteen gates at London City Airport, with a further four stands to the west connected via an airside bus.

The airport flight path restricts the maximum height of new skyscrapers in and around Canary Wharf, and the management keeps a watch on planning applications for tall buildings in the area.

London City Airport is the closest private jet centre to central London. In 2005 the centre was voted the best corporate aviation passenger handling facility in Europe by European Business Air News.[citation needed]

London City Airport has free Wi-Fi for all its passengers[19]. It is available throughout the terminal area and the Business Centre (located in City Aviation House).

London City is at its busiest during the winter months, when a number of airlines, most notably Swiss International and CityJet, fly to ski resort gateway destinations. Zurich, Geneva, Strasbourg and Milan are among the destinations popular among winter sports enthusiasts.[20]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Aer Arann Isle of Man
Air France operated by CityJet Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Edinburgh, Jersey, Luxembourg, Nantes, Paris-Orly
Air France operated by ScotAirways for CityJet Dundee, Edinburgh
Air Southwest Newquay, Plymouth
Alitalia operated by Air One Milan-Linate
Baboo Geneva, Venice-Marco Polo
British Airways New York-JFK
British Airways operated by BA CityFlyer Amsterdam, Barcelona [seasonal], Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva [seasonal], Glasgow-International, Ibiza [begins 21 May; seasonal][21], Madrid, Nice, Palma de Mallorca [begins 21 May; seasonal][21], Zürich
British Airways operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia Billund
Cimber Sterling Copenhagen [begins 29 March]
KLM operated by VLM Airlines Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam
Lufthansa Regional operated by Contact Air Düsseldorf [ends 26 March]
Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine Frankfurt, Munich
Luxair Luxembourg
Scandinavian Airlines operated by Cimber Sterling Copenhagen [ends 27 March]
Swiss International Air Lines operated by Swiss European Air Lines Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva, Zürich

Ground transport

London City Airport DLR station

London City Airport is linked to London's new financial district at Canary Wharf and to the traditional financial district of the City of London via the Docklands Light Railway, and with an interchange to the London Underground. London City Airport DLR station is situated immediately adjacent to the terminal building, with enclosed access to and from the elevated platforms.

The airport is served by London Bus services 473 and 474 running to local East London destinations. However, the express shuttle buses, which formerly ran to various destinations, were withdrawn after the DLR line was built. The airport has both a short-term and a long-term car park, both within walking distance of the terminal and a taxi rank outside the terminal door.

Future of the airport

Terminal Redevelopment

There are plans to rebuild and refurbish the terminal over the next three years. The exterior of terminal building will remain the same, but the internal infrastructure will be rebuilt to better utilise the space and handle the projected increase in passenger numbers.

Airport masterplan

In response to the UK government white paper The Future of Air Transport, the airport operators have produced a master plan outlining their vision for growth up to 2030. The plan was subject to public consultation during spring 2006, and has been republished incorporating comments from this consultation. The master plan shows a phased expansion of the airport, giving the capability of handling 8 million passengers per annum by 2030. It does not propose the addition of a second runway, or significant expansion of the airport boundaries.[4]

Phase 1 of this development would be undertaken by 2015. It would include the in-progress construction of the eastern apron extension and provision of a finger pier to the south of this apron to provide passenger access to aircraft using the new parking stands. The terminal building would also be extended to use the triangle of land between it and the railway station. The existing jet centre serving corporate aviation would be extended, a new hangar built to allow aircraft maintenance, and a replacement fire station provided.[22]

Phases 2 and 3 would be undertaken between 2015 and 2030. Further aircraft parking stands would be built to the east of the terminal, and a taxiway would be constructed alongside and to the south of the runway, to avoid the need for aircraft to back-track on the runway. Both these developments would involve further reduction in the water area of the King George V Dock. The existing fuel farm would be relocated to a site at the east of the airport, where it could be supplied by barge, and linked to a hydrant based supply system, thus eliminating both road tanker deliveries and on-airport fuel bowser movements. The existing surface car park would be replaced by a multi-storey car park, allowing extension of the vehicle drop-off and pick up area. The jet centre and hangar facilities would be further extended. Finally the existing terminal building would be replaced.[22]

In line with phase 1 of the master plan, London City Airport made a planning application to the London Borough of Newham in August 2007. This would allow it to increase the number of flights per year from 80,000 to 120,000 by 2010.[23]

In July 2008, the Planning Officer for Newham Council produced a report on the Planning Application.[24] He recommended to grant planning permission from 80,000 to 120,000 per annum.

The decision was deferred by the Council's Development Control Committee at their meeting 30 July 2008, following a request from Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, that the decision be delayed until after a study by the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has been published.[25]

Over 10,000 letters were sent to local residents of which 1,109 replied, 801 with objections and 308 in support.[24] The 801 objections mainly concerned increase in noise, increase in air pollution, surface transport, socio-economics and regeneration. The 308 supporters mainly concerned the reduction of air pollution, an alternative London and 2012 Olympic gateway, additional jobs, and benefiting to the local economy.[24] The residents campaign group Fight the Flights is opposed to expansion due to noise.[25]

On 29 September 2009, Fight the Flights the local residents campaign are taking Newham Council to court over the decision to allow a 50% increase from 76,000 to 120,000 flights.[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b London/City - EGLC
  2. ^ a b c UK Airport Statistics: 2009 - annual
  3. ^ "Certification Standards for London City Airport" (PDF). London City Airport. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  4. ^ a b "London City Airport Master Plan". London City Airport. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Airport History". London City Airport Consultative Committee. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Constructing the Airport". London City Airport Consultative Committee. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  7. ^ "London City Airport Master Plan" (PDF). London City Airport. 2006-11. pp. 13. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Can 'son of Concorde' succeed?". The Independent. 2009-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Green groups slam BA over new business class-only flights". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ "ERJ 170 Approved for LCY". Aviation Today. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ Wo;; Flyers Flock to Swanky Flights?, Wall Street Journal, Personal Journal section, September 30, 2009, p.D1 and p.D4
  14. ^ "London City Airport to take a bite of the Big Apple". London City Airport. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  15. ^ "BA to launch business-only transatlantic flights". The Guardian. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  16. ^ "British Air Shuns Heathrow With U.S. Business Shuttle". Bloomberg. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "United Kingdom AIP". NATS. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ History of London City Airport
  21. ^ a b New Spanish Routes Direct from the Docklands
  22. ^ a b "London City Airport Master Plan" (PDF). London City Airport. 2006-11. pp. 24–26. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  23. ^ "London City Airport Planning Application". London City Airport. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  24. ^ a b c "Planning Officer's report on Planning Application" (PDF). London Borough of Newham. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  25. ^ a b "City flights decision is delayed". BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  26. ^ "Council sued on City flights rise". BBC. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 

External links

Simple English

London City Airport (IATA: LCYICAO: EGLC) is a single-runway airport, intended for use by STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) airliners, and principally serving the financial districts of London. It is located on a former Docklands site, directly opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in East London, England, and was developed by the engineering company Mowlem in 1986/87. London City is the fifth-largest international airport in size serving the London area after Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton.

London City Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P728) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction, subject to an aircraft being approved for a 5.5 degree or steeper approach.

The airport has produced a master plan outlining their vision for growth up to 2030. The plan shows a phased expansion of the airport to a maximum capacity of 8 million passengers per annum, without the addition of a second runway, or significant expansion of the current airport boundaries. [1]

London City Airport was purchased in October 2006 by a consortium comprising AIG Financial Products Corp. and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for an undisclosed sum. Speculation suggests the sale is valued at over £750 million. In 2007, London City Airport experienced a record 2.9 million passengers; a 23 percent rise over 2006.

Since 1996 the airport has been managed by its Chief Executive, Richard Gooding OBE.



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