LONDON City Airport yesterday hit out at a report that said it should be shut down and turned into houses, deriding the publishers as “turning the clock back 30 years”.
The New Economics Foundation (NEF), a think tank that is partly funded by taxpayers, claims that the 3.3m passengers a year using City Airport could be absorbed into London’s other airports, leaving the Docklands site free for a residential development.
But City Airport pointed out that it provides almost 2,000 jobs and has played a big role in attracting businesses to the Silvertown Quays site and other new east London developments.
“Passengers, especially business passengers, vote with their feet – if they found other airports easier, quicker, or more convenient, they would already be using them,” the firm said.
City Airport has applied for planning permission to build more plane parking stands.
Helen Kersley, author of the NEF report, disagrees. “Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land,” she said.