London City Airport to celebrate 25th anniversary with upgrade

 
Marion Dakers
LONDON City Airport is planning £15m-worth of work on its terminal next year, it announced today as it marks 25 years in business.

The airport said it will upgrade its departure gates, lounges and baggage services in a 12 to 18-month overhaul planned to start in early 2013.

Chief executive Declan Collier said: “With the investment we’ve announced today and further infrastructure work over the next three years, we can reach our permitted capacity, maintain our high standards and absorb some European air traffic from other airports in the south east that are beginning to feel the strain.”

Collier hopes to increase the number of flights passing through the airport from 70,000 a year to 120,000, the maximum capacity allowed under a planning deal with the London Borough of Newham.

Around 3.2m passengers will use London City Airport this year, but there are hopes that it could eventually take as many as 10m.

The airport will remain open throughout the overhaul, and it does not foresee disruption to passengers.

London City Airport was opened by the Queen on 5 November 1987, when it offered flights to just three destinations: Brussels, Paris and Plymouth. Now 10 airlines operate routes to around 45 cities.

The firm is 75 per cent owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, which also owns Gatwick and Edinburgh airports.