London City airport launched today a 10-week consultation over its existing planning permission to increase passenger capacity to 9 million by 2031.
Following the end of travel restrictions, the east London hub has forecast that 3 million passengers will pass through its gates this year, with numbers set to increase to pre-pandemic levels – 5 million – by 2024.
According to airport executives, increasing the passenger cap will not require any additional infrastructure or changes to the eight-hour night curfew.
“London City airport plays an incredibly important role in quickly and easily connecting London to the rest of the UK and the world for both business and leisure travel,” said the airport’s boss Robert Sinclair.
Increased capacity, the airport said, will also lead to more than 2,000 new jobs, providing a boost to local business productivity of £530m per year.
People living in the airport’s proximity will also be called to have their say on whether the airport could extend its working hours on Saturday.
Under the current regulation, the airport is operational on Saturdays from 6.30am to 12.40pm but if the new proposal were to go ahead, City would be open also during the afternoon and evening.
Additional flexibility in the first and last 30 minutes of operations has also been sought, as the airport would like to double the number of planes operating in that time frame.
The proposal is based on the condition that airlines operating during the new time slots will only use new generation aircraft, which are quieter and greener.
Airlines operating at City welcomed the news, saying it will provide “more choice and flexibility” for customers.