London City Airport has published its draft master plan, detailing how it intends to respond to rising demand for business and leisure air travel over the next 15 years. This follows a 42% increase in passenger traffic at London’s most central airport over the past five years.
The airport’s owners said that at the heart of the draft is sustainability, with measures that will encourage airlines to accelerate investment in the latest generation of cleaner and quieter aircraft. It forecasts that new aircraft, such the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2 could comprise 75% of all jet traffic at the facility by 2035. Several major operators have recently announced plans to re-fleet to these new generation aircraft. The airport said it will achieve carbon neutrality by the end of this year and has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, consistent with emerging policy of the UK government, the Mayor of London and the London Borough of Newham.
The draft master plan also sets out how the airport will work with partners to improve public transport links that will include earlier start times on the DLR, the new Crossrail service as well as adding new walking, cycling and riverboat routes and expanding sustainable transport initiatives for staff. The facility will also retain its eight-hour night-time closure, and not permit any nosier aircraft than those currently operating. Most importantly, it will continue to operate within existing noise contour limit as well as seeking to reduce this area over the duration of the draft master plan. This it plans to do with existing runway and infrastructure, with only limited further development required to 2035.
With the airport set to welcome over five million passengers by the end of this year and based on current trends, the plan forecasts that the airport will reach its current passenger cap of 6.5 million and 111,000 movements in 2022. It further predicts that demand will continue increasing to 9.8 million by 2030 and 11 million just five years later. While views are also being sought on some additional operational flexibility in the current restrictions in the first and last 30 minutes of daily operations and also at weekends.
Consultation on the draft master plan lasts for 12 weeks and ends on September 20. The airport is encouraging communities and stakeholders to review the documents and provide feedback on how it can grow sustainably.