Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted may all be bigger but London City Airport is in reality the only airport within the city and all the others claim to be London airports but are in fact outside!
Almost floating within the docks of East London it is also being floated on the financial markets with some major airport investors who seem to think that it is a good buy at around the £2bn !
Seemingly a roaring financial success, however the newer quieter planes are certainly not and that should please its nearby residents if it’s allowed to grow and take British Airways with their unique long haul answer and watch this video of how they get their New York flight in to London City with minimum noise!
Although the airport is surrounded mostly by water, which is almost a ‘Boris Island’, which is what Boris Johnson former Mayor of London wanted in the first place.
The airport needs to be more efficient and even though the airport is allowed to develop within the operational plans already agreed and passed by the local planners; Boris has opposed by throwing a foreign object into planning process, stalling the current flight path of growth however the airport believe it will only be a temporary cloud on the horizon.
The development that Boris has objected to is that of building a parallel taxiway and an extension to the west of the terminal building. The airport could then be capable of handling around 45 aircraft movements per hour where at the moment it’s around 30ish.
Plus that expansion could mean some 1,500 new jobs for the immediate area!
Airports do have their drawbacks but good, regular, full time, well paid jobs in East London to me sounds like good news for working people of Newham?
High Tech London City Airport
The airport is certainly on the up in other areas making the most of modern technology with computer programmes like ‘Crowd Vision’ that tracks passengers through the terminal giving the airport an insight into how well their multi-airline ticketing and new automated check-in machines and staff are dealing with the passenger flow at all times throughout the day. They claim that 20 minutes from door to gate is more than achievable.
Although it is possible to get through in a handful of minutes the average time spent there is around 67 minutes. With a sponsored high-tech public lounging area by Bloomberg being one idea running for the next three years.
At the moment they are expanding the Western Pier, which is where most of the departure gates are and the £16million programme will increase the area by some 84% and include additional seating for 600 passengers.
Since 2010 passenger numbers have steadily increased and this year it’s 4.2 million and five years ago it was 2.8 million.
Currently 10 airlines fly from the airport 57% of those passengers are from the business sector and the airport is serving nearly around 45 destinations.
Next May is to see a new British Airways route to Bergerac in France and with newer longer range and more fuel-efficient planes coming through all the time the Middle East is a target market for them!
Inbound arrivals they say can get you from tarmac to train in 15 minutes. With 70% of its passengers using the passport immigration ‘E’ Gates getting away is pretty quick.
The Docklands Light Railway that handles a huge percentage of it’s passengers to and from the airport. Therefore you can be in central London in just over 20 mins for a few pounds!
This small but plucky airport even argue that some of the short-haul flight slots currently being flown from Heathrow could be transferred to them, which would free up things west of London, but personally I would not hold my breath on that one!
Although it does remind me of the mouse that dared to roar!