UK airport gains expansion approval, but it’s not Gatwick or Heathrow
27 / 07 / 2016
A London airport has finally been given government approval for expansion, but the airport in question is London City and not Gatwick or Heathrow that have been battling to expand.
The government today announced the go-ahead for a £344m expansion at London City Airport that includes a new terminal, new aircraft taxiway and parking spaces for aircraft.
The development will also allow the airport to handle larger aircraft.
“There will be new space for planes to taxi to and from the runway, so more planes can use it, and new stands for planes to allow bigger, more modern planes to use the airport,” the government said.
“This will mean more flights at peak times, with bigger, newer and, most importantly, quieter planes.”
The east London airport – located close to Canary Wharf areas of the city − mainly caters for shorthaul passenger flights but does handle some cargo. Last year, it handled 1,462 tonnes according to Airports Council International.
The expansion comes as Heathrow and Gatwick are both battling for government permission to build an extra runway –a debate that has been going on for many years.
Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate welcomed London City news but he added that the investment would not solve the airport capacity shortage in the south east.
“Today’s quick decision demonstrates what can be done when an expansion scheme that is deliverable is chosen,” Wingate said.
“The south east however desperately needs even more airport capacity and only Gatwick can deliver it because our plans are simple, low risk and are better for the environment.
“Unlike Heathrow, Gatwick expansion would also be entirely privately financed and does not need a £5bn public subsidy to put the M25 into tunnels or pay for new rail links.”
Meanwhile, the British Aviation Group urged the government to finally make a decision on whether to allow expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick following the appointment of Theresa May as the country’s new prime minister.
British Aviation Group Chairman Chris Chalk said: “We look forward to the new administration making clear that Britain is open for business by pressing ahead with airport expansion without further delay.
“This investment, funded through the private sector, will bring high skilled employment throughout the UK and a major boost to the economy as well as much needed long term connectivity for the country.”