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Close London City Airport, says think-tank

The New Economics Foundation has suggested that London City Airport should be closed to make use of the valuable land

A new report from the think-tank claimed that despite occupying 500,000m² at the heart of London, the airport’s direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was just £110 million – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL exhibition centre.

NEF economist Helen Kersley said: ‘Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land. London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities, and gives back very little in return.

‘Now is the perfect time to think about alternatives. Seventy per cent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 – London can lead the way in demonstrating how we can reduce carbon emissions, live within our environmental limits, and achieve a fairer distribution of economic benefits.’

It said the 2.3 million passengers who used the airport last year could easily be redistributed between London’s three main airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

The report has been slammed by London City Airport, which said the airport’s closure would result in a loss of £750 million every year from the UK economy and remove a gateway for inward investment in central and east London. 

The airport currently has plans for expansion – it is part-way through £200 million plan to double its size.

It is awaiting planning permission for a scheme drawn up by Pascall + Watson to extend the airport terminals and construct a new arrivals building, allowing the airport to increase the number of take-offs and landings by 50,000 a year to 120,000.

Previous story (AJ 20.03.13)

Pascall+Watson proposes £200m London City Airport expansion

London City Airport has unveiled plans by Pascall+Watson for a £200million expansion

The architect practice which designed Dublin Airport’s T2 terminal (AJ 11.01.11) has drawn up the plans for the East London airport’s American owner GIP to demonstrate what the facility could look like in 2023.

The scheme features new parking stands for larger planes, a taxilane to provide greater runway capacity and a new extension to the terminal.

The overhaul, which is being considered by Newham Council, would allow City to increase the number of take-offs and landings by 50,000 a year to 120,000.

The airport is not proposing a second runway or extensions to its existing runways.

The airport has told the Davies Commission on airport capacity that it could relieve capacity pressures at other airports by accommodating more short-haul flights.

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