London City Airport wants to expand flight hours and add 3 million customers a year

London City Airport currently has 6.5million annual passengers  (PA Archive)
London City Airport currently has 6.5million annual passengers (PA Archive)

London City Airport is looking to increase passenger numbers by three million per year in applying to increase its cap on customers.

The Docklands-based airport has applied to the local Newham council to increase from 6.5 million to 9 million passengers a year by 2031.

Chiefs have also applied to extend their Saturday closing time from 12.30pm to 6.30pm. They are also looking to extend operational hours by 30 minutes in the mornings and evenings on weekdays to allow runway usage between 6.30am and 7am.

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said the proposals were designed to “ensure that flying from London City becomes more sustainable,” and have been developed in “close consultation with major airline customers”.

He added in a statement: “As we bounce back from the pandemic and demand increases, we need to ensure London City can accommodate the increase in business and leisure passengers forecast over the next decade or so, particularly as east London grows, and more and more passengers choose to fly through London’s fastest and most convenient airport.”

The application follows a 10-week consultation and no changes to the existing eight-hour curfew, that sees flights stopped overnight, will be implemented, it has said.

In addition the number of flights will remain capped at 110,000 per year but greater hours will allow London City to reach this capacity and the wider choice of times could see greater ticket sales.

There will also be no further infrastructure and Saturday flights will have the latest, greenest and most energy efficient planes. Sunday hours would remain at 12.30pm to 10pm.

London City is also looking to build on its links from the DLR by installing bus links to stations that are on the Elizabeth line, which runs to Heathrow Aiport.

Mr Sinclair added in his statement: “The proposals have been very carefully designed with input from our airlines to ensure that flying from London City becomes more sustainable, with more new generation aircraft, reducing noise impacts and emissions per passenger.

“We are committed to working with our local community to ensure our plans work for residents as well as our airlines and passengers.”

The application is expected to go live on Newham Council’s planning portal from January, with opportunity for the borough’s residents to comment.