Growth finally coming for London airports


A London airport is finally set to see increased capacity thanks to new construction. The bad news is that it is not approval for the third runway at Heathrow. But London City Airport will (finally) see a proper parallel taxi-way built as well as a terminal extension. Seven new aircraft parking positions will be included. The efforts are intended to allow for up to 50% more passengers to pass through the facility annually by 2025.

Limits at London City Airport

Operations at London City Airport are limited for a variety of reasons, including the short (4,900 feet) runway and strict noise restrictions for flights. But the lack of a parallel taxiway means that flights must be sequenced to allow aircraft to taxi on the runway to the small turnaround area at the eastern end. The new taxiway will allow for aircraft to move the full length without encroaching the active runway.

The new taxiway will extend the length of the London City Airport runway rather than requiring planes to taxi on the active runway
The new taxiway will extend the length of the London City Airport runway rather than requiring planes to taxi on the active runway

The noise restrictions are mitigated somewhat by the fact that newer planes are quieter than prior generations. Just as happened with Long Beach Airport in California adding more flights based on the total noise envelope, so too will London City Airport be able to add more flights as the noise produced per aircraft drops. That means more potential destinations and airlines, too.

Read More: Heathrow Third Runway Cleared for Arrival

The London City airport authority suggests the expansion will “open up opportunities for airlines for longer-haul destinations including The Gulf and Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the east coast of the United States.” It is unclear just how much of that will happen without further changes (i.e. a longer runway) but Turkey and Russia are definitely in play. Using the CS100 as the gold standard in this case for what can be expected out of City Airport you can see in the map below that some growth is likely, though the Middle East and North America are still outside the flight envelope.

Where can you fly from London City Airport? Should look something like this on the CS100
Where can you fly from London City Airport? Should look something like this on the CS100

London has been stymied in growth for far too long. The third runway at Heathrow remains a pipe dream right now, with the ever-shifting politics constantly delaying an actual decision and progress on any real activity. And, particularly in the face of the economic turmoil associated with the Brexit decision, any growth should be welcome as it solidifies the city’s position as an economic center.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

3 Comments

  1. Flew out of there last weekend – horribly crowded, ridiculously hectic terminal, it might be convenient to fly into, but I’ll hope to never have to fly out again. Convenient to downtown maybe, but.

  2. St. Johns, NF is in North America and within range. Not that it does much good, but Air Canada does have YYT-LHR flights, so there must be SOME demand.

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