London Assembly committee opposes expansion of the city’s airport

In a letter to Newham councilors earlier this month, members of the London Assembly said extended opening hours and increased passenger numbers at the city’s airport were inappropriate in light of the net zero target of London by 2030.

Passenger numbers in the city are currently capped at 6.5 million a year, but according to revised proposals submitted to Newham City Council in December, up to 9 million people could be using the airport by 2031.

Zack Polanski, chairman of the assembly’s Environmental Committee and author of the objection letter, argued that the health and well-being of residents would also be compromised by plans to allow flights between 6:30 a.m. and 6:59 a.m. as well as on Saturdays.

He said: ‘(We) do not believe it is appropriate to increase the number of passengers at the City Airport, nor the number of flights from their current levels, regardless of previous limits. Indeed, more needs to be done to proactively reduce noise and emissions to safe limits for human health and London’s environment.”

The airport consortium owners, which include AIMCo, OMERS, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management, previously appointed Pascall + Watson to deliver an airport master plan to accommodate the increase in passengers. Work to deliver that scheme began in 2017 but was suspended in 2020.

Pascall + Watson said in a planning application submitted in December that the retention of temporary airport facilities and an additional temporary passenger building would allow work to restart at an unknown point in its £480m master plan.

The foundations for a new departure lounge and shops are in the ground.

A London City Airport spokesperson told the AJ: ‘The pandemic temporarily halted our plans to build a new terminal building. However, we have permission to build this in the future and we continue to invest in our passengers with our recently announced current terminal upgrade.

‘To enable the delivery of our City Airport Development Program, we built some temporary facilities, which will require a little more time, given the delay in construction.

“Our proposals include no more flights than are already permitted and commit us to fly only new generation, cleaner and quieter aircraft in any new extended period, which will incentivize airlines to bring these aircraft to market.” airport faster.’

Over 500 objections have been lodged to the planned increase in passenger numbers, including from Lewisham Council.

Architects have come under increasing criticism for airport design. Aviation reportedly contributes about 2 percent to global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. The Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) previously told the AJ: “In the face of the climate emergency, it makes no sense to build more airports.”

Pascall + Watson has been contacted for comment.


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