After just a few days as Mayor, Sadiq Khan drops GLA objection to compulsory purchase of land for London City Airport expansion

 

Decision on London City Airport expansion does not rest with Sadiq Khan, but with the Planning Inspector and Secretaries of State

Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, in one of his very first acts, has instructed the Greater London Assembly’s GLA Land to withdraw its objection to London City Airport’s Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of Royal Docks Land, following ‘new’ evidence supplied by the Airport. However, a final decision on the airport’s expansion is not in the Mayor’s hands. The decision rests with the Planning Inspector, who will make a recommendation to both Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Communities Secretary Greg Clark, following the main planning inquiry into expansion of City Airport that concluded on 5th April. A decision is not expected till the summer. The airport wants to CPO 26.4 hectares of GLA land to facilitate their CADP1 expansion programme which includes parts of the London Plan protected Blue Ribbon Network. of waterways and bodies of water. GLA Land was one of four remaining objectors to the expansion plans. However, its change of heart is not critical. The current Inquiry into the CPO has been adjourned until Tuesday 17 May as negotiations between the airport and the DLR continue, with agreement considered likely. The previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, refused permission for expansion on noise grounds.

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Within the first few days as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has re-opened the possibility of expansion at London City Airport. He has dropped the GLA objection to a compulsory purchase order of 26.4 hectares in the Docklands, owned by City Hall.  The airport will get the result of its recent appeal against refusal of expansion plans, by Boris Johnson, later this year.  The GLA said: “The Mayor continues to support the case for improved noise mitigation measures that will be considered by the Secretary of State when he decides on the planning appeal in due course.” Khan had said in November 2015, during his election campaign, that he would look again at the prospect of the airport expanding. Boris had rejected it, on noise grounds.  Meanwhile the owners of London City Airport paid themselves a £27.7m dividend payout last year after the airport attracted its highest ever number of passengers, increasing profits by almost 20%. The airport, while being considered to have the largest proportion of business passengers, in increasingly for leisure trips.  London City’s higher customer numbers last year were in part driven by its new travel routes including Berne, Hamburg, Mykonos and Santorini (all just holiday destinations) and extra flights to Edinburgh, Luxembourg, Geneva and Guernsey.
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Sadiq Khan drops GLA objection to London City Airport land purchase

10 May 2016

By Mark Shales (London 24)

The newly-elected Mayor of London has re-opened the door for a possible expansion of City Airport.

Sadiq Khan dropped a Greater London Authority (GLA) objection to a compulsory purchase order of 26.4 hectares in the Docklands following an inquiry earlier today.  Although the decision only relates to the specific purchase order, the firm will learn if its appeal against previous Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to block its expansion was successful later this year.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor has decided to withdraw the objection to this proposed compulsory purchase of land owned by City Hall following new evidence recently submitted by London City Airport and ongoing negotiations.

“The Mayor continues to support the case for improved noise mitigation measures that will be considered by the Secretary of State when he decides on the planning appeal in due course.”

Activists Hacan East oppose the expansion on various grounds, including noise pollution.

http://www.london24.com/news/sadiq_khan_drops_gla_objection_to_london_city_airport_land_purchase_1_4529860

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Sadiq Khan claimed, wanting to get elected as Mayor, that he wanted a “greener, cleaner” London.

He said: “I want to be the Mayor who makes London one of the world’s greenest cities. Environmental checks are not simply a side concern to be weighed up against economic and social benefits.”

“A greener future is central to my vision for London, to the kind of city I want my children to live in. I want, for all of our children, a city in which the air is clean, green space is accessible, and the energy we consume is increasingly drawn from renewable and local sources. And I want them to work in an economy which leads the world in the new low-carbon technologies and industries that represent the jobs and businesses of the future.”

Cleaning our air

Our most pressing environmental challenge is cleaning up London’s air. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health, as I suffer from adult-onset asthma. So many pollution hotspots in the city are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air, and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”

………. and so it goes on.

Seems he could very quickly forget that, once into the job.  Hypocrisy?

http://www.sadiq.london/a_greener_cleaner_london

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See also:

Decision on London City Airport expansion does not rest with Sadiq Khan, but with the Planning Inspector and Secretaries of State

Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, in one of his very first acts, has instructed the Greater London Assembly’s GLA Land to withdraw its objection to London City Airport’s Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of Royal Docks Land, following ‘new’ evidence supplied by the Airport. However, a final decision on the airport’s expansion is not in the Mayor’s hands. The decision rests with the Planning Inspector, who will make a recommendation to both Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Communities Secretary Greg Clark, following the main planning inquiry into expansion of City Airport that concluded on 5th April. A decision is not expected till the summer. The airport wants to CPO 26.4 hectares of GLA land to facilitate their CADP1 expansion programme which includes parts of the London Plan protected Blue Ribbon Network. of waterways and bodies of water. GLA Land was one of four remaining objectors to the expansion plans. However, its change of heart is not critical. The current Inquiry into the CPO has been adjourned until Tuesday 17 May as negotiations between the airport and the DLR continue, with agreement considered likely. The previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, refused permission for expansion on noise grounds.

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See earlier: 

London City Airport considering a Compulsory Purchase of Royal Docks Waterway and land

London City Airport have notified the GLA and the Planning Inspectorate they are considering Compulsory Purchase Order against the Mayor of London to own the nearly 20 hectares of land and Royal Docks Waterway, which it needs for its huge expansion plans. The airport has discussed these plans with the DfT with a view that any CPO be considered at the Planning Inspectorates Public Inquiry into the Mayor’s expansion refusal. That inquiry is due to be heard in the first quarter of 2016. The enquiry could be extended to consider the CPO. The publicly owned land is the responsibility of the London Mayor.  The Docks are part of the Blue Ribbon Network protected by the London Plan. A 3-week consultation into the purchase would also have to be carried out. An attempted land grab by London City Airport’s hedge fund owners, GIP, would be unprecedented – if approved  -and could see all the Mayor’s Public land assets under attack from private developers. GIP is understood to be keen to sell London City Airport soon, but want planning consent for expansion first, to increase the price to perhaps £1.25 billion. [It actually sold for £2 billion]. GIP also want a 2nd Gatwick runway. Both would raise the price at sale.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/06/london-city-airport-considering-a-compulsory-purchase-of-royal-docks-waterway-and-land/


Also

London City airport sold to Canadian Pension funds, for £2 billion (bought by GIP in 2006 for £760 million)

A Canadian-led consortium of pension funds has beaten rivals to buy London City airport, from GIP, which paid £760 million for it. So that is a hefty profit. The valuation has proved controversial because the largest airline at City airport, BA, threatened to pull most of its aircraft out of the airport if the new owner raised airline charges to cover the high sale price. Willie Walsh, CEO of BA’s owner IAG, considers £2 billion a foolish price. GIP owns 75% of the airport, and Oaktree Capital own 25%. The consortium that has bought the airport is led by the Ontario Teachers’ pension fund. It includes Borealis Infrastructure, which manages funds for one of Canada’s largest pension funds, and also Japanese pension funds. The consortium also includes AimCo and Kuwait’s Wren House Infrastructure Management, which is an investment vehicle owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority. The Canadian Teachers’ pension fund has $160bn in assets, and already owns 4 airports (share of Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels and Copenhagen). HS1 Ltd is jointly owned by Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, both Canadian pension funds. GIP bought the airport for an estimated £750m in 2006 from Dermot Desmond, the Irish financier, who paid just £23.5m for it in 1995 from Mowlem.

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London City Airport pays directors £28m as profits soar 20%

London City Airport’s 2015 profits soared in line with rising passenger numbers

By Jillian Ambrose  (Telegraph)
8 MAY 2016

The owners of London City Airport paid themselves a £27.7m dividend payout last year after the airport attracted its highest ever number of passengers, increasing profits by almost 20%.

London City Airport recorded pre-tax profit of £33.2m for 2015 compared to £27.7m the previous period after passenger numbers climbed 18.4% to 4.3m, up sharply from 3.6m in 2014 and 3.3m in 2013.

The bumper year just weeks after a consortium of Canadian pension funds and the Kuwait Investment Authority snapped up the airport from equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in a deal said to be worth around £2bn.

The airport’s growth outstripped all other major London airports last year, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

London Luton’s passenger numbers grew by 16.8% in 2015 compared to the year before while passengers using Stanstead increased by 12.9pc, Gatwick increased numbers by 4.6% and Heathrow passenger numbers grew by 2.1%.

City’s higher customer numbers were in part driven by its new travel routes including Berne, Hamburg, Mykonos and Santorini; and extra flights to Edinburgh, Luxenbourg, Geneva and Guernsey.

City said it has extended its contracts with CityJet, Swiss, Lufthansa, Flybe, Alitalia and Sunair.

But the airport’s future growth could be hampered by the decision by former London mayor Boris Johnson to block City’s plans for expansion which would see the airport’s capacity rise to 6m by 2023. City is appealing his decision.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/08/london-city-airport-pays-directors-28m-as-profits-soar-20pc/

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Earlier: 

London mayoral election 2016: Labour candidate Sadiq Khan says he would reconsider City Airport

4.11.2015
City AM

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has suggested that he would reverse Boris Johnson’s decision to block expansion at London City Airport, saying today that as mayor he would “reconsider” plans to enlarge the East London airport.

Khan, a former transport minister, said that if elected he would “look again” at the decision “in detail”.

“City Airport is very small in comparison to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick, with a fraction of the number of flights, and would remain so even after this expansion,” Khan said. “We need to make sure that key environmental and noise tests are met, but the proposals would provide the City with a capacity boost and I’m willing to look again at this.”

“London needs more airport capacity to support business to create the growth and jobs of the future. Without more flights, there is a real risk London will be left behind,” he added.

In an interview with City A.M. last month, Khan’s Conservative opponent, Zac Goldsmith, said that he would “be very strongly inclined to support Boris” in opposing City Airport expansion.

“I think that the idea of increasing traffic over that part of London, over a very densely-populated part of London, when it doesn’t seem to me to offer a solution to our capacity issues, I think goes against the grain,” Goldsmith said, adding, “I don’t see it as part of a solution to London’s aviation capacity problem.”

While City Airport is significantly smaller than the likes of Heathrow and Gatwick, its passenger numbers have been grown rapidly in recent years, from 2.8m in 2010 to 4.1m this year.

There are currently around 70,000 take-offs and landings each year, but in 2009 the airport’s owners were granted permission to increase capacity to 120,000 flights.

But the airport’s growth prospects depend largely on its £200m exp­ansion plans, which hit a wall earlier this year when Johnson ordered Newham council to veto the application over fears it would create a “noise ghetto” for people living under the flight path. The council had initially approved the plans, which include extending the terminal, creating extra parking spaces for larger planes and building a new parallel taxi lane to make more efficient use of the existing runway.

http://www.cityam.com/227930/london-mayoral-contest-labour-candidate-sadiq-khan-says-he-would-reconsider-city-airport

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