London City Airport: 25 Years of Deception
On the weekend that the Queen visited London City, a quarter of a century after she opened it, the campaign group HACAN East has claimed that residents have suffered ‘25 years of deception’. They have issued a pamphlet outlining the list of broken promises made by the airport to local people (City Airport, 25 years of broken promises). This shows how within a few years of the airport being allowed to open on the basis that there would be no more than just over 30,000 flights a year, using turbo-prop aircraft, it applied for permission to extend the runway and use larger aircraft. By 2009 it had permission to operate 120,000 jet aircraft a year. There has been a serious con played on local people by the ruthless airport aided by the weakness of Newham council.
London City Airport: 25 Years of Deception
“It’s been a right royal con, ma’am”
On the weekend that the Queen visited London City, a quarter of a century after she opened it, the campaign group HACAN East has claimed that residents have suffered ‘25 years of deception’.
The campaign group, which represents residents under the London City and Heathrow flights paths, has issued a pamphlet outlining the list of broken promises made by the airport to local people (City Airport, 25 years of broken promises).
The pamphlet outlines how, within a few years of the airport being allowed to open on the basis that there would be no more than just over 30,000 flights a year, using turbo-prop aircraft, it applied for permission to extend the runway and use larger aircraft. By 2009 it had permission to operate 120,000 jet aircraft a year.
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, said, “It is just not believable that the airport had any intention of keeping the promises made 25 years ago. It has been a quarter of a century of expansion based on deception. Expansion supported by the local authority, Newham Council, and a supine Consultative Committee which is meant to hold the airport to account”.
Stewart added: “Although no blame can be attached to the Queen, it is simply a right royal con that has been played on local people by the ruthless airport aided by a weak council.”
Details of the history of the airport, and its broken promises, at City Airport, 25 years of broken promises
Promise broken: Just 2 years after it opened an application was made to extend the runway and use larger aircraft.
Another promise broken: Within a few years of that, approval was sought and given to increase the number of flights
Yet another promise broken: Business jets introduced
And another broken promise: Flight numbers allowed to rise to 120,000
Queen marks airport’s 25th birthday
28.7.2012 (Press Association)
The Queen returned to normal duties after her spectacular starring role in the Olympics opening ceremony with James Bond.
After the giddy heights of apparently skydiving with 007 into the Olympic Stadium, she performed one duty she is familiar with – unveiling a plaque.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the 25th anniversary of London City Airport, which has grown into an important transport hub for holidaymakers and business people.
Construction work began on the site in east London in 1986 with the Prince of Wales laying the foundation stone of the terminal building, and a year later it was officially opened by the Queen. The airport has been expanded over the years and today there are 11 airlines flying to more 30 destinations, carrying around three million passengers a year.
The Queen’s visit impressed one talented Paralympian swimmer, who said she loved the monarch’s performance with the secret agent on Friday night.
Amy Marren, 13, from Hornchurch in Essex, is sponsored by the airport and will be competing in the 50m and 400m freestyle races and the 100m backstroke in a few weeks’ time.
The teenager, who was born without a right hand, said: “The Queen and James Bond – that was really really good. I was trying to convince my sister that it wasn’t the Queen skydiving but she wouldn’t believe me.”
Amy was inspired to take up swimming after watching Ellie Simmonds win two golds at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, but never thought she would be competing four years later.
She said: “I saw Ellie swimming and wanted to try it and just took it from there. I never expected to get picked for the team – I was aiming for the Paralympics in Brazil. I’m just looking forward to the experience. I’m not expecting to win a medal but it will be great to take part.”
After meeting senior and long-serving staff at the airport the Queen unveiled a plaque to mark her visit.
Wikipedia on the history of the airport:
History of the airport
Proposal and construction
The airport was first proposed in 1981 by Reg Ward, who was Chief Executive of the newly formed London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) that was responsible for the regeneration of the area. He in turn discussed the proposal with Sir Philip Beck (Chairman of John Mowlem & Co plc) and the idea of an airport for Docklands was born. By November of that year Mowlem and Brymon Airways had submitted an outline proposal to the LDDC for a Docklands STOLport city centre gateway.
On 27 June 1982 Brymon Captain Harry Gee landed a de Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft on Heron Quays, in the nearby West India Docks, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the STOLport project. Later that year the LDDC published a feasibility study, an opinion poll amongst local residents showed a majority in favour of the development of the airport, and Mowlem submitted the application for planning permission.
Construction began on the site shortly after permission was granted, with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales laying the foundation stone of the terminal building, designed by R Seifert and Partners, on 2 May 1986. The first aircraft landed on 31 May 1987, with the first commercial services operating from 26 October 1987. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London City Airport in November of the same year.
Placing a commercial airport into congested airspace (the London Terminal Area (TMA)) was a challenge for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). In the event, a new airspace authority, Thames Radar, was established to provide a radar control service and provide safe separations for London City arrivals and departures.
In 1988, the first full year of operation, the airport handled 133,000 passengers. The earliest scheduled flights were operated to and fromPlymouth, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. With a runway of only 1,080 m (3,543 ft) in length, and a glideslope of 7.5 degrees (for noise abatement reasons), the airport could only be used by a very limited number of aircraft types, principally the Dash 7 and the smaller Dornier Do 228. In 1989, the airport submitted a planning application to extend the runway, allowing the use of a larger number of aircraft types.
In 1990 the airport handled 230,000 passengers, but the figures fell drastically after the Gulf War and did not recover until 1993, when 245,000 passengers were carried. By this time the extended runway had been approved and opened (on 5 March 1992). At the same time the glideslope was reduced to 5.5 degrees, still steep for a European airport, but sufficient to allow a larger range of aircraft, including the BAe 146 regional jet liner, to serve the airport.
By 1995 passenger numbers reached the half million, and Mowlem sold the airport to Irish businessman Dermot Desmond. Five years later passenger numbers had climbed to 1,580,000, and over 30,000 flights were operated. In 2002 a jet centre catering for corporate aviation was opened, as well as additional aircraft stands at the western end of the apron. In 2003 a new holding point was established at the eastern end of the runway, enabling aircraft awaiting takeoff to hold there whilst other aircraft landed.
On 2 December 2005, London City Airport DLR station opened on a branch of the Docklands Light Railway, providing rail access to the airport for the first time, and providing fast rail links to Canary Wharf and the City of London. By 2006, more than 2.3 million passengers used London City Airport.
In October of 2006, the airport was purchased from Dermot Desmond by a consortium comprising insurer AIG Financial Products Corp. and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). In the final quarter of 2008 GIP increased its stake in the airport to 75%, the remaining 25% belonging to Highstar Capital.
London City Airport was granted planning permission to construct an extended apron with four additional aircraft parking stands and four new gates to the east of the terminal in 2001. Work is now completed, with the four new stands and gates operational as of 30 May 2008. They are carried on piles above the water of the King George V Dock.
In September 2009, British Airways commenced the first scheduled transatlantic flights from the airport, with a twice daily service to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport using a specially configured Airbus A318 aircraft. (Technically, only the eastbound leg is transatlantic, as the plane cannot carry enough fuel due to take off weight limitations because of the short runway at the airport; on the westbound leg, the plane stops in Shannon Airport to refuel, during which time passengers avail of US border preclearance.)
The A318 is the smallest airliner to operate transatlantic since BA’s corporate predecessor, BOAC, began transatlantic jet flights on 4 October 1958, with the De Havilland Comet 4. The first day of the service, one week after Willie Walsh of British Airways pledged to the UN that aviation would deliver deep cuts in carbon emissions, was disrupted by activists from Plane Stupid and Fight the Flights dressed up in business suits. (see “Green groups slam BA over new business class-only flights”. The Guardian. 29.9.2009)