London City Airport expansion approved

London City Airport won final planning consent this week for its major expansion scheme.

The approval was given by the Government after Boris Johnson had initially blocked the scheme during his time as mayor.

Coming in at a modest – by airport standards – £344m, we are not talking about a Heathrow-style second runway here.  The good news is that the City Airport plans will be delivered far more quickly with the construction work completed by 2019.

If you remember my review of my recent British Airways flight from London City, I was very critical about the ludicrous overcrowding on a Friday evening.  This will hopefully now ease.

Flybe London City

The plans include:

an extended terminal building

a separate taxiway, freeing up runway slots as planes will no longer need to taxi down the runway before turning around and coming back

seven aircraft stands, potentially allowing more larger aircraft such as the Airbus A318 which runs the BA New York service

The airport will also pay for some additional DLR rolling stock as well as improved walking and bike access.  A compensation package will be put in place for local residents who are inconvenienced by the noise from additional aircraft movements.

Total passenger numbers are expected to grow from 4.3m to 6.5m by 2025.

You can find further information on the City Airport website.

New 4-day BA Holidays promo - NYC from £1,199 Club World including hotel!
No Tesco / Avios conversion bonus ... but a competition instead
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. I’d be very happy if I was a local resident, more flights and compensation! I didn’t get any compensation when they improved a nearby train line, which is far more annoying than planes (I lived near SYD)

  2. Stan Calderwood says:

    Delighted to see some snese in th is expansion. Instead of paying lawyers to yesrs to argue for and against, it has benn given approval and the airport is paying some compensation to local residents.
    Can the government please arrane the same for a new runway at LHR. Rather than make hordes of lawyers rich, perphas Heathrow can pay for improvments to schools or hospitals in the area, so local people se a win-win, instead of the ricj lawyers we saw on the T5 development.

  3. Stan Calderwood says:

    Delighted to see some sense in this expansion. Instead of paying lawyers for years to argue for and against, it has been given approval and the airport is paying some compensation to local residents.
    Can the government please arrange the same for a new runway at LHR. Rather than make hordes of lawyers rich, perhaps Heathrow can pay for improvments to schools or hospitals in the area, so local people see a win-win, instead of the rich lawyers we saw on the T5 development.

    • The problem is that the locals will be having their houses pulled down. Sipson village will be wiped off the map entirely.

    • This one’s a no brainier really. Heathrow expansion is a whole different ball game.

      I personally think we need an airport in a different place with much better direct rail links to other airports as well as the centre of London and also an airport which could be further expanded in the future.

      LHR is really not a nice airport compared to, say AMS. It also baffles me why other airports can’t get their security clearance as well organised as AMS.

      • To really clarify what I mean here, if population increase is her to stay, we first need a long term plan with regards to where those people will live (London is pretty much at capacity, should we consider a brand new city?) and then you decide what your airport needs to look like.

        Heathrow expansions fixes yesterday’s problem tomorrow.

      • RIccati says:

        Who can call those stables in AMS an airport.

        Give me T2 or T5 any day! Except for transit :-)

      • Boris Island was a much better idea than people gave him credit for. Just think of the new Hong Kong airport and you’ll see it was logistically very simple (boy, flying into Kai Tak was amazing! I gather Madeira is fun as well but never did that yet!)

        Fast links train/ 6 lane motorway? Easy peasy. 20 mins to Trafalgar Square. Plus you’d have just compensated a few yokels and had the ideal acreage to build Boris New Garden City, population 2 million by 3030. The houses alone could have financed everything!

        • 2030 damned iPad

          • Just the sort of infrastructure project we need to get the economy going. Scrap the stupid High Speed Train project and spend the money where it will actually benefit the UK.

            • My thoughts exactly ref Boris Island or a new airport somewhere else. Perhaps sense will prevail. EG : It’s good to see Mrs May reviewing Hinkley. If you run the maths on it then its an £18bn loan to the UK electricity payer and the terms are 11% APR for 35 years. Just borrow the money and stick the asset on the balance sheet (like they did with bank bail outs) then depreciate it over time as any company accounts would.

              As for AMS, I’m always in transit when I go there and it makes me eternally grateful that I’m not transiting between terminals at LHR.

  4. flyforfun says:

    Some news sites were saying they were expanding the runway, but didn’t make clear what it was (a separate taxiway).

    I hope they make the signage a bit clearer. My other half drove into the long stay car park by accident and freaked when he say how the price jumped after 30 mins. You’d think they’d encourage people to save money if they were prepared to walk (that little bit) more to the airport. Hopefully they will sort this out. They will probably need a multi storey car park now anyway.

  5. Charles Latham says:

    Very few “Local residents” will see any compensation : LCY as usual being rather sparing with the truth .

  6. Local resident here, one who has LCY’s planes go right over his house every day.

    Bring it on I say, no bulldozing of housing, more noise (but come on if you bought a house downwind of an airport you knew what you were buying in to) but with the benefits of more flights and destinations? Yes please. The less trekking to LHR or LGW I have to do the better!

  7. IslandDweller says:

    @flyforfun. Don’t expect cheap parking deals. Part of the planning agreements (existing agreements, not this new one) is a commitment to discourage car use to the airport – hence stratospheric car park charges. Already two thirds of LCY passengers arrive/depart by DLR.