London City Airport is considering submitting an application to increase limits on the number of flights it operates and passenger numbers, according to the Press Association.
The airport’s chief executive Robert Sinclair said the London Docklands gateway will near existing capacity limits in its operations over the next three to four years.
Sinclair is reporting as saying that London City could play an increasingly vital role in providing vital runway capacity in the south-east as Heathrow Airport’s expansion plan is not due to be completed until 2026 at the earliest.
The airport’s capacity is 6.5 million passengers and last year it handled 4.5 million and it operates about 80,000 flights, but it has permission to run 111,000 flights a year.
However, numbers have grown at London City by 50 per cent since 2012 when the airport handled just over three million passengers and are set to soar beyond five million in 2018.
Any proposal submitted to Newham Council to increase flights and passenger numbers is set to be met with criticism from local campaigners on the grounds of added air pollution and noise.
The airport is currently carrying out a £480 million programme to enhance its facilities, including eight new aircraft stands, a full-length parallel taxiway and terminal extension.
Sinclair reportedly forecasts that airlines will in future begin to transfer their short-haul operations from London Heathrow. British Airways has already moved its Paris Orly services from Heathrow to London City.