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10/04/2014

Think-tank demands London City Airport's closure

Words: Huw Morris
London City Airport

London City Airport should be closed with the land put to better use, according to a think-tank today.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) branded the airport as "an example of urban planning gone wrong".
 
Built in the 1980s, City Airport caters for only 2.4 per cent of the capital's passengers. Geared towards business people from nearby Canary Wharf and the City Of London, the average passenger's salary exceeds £90,000.
 
NEF pointed to the nearby ExCel Exhibition and Conference Centre which is roughly the same size but generates £513 million for the UK economy, five times City Airport's direct contribution.
 
At up to 2,000 jobs, the airport's employment offer pales in comparison to the 9,000 jobs expected to be generated from the mixed housing and business development at nearby Silvertown, NEF said.
 
The think-tank argued that 18,000 residents under flight paths in the neighbouring London Borough of Newham suffer noise pollution.
 
"If we are serious about tackling air pollution, inequality and carbon emissions, we need to think big about how we manage aviation," NEF said. "The time is up for developments like London City Airport that destroy more social, environmental and economic value than they create."
 
The think-tank said the onset of Crossrail will slash journey times between the City and Canary Wharf and other London airports.
 

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