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London City Airport (IATA: LCY, ICAO: EGLC) is an international airport in London. It is located in the Royal Docks in the London Borough of Newham, approximately 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) east of the City of London and a shorter distance east of Canary Wharf. These are the twin centres of London’s financial industry, which is a major user of the airport. The airport was developed by the engineering company Mowlem in 1986–87 and is currently owned by a consortium of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), OMERS, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management of the Kuwait Investment Authority.
London City Airport has a single 1,500-metre (4,900 ft) long runway, and a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P728) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flight training (but only for training necessary for the operation of aircraft at the airport). Only multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft with special aircraft and aircrew certification to fly 5.5° approaches are allowed to conduct operations at London City Airport. The largest aircraft which can be used at the airport is the Airbus A318.
In 2015, London City served over 4.3 million passengers, an 18% increase compared with 2014 the largest percentage growth among London airports, and a record total for London City. It was the fifth busiest airport in passengers and aircraft movements serving the London area after Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton and the 13th busiest in the UK.
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 DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprop 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.
A 63-day planning inquiry started on 6 June 1983. By the middle of the following year, Nicholas Ridley the Secretary of State for Transport had indicated that he was disposed to agree the application, but asked for further details. The Greater London Council brought an action in the High Court of Justice to reopen the inquiry. After the High Court dismissed the action in March 1985, outline planning permission was granted in May of that year, followed by the grant of detailed planning permission in early 1986.
Construction began on the site shortly after permission was granted, with Charles, 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 under congested airspace (the London Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA)) was a challenge for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). In the event, a new air traffic control service position was commissioned to provide services to aircraft in the airspace, Thames Radar, providing a radar control service, separating and expediting London City arrivals and departures and the regular traffic crossing and operating within the local area.
Opening and runway extension
Plaque commemorating the landing by Captain Harry Gee at Heron Quays in 1982
In 1988, the first full year of operation, the airport handled 133,000 passengers. The earliest scheduled flights were operated to and from Plymouth, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. With a runway of only 1,080 m (3,543 ft) in length, and a slope of the glidepath of 7.5° (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 glidepath was reduced to 5.5°, still steep for a European airport (the slope of an airport glidepath is normally 3.0°), 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 half a 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 to corporate aviation was opened, as well as additional aircraft stands at the western end of the apron. In 2003 a new ground holding point was established at the eastern end of the runway, enabling aircraft awaiting takeoff to hold there whilst other aircraft landed.
Courtesy : Wikipedia