London City Airport has temporarily halted its £500m development programme due to decreasing passenger numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic
London City Airport has decided to pause the development programme. Current work will continue on new aircraft stands, a full-length parallel taxiway and new passenger facilities.
Work on further stages, including the new terminal extension, is being reconsidered.
At the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, the airport took the decision to suspend commercial flights, re-opening on 21 June.
During that period, the airport worked with contractors to adapt working methods to meet new health and safety standards and made significant progress with crucial elements of the scheme.
At the start of September, a new immigration facility will be opened to passengers which will include 10 new E-gates.
Additionally, construction of a new baggage facility with increased capacity and resilience, will be operational next summer.
While over the summer there has been a return to flying, the recovery of the UK aviation market has been slower than expected with demand well below normal levels, including at London City, where passenger volumes will be well down on the 5.1 million passengers who used the airport last year.
The airport says it has become clearer that the recovery to previous levels will take longer than initially expected.
It is in this context that the airport has decided to re-evaluate the timing of the next phases of the development programme, including the new terminal extension.
Restoring confidence in UK aviation
Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said: “Given our location in the heart of London, and the resilient nature of aviation, the airport and our shareholders remain very confident about the long-term prospects of London City and the vital role we can play in re-connecting London and the British economy as we recover from the shock of Covid-19.
“For the time being, we have taken the decision to focus our attention on delivering the vital additional airfield infrastructure which will provide our existing and prospective airline customers with the potential to bring new generation aircraft to this airport in greater numbers, which will be a crucial aspect of how we build a better, more sustainable airport.
“Completing the terminal extension and new east pier very much remains part of our future, and, with the foundations for both in place, we stand ready to take those projects forward when demand returns.
“In the months ahead we will work with airlines and government to help restore confidence to the UK aviation market and we will continue to support our local authority and our communities as they plan for life beyond the crisis.”