London City Airport has demanded that the proposed 305 metre-high Tulip Tower be checked to see if it interferes with radar systems
Gondolas designed to move up and down the top of the Tulip tower are at risk of confusing air traffic control systems, according to technical experts at London City airport.
Officials told the authority considering whether to grant planning permission that construction on the Tulip Tower must not go ahead until an assessment has been undertaken into its potential impact on radar systems at the airport six miles to the east.
Foster+Partners, the architect of the Gherkin tower nearby, has proposed a rotating gondola ride in three-metre wide glass spheres that will take visitors on an eight-minute journey in an elliptical loop around the tower’s tip.
However, London City airport said National Air Traffic Control must be consulted over the potential impact on radar systems, noting “the gondolas will be moving and therefore may have a slightly different effect than a static element of the building”.
The building is being developed by the Safra Group, a company controlled by Brazilian banker Joseph Safra, which bought the neighbouring Gherkin for £726m in 2014.
The 12-storey glass bubble erected on top of a concrete stem will be filled with bars, restaurants, a viewing gallery and “a classroom in the sky”.
The planning application was submitted on 13 November and has already attracted some opposition from local residents.