The rise of London City Airport

- Leadership - Sep 06, 2016

London City Airport, in the heart of the UK capital, was grounded to a halt this morning after protesters from Black Lives Matter UK staged a sit in on the runway.

According to the Metropolitan Police, disruption began at 5.40am and has resulted in all flights being suspended in and out of the airport. Although not the size and capacity of the likes of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, London City is increasingly an increasingly popular choice for travellers to London, especially those using it for business.

Last year, the hub saw a record 4.3 million passengers pass through its terminal, many of whom heading to and from the City and Canary Wharf. It is conveniently located, praised for quick service and little waiting time and an important gateway for busy financiers.

The protest staged by Black Lives Matter UK will no doubt disrupt the schedules of many of these businessmen and women, but not on the scale seen at airports around the world today due a crash in British Airway’s IT systems.

The story of London City Airport

The idea of London City Airport began in 1981 when the Chief Executive of the newly formed London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) Reg Ward discussed the idea of a Docklands Airport with Philip Beck, then Chairman of John Mowlem & Co plc.

It was built through 1986 and 1987, a year which saw 15,000 passengers through its gates. A year later a river bus service connecting the airport to central London helped increase numbers to 133,000.

1992 saw the extension of the runway, and by 1995 passenger figures were at 555,000 with the airport sold to Irishman Dermot Desmond. Currently London City Airport is owned by a Consortium, made up of AIMCo, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management.

Today the airport is the 13th busiest in the UK following an 18 percent increase in traffic in 2015 compared to the year before. The largest aircraft which can be used at the airport is the Airbus A318, with BA Cityflier and CityJet the main operators. Odyssey Airlines begins its tenure at London City in 2017.

Read the September 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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