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London City Airport ‘should close’, think tank claims

A plane takes off at London City Airport A plane takes off at London City Airport

Thursday, April 10, 2014
11:21 AM

London City Airport should be closed and its site re-developed, according to a report released today by an independent think tank.

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The Docklands airport accounts for just 2.4 per cent of London’s total flight demand, the New Economics Foundation has said.

It is calling on the government to close the airport, claiming existing passengers could use Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted instead.

NEF suggest the airport closure could lead to more and better housing, as well as more green spaces to allow residents to be “given a real stake in their own area and to benefit from its resources and potential”.

“It [the airport] contributes to London’s poor air quality, carbon emissions and community blight in surrounding Newham, and causes noise pollution across much of east and south-east London,” the report says. “Generating relatively few jobs for locals, its benefits are felt almost exclusively by wealthy business people travelling to and from Canary Wharf and the City of London.”

A spokeswoman from London City Airport said the NEF report “fails to acknowledge” the link between the airport and the “gathering momentum of change” taking place in Royal Docks and East London.

“NEF is proposing less opportunity for the areas it claims to be championing and the closure of valuable business routes into – and out of – the capital,” she said.

The spokeswoman added that closing the airport would create a loss of more than 1,200 jobs and remove £750m a year from the economy.

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