London City Airport bid to ease Saturday flight ban sparks anger

A plane takes off at London City Airport

The airport is also calling for more flights to be allowed early in the morning and late at night - Credit: PA

London City Airport wants its ban on flights after 1pm on Saturdays to be scrapped.

The airport is also calling for more flights to be allowed early in the morning and late at night, claiming both measures are vital to meet future demand.

London City has launched a consultation on the proposals, which will require agreement from Newham Council.

The airport’s hours of operation are currently restricted to 6.30am-10.30pm on weekdays, 6.30am-1pm on Saturdays, and 12.30pm-10.30pm on Sundays.

Should the plans proceed, flights could be permitted as late at 10pm on Saturdays.

The airport wants to double the number of flights allowed between 6.30am-6.59am to 12.

It also wants a relaxation on the 400 flights currently allowed per year in the last half hour of operations each day for delayed departures and arrivals.

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But residents’ organisation Hacan East - which represents residents underneath London City and Heathrow flight paths - warned the plans will “anger” local communities.

Its chair, John Stewart, said: “Ever since London City opened, residents have had a break from the noise between midday Saturday and midday Sunday.

“There will be anger that the only break now will be for a few hours on Sunday morning.”

Only modern aircraft that are cleaner and quieter than previous models would be allowed to fly in the new operating periods.

London City also wants its annual cap on passenger numbers to be raised from 6.5 million to nine million.

The airport is no longer seeking an increase in the limit on flight numbers as the use of larger aircraft could cater for more travellers.

It expects its annual passenger total to reach three million this year, and 6.5 million by the middle of this decade.

London City chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “Most importantly, following our commitment to be the first net zero airport in London by 2030, these proposals set out how London City and its airlines can meet future demand in a sustainable way.

“In particular, it will accelerate investment in cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft, for use in the extended periods, delivering the benefit of quieter aircraft to our local community throughout the whole week.”