Featured in the Future Transport London Newsletter September 2022
Although City Airport is convenient for business people working in the City or Docklands, it has long been a source of contention for local residents. It brings noise, congestion and disturbance to the locality. HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) set up HACAN East to campaign against it. Whilst initially there would be only 30,000 flights a year using turbo-prop aircraft and none in the evening or at weekends, they are campaigning against current plans to increase this to 150,000 including early mornings, evenings and weekends.
A new impetus to close the airport is being led by Greater London Assembly Green Party member Sian Berry. The opening of the Elizabeth Line, she argues, brings Heathrow within easy reach of the City and Docklands making City Airport unnecessary. Reusing the land could bring 17,000 new homes and 16,000 new jobs to the area. She adds: ‘Closing City Airport is possible and long overdue and now Crossrail is open, this is not only realistic, it’s necessary. People living around the airport in Newham, have put up with this noise and pollution on their doorstep for long enough. They are the people who first alerted me to this idea, and they need to have this huge area of land under their control at last’.
‘With City Hall now next door, fiercer climate targets and a deepening housing crisis, this area could be an amazing new quarter for London, with space for new homes, new green spaces, and new green businesses. The owners have already put their expansion plans, which Sadiq Khan approved, on hold. Now is the time to start talking about more sustainable ways to make a profit on their investment because shutting down London’s smallest airport and using the land for good would have massive, long term benefits for London’.