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London City Airport turns 30 – here’s to the next chapters in its growth

Last week we celebrated London City Airport’s 30th anniversary at a Partner dinner hosted by Linklaters. Senior executives from the aviation and London businesses marked City’s successes and looked towards its future.

The symbiotic link between the airport and its Docklands home threaded through our discussions. It is where investment has been made at pace over three decades, utterly transforming this part of London. The continued development of the Royal Docks, of Canary Wharf, the Airport’s development programme and the arrival of Crossrail in the area will undoubtedly generate considerable future growth. The airport and London business generally are keen to explore the potential for a Crossrail station at the airport, as the line passes underneath. Among many benefits, this would give a direct link with Heathrow and its network.

City Airport Chief Executive Declan Collier pointed to the rapidly expanding range of the new generations of fuel-efficient aircraft, allowing City to make the most of existing aviation assets in the uncertain times to come. Further improvements in the so called hidden infrastructure that is airspace, and further improvements to border operations will bring further benefits.

It was clear from the evening’s conversations that the business view is that Government must pursue a pro-growth strategy with the aviation sector, not least given that the sector is not covered by WTO rules. London First has responded to the Government’s Aviation Strategy call for evidence on a broad range of topics, and will now work to develop these vital points.

Our event with Lord Callanan, Aviation Minister in early December is the next step in this as we work to shape the long-term aviation agenda for London, the South East and the whole of the UK.

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