About the Airport
An overview including the Airport's business strategy, routes, airlines, passengers, corporate aviation, operational facilities and procedures
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London City Airport is a rapidly growing dynamic business. It has not shifted from the initial vision of John Mowlem and Co., the orginal developer, that a City Centre Airport, designed to serve a niche business market, could reap significant financial rewards for the owner, and the airlines.
In 2010 some 2.8 million passengers passengers travelled through London City Airport to more than thirty UK and European destinations and one in the US. According to the Airport's latest data 64% of passengers travelling through the airport are doing so for business reasons. Two-thirds are male. About 77% of passengers are on international flights with the rest using domestic services
The Airport is only 6 miles east of the City, and is one of five major international airports serving the London conurbation. The other major airports serving this large market are Heathrow located 16 miles west of the City, Gatwick 25 miles to the south, Stansted 35 miles to the north-east and Luton 30 miles to the north.
London City Airport is a private limited company owned by Global Infrastructure Partners. It is the only London airport developed from scratch with private capital. As well as employing 250 people itself, the Airport is landlord to a host of other companies operating at the airport, including airlines, handling agents, caterers and retailers.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT has its origins in the regeneration of London's Docklands and its early history is closely linked to that of the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC), the government agency which in the 80s and 90s took the lead in managing the regeneration of the area. It is still a key factor in the ongoing regeneration of the Royal Docks which finally closed to shipping in the early 1980s. For comprehensive information visit our Airport History pages.
The Airport's business strategy from its initial conception to the present day is to be an airport to cater specifically for the needs of the business traveller. One factor behind this decision was the large demand for international travel that London business generates. Within two hours flying time of London, live 360 million people. Some 60% of air travel to and from southeast England is to this area. A second consideration was the proximity of the Airport to the world’s largest financial centre – the City of London – that is home to over 560 foreign banks, not to mention many insurance, legal and supporting services.
For airlines and consequently airports, the yield (income per passenger), generated from passengers travelling on business class fares, is generally significantly higher than other aviation markets (e.g. charter, no-frills). This is, therefore, the most profitable market in which to operate and develop the Airport.
The service concept is for a facility where check-in is a mere ten minutes, is prompt, friendly and efficient, and where the calm atmosphere is undisturbed by large crowds and the usual confusion associated with air travel. To cater for a specialised ‘niche’ market in this way implies a conscious decision not to try and become a ‘mini Heathrow’, accommodating all types of operators and passengers.
The future business strategy of the airport remains focused on the business travel market, but it is not always possible to predict precisely which routes will develop in the future, as this is primarily a decision for individual airlines in response to market demand. However, the Airport has identified, through market research, those routes that it sees as presenting the best opportunity for the business to grow and develop and works with airlines to serve them.It is part of the airport’s marketing objectives to develop and maintain a ‘critical mass’ of routes such as to offer travellers a variety of destinations. Operating at an average frequency of 4 rotations per weekday and 1 to 2 rotations at weekends, provides the business traveller with a product that will satisfy most, if not all, of his or her domestic and European business travel needs.
The expanding route network to key European cities is also designed to encompass weekend breaks and services for the leisure traveller on the sectors less popular with business travellers.
In 2010 the Airport commissioned York Aviation to conduct a study on the economic significance of London City Airport. A summary of the report (.pdf - 3.41mb) of the study was issued at a special breakfast event at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday 10th February 2011.
THE map shows the destinations presently served from London City. Details of the airline schedules, and of passenger facilities, can be found on the Airport's main web site.
The Airport's route development strategy is focussed on those of the "Top 25" European destinations not already served. At the same time the Airport is looking for the development of existing routes with more flights and/or larger aircraft.
(From 25 July 2013)
In July 2012 the Airport handled its millionth flight - see press release
THE Airport continues to focus on the Business travel market offering a good quality Business Class product for all passengers. It's success in this market is demonstrated by recent survey figures which show that nearly 60% of departing passengers at London City are travelling on business and very high proportion of passengers using the Airport are in Banking and Finance - more than 60%.
For more information on the Airport's passengers and the arrangements made for a high standard of customer care visit our Passengers page.
For details of the very good range of high quality services available for passengers - click the icon for details.
FOR details of the regulatory regime in which the Airport operates, and its operational facilities and procedures, visit our Airport Operations page which covers:
Air Traffic Control
THE Airport's Air Traffic Control (ATC) services are provided by the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) under contract. There is a staff of 11 controllers and four engineers who work in two shifts. The team is also responsible for the maintenance of the Airport's air navigation systems. For more detailed information visit our ATC.and Aeronautical Data pages.
Rescue and Fire Fighting Service
THE Airport's Fire and Rescue Service is fully equipped to provide an immediate response to an aircraft accident or incident. Visit our Fire & Rescue Page for more information
THE security arrangements at the Airport meet the latest requirements of the Department for Transport who make regular inspections - information about Aviation Security is on the Direct Gov website. The Airport was among the earliest equipped with machinery for hold baggage screening. In May 2003 the Airport was the first in Europe to deploy terminal wide biometric security access for all employees across all airport areas. The deployment marked the completion of stage one of the Airport’s plans for biometric security.
LONDON City Airport is proving popular with corporate operators who enjoy the speed and efficiency of an Airport so close to the city centre. Between 1995 and 2001 there was a 252% increase in corporate aviation and in August that year the Airport announced it was to build a dedicated facility for this traffic.
This new Jet Centre was completed in mid 2002. It provides a complete corporate aviation package including VIP lounges, a dedicated VIP stand, parking for at least 20 aircraft and immigration, customs and crew facilities.
For more information visit our Corporate Aviation page
Airport Fees and Charges
FOR the Airport's latest fees and charges (which took effect on 1st April 2009) and Conditions of Use (2004) see our Fees and Charges page.
LONDON City Airport is designated under section 63(1) of the Airports Act 1986 so that the airport operator is able to make byelaws for regulating the use and operation of the airport and for “the conduct of all persons while within the airport”. The designation order is The London City Airport Byelaws (Designation) Order 1987 (SI 1987/1132) There is a copy of the Airport's present byelaws on this website. They were made on 20th June 1988 and confirmed by the Secretary of State on 4th August that year.
For those interrested in the numbers there is a range of data on the Airport on our Statistics page.
When the Airport opened in 1987 access to it was perceived to be poor. The opening in 1993 of the Limehouse Link and the other Docklands strategic highways transformed the position and there is now very good road access to and from central London. The A13 improvements completed in 2005 brought further benefits to the Airport.
Also in 2005 a new extension of the DLR was completed linking the Airport with the transport interchange at Canning Town which opened late in 1999 and which itself greatly enhanced access to the Airport by public transport via the new Jubilee Line extension and the DLR.
The Airport Extension of the DLR has now been further extended under the River to Woolwich Arsenal and train services on the new line began on 10th January 2009. Looking ahead the Abbey Wood branch of Crossrail, which will serve the Royal Docks, is likely to start operating in 2017.
For more detailed information visit our Surface Access pages.
IN responding to the Government's recent consultation on the Future of Aviation in the UK the Airport looked at the opportunities for further growth at London City in a manner which would be environmentally sustainable. The conclusions, and some of the background discussions, can be accessed via our Looking Ahead page.
An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
Page last modified :9 July 2013