RPS Supports London City Airport Plans for Growth

30 Oct 2013

London City Airport (LCY) has submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Newham for permission to expand its current infrastructure to accommodate up to 120,000 flight movements (take offs and landings) per year and to allow the airport to double its passenger numbers (to six million) over the next ten years. The £200m project, known as the City Airport Development Programme (CADP) includes the construction of a 7.5 hectare concrete deck over King George V (KGV) Dock to provide new Code C aircraft stands (to accommodate larger jets), a parallel taxilane to optimise runway capacity in peak operating hours, and a major terminal extension with an associated passenger pier, new forecourt, parking, hotel and other landside facilities.

Building on its long standing involvement with LCY*, RPS coordinated the environmental impact assessment (EIA), sustainability appraisal and health impact assessment (HIA) in support of the CADP planning application and managed the multi-discipline environmental team for this project. RPS technical teams also completed the assessment of various key topics including archaeology & built heritage, ecology, flood risk, waste, contamination, lighting impact, and townscape and visual effects.

The CADP offers a crucial opportunity to enhance the sustainability of the Airport by accommodating larger, more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft (such as the Bombardier C-100, due to be introduced in 2015) and to reduce energy, water, waste and carbon emissions from its own ground operations. The Airport falls within one of the Mayor of London’s new “Green Enterprise Zones” and, from the outset, the principles of sustainable development formed a central tenet to the design of the CADP, for which RPS played a significant role.

RPS worked with the project engineers, Atkins, to help realise the inclusion of a closed-loop dock source heat exchange (DSHE) system as part of the energy strategy to supply a proportion of clean, renewable energy to the Airport. The system takes advantage of the unusual location of the Airport above a large deep water body by using the dock water as a heat sink. In addition, RPS provided the outline design of artificial ‘Fish Refugia’ in the dock water in order to provide food and shelter for fish, as well as a growing media for algae and macro-invertebrates. This habitat will compensate for the loss of the existing dock wall which will be built over to create a parallel taxi lane and aircraft stands.

Other initiatives that were incorporated in the CADP proposals in order to improve the long-term sustainability of the Airport include:

  • Use of gas-fired Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) systems to suit the Airport’s base load profiles, and photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the Terminal buildings;
  • Provision of low flow sanitary fittings, including vacuum flushing toilet systems for the new Eastern Pier WCs, to reduce potable water use by the Airport buildings;
  • A Surface Water Drainage Strategy which includes a range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) to potentially reduce the existing flow to greenfield runoff rates;
  • An enhanced two-tier sound insulation scheme for nearby affected properties, which has the lowest eligibility criterion trigger level adopted by any airport in the UK. LCY will also improve the scheme by offering those people most affected by noise improved secondary glazing or a 100% monetary contribution towards high acoustic performance thermal double glazing, together with acoustic ventilation;
  • Operation of a comprehensive Air Quality Measurement Programme and implementation of the LCY Air Quality Action Plan, with a range of measures to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from Airport-related sources, including: installation of fixed electrical ground power (FEGP) to all refurbished and new stands to substantially reduce reliance on MGPUs; and provision of ultra-low NOx boilers and CCHP systems that include 95% catalytic reduction of emissions.
  • The adoption of a project specific Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), drafted by RPS, which will set out the management, monitoring, auditing and training procedures to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and best practice environmental standards.


Editors notes:

London City Airport (LCY) is the only London airport situated in London itself, just three miles from Canary Wharf, seven miles from the City and 10 miles from London’s West End and linked to all via the Docklands Light Railway. Catering for over 3 million passengers and 70,000 movements annually, in 2012 LCY celebrated its millionth flight, 36 millionth passenger and 25 years of operation. LCY offers a unique rapid transit proposition – a short check in, door to lounge, and a shorter arrival, tarmac to train. 11 airlines fly out of LCY, serving 48 destinations, eight of which were new for 2012, with six further announced in 2013. In 2009, the airport was granted permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum, which it intends to do by 2023, via the City Airport Development Programme (CADP). Further information about the airport and its services can be found at www.londoncityairport.com.

Previous involvement of RPS*

London City Airport’s proposed development programme seeks to maximise the use of its existing infrastructure to achieve its permitted number of flight movements (permission for 120,000 movements granted in 2009) without the need for a new runway or an extension to the existing runway. This is in line with the Aviation Policy Framework presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Transport in March 2013.

  • Achieve already permitted growth in movements – to 120,000 per annum by 2023
  • Enlarge existing aeroplane parking stands and create further stand capacity to the east of the current airport buildings
  • A new parallel taxi lane to make more efficient use of existing runway (25% increase, to 45 scheduled movements per hour)
  • Extend the existing terminal building to the west
  • Create 1,500 new jobs (plus up to 500 in the construction phase of the project)
  • No new runway
  • No extension to the existing runway.

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