City Airport: A brief history

London City Airport opened in 1987 despite a campaign by local residents who felt it was wrong to build an airport so close to where people live in one of the poorest boroughs in the country, Newham.

The airport promised it would be just served by quiet planes: so-called ‘whispering jets’. However, these promises were never kept. City has in the last few years received permission for a 50% increase in the number of planes using the airport which would permit 111,000 planes to use the airport each year. The quieter turbo-prop aircraft are gradually being replaced by jets.

The increased number of jets using the airport has a big effect on the local area and the communities living under City's flight paths. For many people close to the areas the noise from the turbo-props was bearable; the noise of the jets is not. The jets require wider take-off paths, so new take-off paths were introduced with the result that wide swathes of east London are now suffering noise nuisance. Many areas get Heathrow aircraft as well – some of the east London boroughs are the most heavily overflown in London. People around the airport also complain of air pollution problems.

For many residents it has been a history of broken promises.

For a more detailed history click here.