London City Airport (LCY) has launched a public consultation to extend its opening hours. If approved, only quieter planes like the Embraer E2 and Airbus A220 will be able to land and take off at extended hours to comply with noise limits in the central region of the British capital.
Currently, the airport operates from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays, from 6:30 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday and does not reopen until 12:30 pm on Sunday.
London City’s plan is to double the movement allowed in the first half hour of operation from six to 12 and also run all day on Saturdays.
According to London City, these small changes will allow an increase in passenger movement from the current limit of 6.5 million to 9 million per year. In recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport is expected to exceed 3 million passengers this year and reach 5 million in 2024.
However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is not satisfied with the proposed expansion of the central airport, as are residents of the region. After the consultation, the airport must review the plan and decide whether to apply for official authorization to expand its operations using only quieter, newer-generation jets.
London City: low noise, short runway
Embraer’s new generation models will have an advantage in London City, if the expansion is approved. In certification tests, the E190-E2 recorded the lowest noise level among new single-aisle aircraft.
In addition, London City’s location means that aircraft have to be compliant with the steep approach and short runway restriction. Another point where Embraer aircraft are well adapted, in operation at LCY since 2009, when BA Cityflyer started flights with the E170.
In July of this year, the largest member of Embraer’s regional jet family, the E195-E2, landed for the first time at London City. The Brazilian manufacturer expects to certify the operation of the aircraft by the end of this year, paving the way for scheduled flights in 2023 with KLM Cityhopper.
Currently, 85% of the flights operating in London City are carried out by Embraer aircraft, including the E190-E2, which since September of last year has operated routes with Helvetic Airways in London.