This review was revised 18 October
* items include readers letters
7 JANUARY 2019
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With two new twice daily-services starting today (7 January) from London City Airport, to Warsaw with LOT and Newcastle with Flybe, ON TOUR takes a trip into the future this week with an overview of LCY’s new 51,000sq m terminal. New concept images just released show how the capital’s most central airport will be transformed by the £500m development. The project is due to be completed in 2022.
Officials say the new terminal design “will reflect 21st-century London, supported by new shops, restaurants, bars and experiences which are synonymous with the capital”. The idea, they say, is to showcase the best of the city to the airport’s increasingly wide range of business and leisure passengers from both Britain and abroad.
The new concept images, produced by London practice The Design Solution, provide a glimpse of the airport’s new check-in, security, departures lounge, baggage claim, dedicated arrivals area and gate lounges. Passengers are promised more space, better facilities, hi-tech innovations and more choice.
CEO Robert Sinclair said: “Through our transformation programme, we have a blank canvas and a great opportunity to provide our passengers with an airport experience that truly reflects modern London, the greatest city in the world.
“We welcome millions of visitors to London every year right into the heart of London, and we want to create an unforgettable first and last impression of the city, showcasing the best of the capital and demonstrating it is open for business and thriving.
“Alongside this we will of course maintain an airport experience that is grounded in our fundamentals of providing speed, efficiency, convenience and excellent customer service.”
With the airport’s location in the heart of London’s regenerating Royal Docks, the River Thames also plays a role in the design concept, with the interior’s soft curving lines inspired by the fluidity of the river – from materials to the colour palette. The 21st century London theme will be reinforced by light features, art installations, graphic wall panels and furniture, with large-format digital screens providing spaces for storytelling.
The spaces will also provide the opportunity for collaboration with London talent, brands and events, and the airport is seeking partnerships to develop this content.
Kevin Patience, design director at The Design Solution, said: “Working on London’s most central airport has been a privilege and inspiration. Developing plans to deliver a great mix of London-focused retail and food and beverage options has been pivotal to the success of the new scheme.
“A fluid lined interior design encouraging passenger flow has been inspired by the Thames, which is right on the airport’s doorstep. The interior is punctuated by digital installations and interior features that celebrate London’s diversity and creative energy, from art, culture, fashion, sport, film and music.”
The major overhaul forms part of the £500m City Airport Development Programme, which began in 2017 and includes the new terminal facilities, eight new aircraft stands and a parallel taxiway, next to the runway. Construction is under way, and terminal facilities are being built both to the east and west of the current building.
The existing 1987 structure was built to accommodate around 1m passengers a year. Despite remaining on largely the same footprint, increasing demand has seen passenger numbers reach more than 4.5m a year, and the airport is on track to welcome 5m passengers in 2019 for the first time.
The new terminal will provide four times the size of floor space compared to the current facility’s 17,000sq m and will also be completely reconfigured and modernised. Combined, London City Airport’s terminal from 2022 will cover a total area of 68,000sq m.
Once the transformation is complete, the airport will be capable of accommodating a further 2m passengers a year and 30,000 additional flights. Ahead of this, next year the airport will begin testing a new digital air traffic control tower, a global first for an airport of its scale, ahead of its introduction in 2020.
Along with Warsaw, new routes to Munich, Budapest, Vilnius, Newcastle and Split are also taking off in 2019.
BTN is encouraging London mayor Sadiq Khan to review the lack of a Silvertown for London City Airport station on the delayed Elizabeth line. It could still happen.
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