Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 17:07 UK

City flights decision is delayed

A plane lands at London City Airport
Under the plans flights would increase from 80,000 to 120,000 a year

A decision that could allow thousands more planes to fly from London City Airport has been deferred.

Flights at the east London site would increase from 80,000 to 120,000 a year if Newham Council's planning committee had given the go-ahead.

The delay follows a request by London's mayor that the decision be delayed until after a study by the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) is published.

Campaigners say the plans would create "excessive noise levels".

London City Airport made its name as a business airport serving Canary Wharf, but has seen rapid growth in the past few years towards leisure flights.

Huge impact

"This expansion will create economic activity in the area and provide opportunities for employment for another thousand people," said Charles Buchanan from London City Airport.

But critics said the expansion plans would have a huge impact on residents' lives.

Anne-Marie Griffin from Fight the Flights campaign group said: "It would mean excessive noise levels will go over an additional 46,000 residents across Newham, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets."

The NATS study, commissioned by the Department of Transport, is looking at how the proposed expansion might impact on the town planning case for the Thames Gateway Bridge proposals.

Linking Newham and Greenwich, in east London, the 385m bridge is part of plans to regenerate a 40-mile-wide area of land in London, Essex and Kent.

No date has been set for when the council will next examine the airport's proposals.

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