London City Airport 'should close' says think tank

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City Views - London City Airport

London City Airport should close and its site should be redeveloped to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes, says a think tank.

If the airport does close however, 2,000 people will be out of work, reports the BBC.

The airport accounts for a small percentage of London's total flight demand - just 2.4%, the report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) revealed.

According to NEF, passengers could use alternative London airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.

The report claimed: "City Airport creates little value - despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m - less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre."

A spokeswoman for the airport argues that the airport "facilitates inward investment and economic growth" saying that it is "the only airport in London provides a direct route to the capital's business, financial and political centres".

"Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK's international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land.

"London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities and gives back very little in return", says NEF economist Helen Kersley.

The London City Airport spokeswoman added that the closure of the airport would put 2,000 people out of work, prevent the creation of a further 1,500 jobs by 2023 and remove £750m a year from the economy.

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