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Early success for new owners

£300m of work on offer as London City gets nod

London City airportLondon City Airport has been given approval for expansion, creating contract opportunities for British firms worth almost £300 million.

The £344 million development will mean enlarging the terminal and building seven taxi stands. It will lift the airport’s annual capacity from 4.3 million to 6.5m passengers by 2025.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, has given permission just five months after a group of global investment funds bought the airport for £2 billion.

He said: “These new plans for London City Airport will deliver jobs and business in the capital and more widely.

“Companies across the UK will be able to bid for construction and procurement contracts worth £294 million, meaning the benefits will be felt up and down the country.”

It is a boost for the three Canadian pension funds and the sovereign wealth fund of Kuwait, which formed a consortium to buy City from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in February.

Expansion of the east end airport was blocked by Boris Johnson, the then-London Mayor, and the new owners effectively gambled that his opposition would be overturned.

It can now claim that the price paid – compared with the £750m paid by GIP ten years ago – can be justified.

Their case is built on the additional £750m the expansion is expected to generate for the UK economy each year.

A decision on runway expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick was expected this summer but was postponed because of the EU referendum.

GIP owns Gatwick and Edinburgh Airports.

 

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