Attending exhibitions at the O2 and ExCel event venues in East London will become more convenient thanks to an expansion plan for London City Airport that promises terminal extensions, streamlined departure and arrival systems, new gates, and infrastructure improvements that will allow the airport to accept long-haul flights from the United States, Russia, and the Middle East. The project is slated to cost $450 million and has been in the works since it was first proposed in 2013. The plan received preliminary approval to proceed in early 2015, but was then blocked by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who issued a directive that planning be refused. Critics at the time said noise and pollution would be disruptive, and questioned whether the infrastructure around the airport was adequate for an increased flow of traffic.
A consortium of investors purchased the airport in February and appealed the decision, modifying the plan slightly and submitting it with updated environmental impact documents. The new owners proposed a significant compensation plan for property owners that might be affected by expansion, and they designed rail, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements that would make navigating the neighborhood around the property easier.
Currently, London City Airport receives 84,000 aircrafts and 4.3 million passengers annually, though that number is expected to climb to 100,000 and 6.5 million respectively by 2025. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.