Thursday, 24 December 2020

London City Airport celebrates completion of key airfield infrastructure projects


London City Airport confirmed this week that it has completed key improvements to its airfield infrastructure as part of the City Airport Development Programme (CADP), including the construction of a full-length parallel taxiway and eight new stands capable of handling larger and more fuel-efficient aircraft.
 
The airfield infrastructure at London City Airport has been transformed in the past three years, with the construction of a new 70,000m2 concrete deck to house the parallel taxiway and aircraft stands.
 
The deck was created by drilling 1,000 piles of concrete 20m below the bed of the King George V Dock - one of the most challenging and complex civil engineering and inland marine construction projects in Western Europe. The deck is equivalent to the size of 10 football pitches and its completion required the work of 45 contractors and took over 1.2 million hours. Not even the discovery of a World War II bomb in the dock bed hindered progress for long.

The parallel taxiway is now operational, maximising the potential of the airport’s runway and providing the ability to allow 45 aircraft movements per hour when demand returns. In addition, the airport now possesses eight new aircraft stands capable of accommodating the next generation of cleaner, more sustainable aircraft such as the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2-190.
 
Passengers will also benefit from improved facilities in the terminal, including a larger immigration facility with 10 new e-gates and a new outbound baggage facility. Once complete, this facility will be able to process 2,400 bags per hour and feature the latest security screening technology.
 
A digital Air Traffic Control Tower has also been constructed, with plans for it to be operational early next year - a global first for a commercial airport of this size, demonstrating the airport’s ongoing commitment to technological innovation.

The first aircraft to use the new taxiway.   Photo LCY


London City Airport Chief Executive, Robert Sinclair, said:   "The completion of this vital new airfield infrastructure is a major milestone for the airport and will help us to return to growth, welcome new airlines and aircraft and once again connect London to the rest of the UK and to the world.
 
The parallel taxiway and aircraft stands are key components of how we plan to build a better and more sustainable airport in the future, providing our airlines with the potential to bring more cleaner, quieter next-generation aircraft to the airport in the coming years.
 
The new facilities for immigration and baggage will also enhance our industry-leading passenger proposition, ensuring that London City Airport continues to provide the quickest and most convenient airport experience in London."

The airport worked with contractors to ensure that industry-leading sustainability practices were at the heart of the three-year construction project. For the concrete deck, a controlled off-site environment for cement replacement was used, which reduced waste and saved 3,105 tonnes of carbon emissions.
 
The project also supported enhanced biodiversity by transporting 29,000 tonnes of soil from marine piling works to Rainham Marshes, a designated local Site of Specific Scientific Interest. This was used to restore the silt lagoon and create a new habitat for bird wildlife. The use of river barges minimised noise and air pollution and equated to 1,622 lorry journeys being removed - saving 103.4 tonnes of carbon emissions.
 
Innovative cleaner fuel using hydrotreated vegetable oil was also deployed to power temporary generators, further reducing carbon emissions. The CADP project’s commitment to sustainable construction was recognised with the Green Apple award for Environmental Best Practice in November 2019.
 
The second phase of the City Airport Development Programme, including the construction of the terminal extension and new east pier, was temporarily paused in summer 2020 due to the short-term impact of Covid-19. These projects remain part of the airport’s future plans, and with the foundations now in place, will be progressed as demand recovers in the UK aviation market.

More photos and time lapse video of the new taxiway underconstruction and test runs can be found on Dock, Lock  and River blog


The most environmentally friendly construction practices were deployed, with over 6,000 components of the concrete deck produced in an off-site controlled environment using cement replacement. This reduced waste and delivered savings of 3,105 tonnes of carbon emissions.

CADP supported enhanced biodiversity by transporting 29,000 tonnes of soil from marine piling works to Rainham Marshes, a designated local Site of Specific Scientific Interest. This was used to restore the silt lagoon and create a new habitat for bird wildlife. Transport by river barge also minimised noise and air pollution and equated to 1,622 lorry journeys being removed - saving 103.4 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Innovative cleaner fuel was used to power the temporary generators, with the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil, which helped to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%.
The project’s commitment to sustainable construction was recognised via the Green Apple award for Environmental Best Practice in November 2019.

The construction took place between October 2017 and December 2020, with 1,249,188 total hours worked.  In total 45 contractors worked on site during the project.  The airfield deck of in-situ and precast concrete over the KGV dock is supported on 1,028 marine piles and 30 land-based piles. In total, 51,200m3 of in-situ concrete was used and 5,000 precast pieces, each weighing up to 57 tonnes.


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