Future of London City airport crucial to areas economic welfare

New research commissioned by Unite the union has revealed that securing the future of London City airport is crucial to the economic wellbeing of the local economy.

London City airport is currently worth £760 million to the local economy.

London City airport is one of the largest private sector employers in the London borough of Newham employing 2,200 people in 55 companies.

Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of employees live in the local area and 42 per cent of workers actually live in Newham.

Unite is warning that without urgent action by central government to stabilise the aviation sector, jobs dependent on London City airport, including crew, ground staff, engineers and associated retail, transport and other roles, will be swept away.

Unite has produced a blueprint of how the government should intervene across the entire aviation sector including airlines and airports to protect the jobs and conditions of workers. Such loans would come with strict strings attached regarding executive pay, corporate governance and requiring strict environmental standards to be adopted to radically improve the industry’s carbon footprint.

Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said “Airports are hives of economic activity. London City pumps £760 million into the local economy, supporting the jobs and livelihoods of scores of workers, from air crew to taxi drivers to shop staff.

“If these jobs go then a huge economic hole will open up in East London and it could take decades to recover.

“Overnight, airports were effectively shut down by the government to protect the public’s health but we are now pleading with ministers to protect our area’s long-term economic security.

“We are not asking for a giveaway but for loans that will be repaid when the sector is back on its feet, and we have support for this from across the political spectrum.

“But the clock is ticking. It is more than two months since the chancellor promised that a support package would be forthcoming for aviation but he has yet to deliver. The communities that rely on London City for jobs and their prosperity cannot wait much longer.”

Unite is calling on everyone whose work is connected to the airport or who is concerned about its future to email their MP and call for support for the airport and the UK’s entire aviation sector.

Unite has been campaigning for formal recognition at the airport since 2019, a move currently opposed by management. Unite currently has concerns about how some staff have been furloughed at the airport.

Mercedes Sanchez added: “Unite believes that by securing formal recognition at London City, it will be able to work in conjunction with management, to secure employment and improve terms and conditions at the airport.

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