A £344 million expansion programme at London City Airport has been given the go-ahead by ministers who hope it could provide a £1.5 billion boost to the British economy by 2025.
The plans include an extended terminal, a new aircraft taxiway and parking spaces for planes, as well as upgraded public transport links creating a large amount of construction jobs
London City Airport estimates the scheme will allow it to handle up to 32,000 more flights per year and create 1,600 jobs for staff, together with 500 construction jobs. The announcement comes amid continued delays over a decision on the expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick.
David Cameron was expected to make a decision on the rival expansion projects shortly after the European Union referendum.
But his resignation following the victory for the Leave campaign means the decision has been left for his successor as Prime Minister, Theresa May. Chancellor Philip Hammond hailed the investment at London City Airport as a "vote of confidence in the resilience of our economy".
The planning decision was formally approved by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid.
The Government said the airport would provide a " generous" compensation package to local residents affected by increased air traffic.
Mr Hammond said: "London City Airport's ambitious growth plans will boost international connections, strengthening the City of London's links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business. "Making it easier to visit and do business in the City of London will help drive forward our economy and further strengthen the city's status as the world's leading financial centre." Mr Grayling commented: " London City Airport is an engine for growth in the City, serving the community in which it operates and providing a vital link to our regional airports and the rest of the country." A Heathrow spokesman said the announcement " signals the Government is committed to ensuring Britain has the 21st century infrastructure it needs", while Gatwick claimed it demonstrated "what can be done when an expansion scheme that is deliverable is chosen".