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Sharing a future with the aviation community

Last week RAD welcomed a panel of top aviation experts for a lively discussion exploring the Future of Aviation, which was held in partnership with City AM and London City Airport.

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The discussion centred around the £500 million expansion of London City thanks to strong growth in air passenger numbers, expected to reach a record five million people this year.

We heard from Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City, who explained that this had increased from just one to two million passengers 10 to 15 years ago.

The project, which will be completed by 2022, is set to inject a huge amount of economic activity into the RAD community, East London, and beyond.

The departure lounge, for example, will be four times its current size, and more than 1,000 piles are being put into the river to expand the land available for development.

We also heard from Alok Wadhawan, from Investec, who outlined a positive future for legacy and short-haul, low-cost airlines, many of which are seeing a welcome return to profits following the recession.

Growth in e-commerce, which is driving a boom in the air cargo sector, was also discussed as well as new technologies that are transforming aviation, from drones to electric planes, which could become a reality in our skies in as little as a decade.

We decided to locate the event at our Altitude building, aptly named in recognition of RAD’s proximity to the airport. We believe that airports are more than just a means of moving people or goods – they are magnets for business and trade and are a central component in urban and regional economic development, much as railways and docks, such as RAD, did in the past.

Extensive and frequent air services are critical to attracting conventions and trade shows to places such as the ExCeL exhibition centre and play a major role in where companies place their regional headquarters.

Together RAD, London City Airport and ExCeL are the new economic powerhouse of East London, and we look forward to working with the aviation community.

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