London City Airport has signed a strategic partnership to continue its relationship with NATS as its air traffic service provider for the next ten years.

NATS has been providing air traffic services to the airport since it first opened in 1987.

London City Airport chief operations officer Alison FitzGerald said: “As we gather pace towards the start of construction on our £400m development programme, which will enable a further 30,000 flights per year, we’ve taken the decision to continue our longstanding partnership with NATS to deliver the efficient, innovative and reliable air traffic services that are fundamental to the overall operation of the airport.

“In 2020 the airport will move to digital air traffic control, setting a global standard for the aviation industry to follow.”

“In 2020 the airport will move to digital air traffic control, setting a global standard for the aviation industry to follow.”

The transformational redevelopment programme at the airport will include an extended passenger terminal, seven new aircraft stands, and a parallel taxiway to increase runway capacity.

Expected to create 2,100 new jobs, the project will add an extra £750m per year to the UK economy.

The new contract, which includes air traffic engineering services, will also see the transition to a new digital air traffic control tower, replacing the airport’s existing tower with 14 high-definition cameras.

With the help of secure fibre-optic connections, the images and data will then be sent to NATS’ air traffic control centre located in Hampshire.

Construction of the control tower is due to begin at the end of this year, with completion slated for next year.

The tower is expected to enter operational service in early 2020.