London City Airport in England has reported that it handled around 905,326 passengers in 2020, indicating a reduction of 82% in passenger traffic in comparison to the 5.1 million recorded in 2019.

This has resulted from the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last March, the airport stopped commercial flights temporarily for three months to protect staff and passengers from the first wave of the pandemic.

In late June, the airport witnessed a brief surge in passenger numbers, with high load factors on routes including Florence, Palma, Ibiza and Nice.

However, in Q4 of 2020, further travel restrictions in the country and across the airport’s key markets considerably reduced airline schedules and passenger confidence.

London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said: “2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. The ability to fly, whether to see loved ones, do business, or simply enjoy a holiday here or abroad, faced multiple barriers in the past year.

“Looking ahead, the immediate priorities are to continue to keep our passengers safe, rebuild confidence in flying and for industry and governments in our key markets to come together to agree a set of harmonised rules and requirements that protect health but also allow the country to get moving again.

“As a relatively small, centrally located airport offering quick and convenient flights to key domestic and European business and leisure destinations, we believe we are well placed to see a rebound in passenger volumes once the vaccine roll-out is well underway, travel restrictions ease and demand for flying resumes in the spring.”

Among its several protective measures, London City Airport has deployed temperature checking technology, along with an on-site testing centre for the wellbeing of its passengers and staff.

In a separate development, AGS Airports has announced that it will lead a consortium that will develop and trial autonomous drone technology to enhance access to essential medical supplies throughout Scotland.

AGS Airports claimed that this will be the UK’s first national distribution network to use drones to transport essential medicines, organs, blood and other medical supplies.