London City Airport has requested that the proposed 305 metre-high Tulip Tower in central London be checked to see if it interferes with radar systems.

Gondolas are designed to move up and down the top of the Tulip Tower. However, according to technical experts at the airport, they are at risk of confusing air traffic control systems.

Officials told the local authority considering the application, that construction of the Tulip Tower should not go ahead until an assessment has been undertaken into its potential impact on radar systems at the airport, which is located just 6 miles east of the site in the Docklands area of east London.

Foster and Partners, the architect behind the Gherkin building next door, has proposed a rotating gondola ride in three-metre wide glass spheres that will take visitors on an eight-minute journey in an elliptical loop around the tower’s tip.

However, City Airport said that National Air Traffic Control must be consulted over the potential impact on radar systems, noting “the gondolas will be moving and therefore may have a slightly different effect than a static element of the building”.

The building is being developed by the Safra Group, a company controlled by Brazilian banker Joseph Safra, which bought the neighbouring Gherkin building for £726 million back in 2014.

The 12-storey glass bubble will sit at the top of a concrete stem, and will feature a number of bars, restaurants, an classroom in the sky, and a viewing gallery. The planning application was submitted on the 13 November and has already attracted opposition from local residents.

29 November 2018