The Green Party would convert London City Airport into a new business and residential district if they won London mayoral election.
Candidate Sian Berry says the airport – which saw 4.3million passengers last year – is of “negligible importance to Britain’s aviation”.
She said if elected she would form a consortium to buy City Airport in east London and make the drastic transformation.
The airport is currently on the market for an estimated £2billion and Ms Berry is supporting a petition urging one of the current bidders, the German-based insurance giant Allianz, to listen to her business case to change the use of the site.
According to a statement from the Greens, a report by the New Economics Foundation has shown that the 500,000 sqm area could be used to create at least 16,000 more jobs and add an additional £400million to the UK’s economy if it were freed up for other use.
Ms Berry said: “City Airport carries just 1.5% of all UK airport passengers and is therefore of negligible importance to Britain’s aviation. It will become even more irrelevant once Crossrail opens and provides a fast connection between Canary Wharf and Heathrow.
“It is holding back London’s economic potential, undermining the existing enterprise zone here in Newham, and causing untold health and environmental problems to thousands of residents.
“If this prime piece of the land were used sustainably for innovative businesses, residential areas, leisure, cultural facilities and shops, it would go a long way towards solving many of London’s problems at the same time.”
Resident-led group Hacan East, which opposes the expansion of London City Airport, welcomed the announcement by Ms Berry.
Hacan East chairman John Stewart said: “Sian Berry’s plan makes both environmental and economic sense. It would cut create jobs and economic benefits while at the same time cutting noise and pollution.”
A spokeswoman for London City Airport said: “If Ms Berry took the time to visit London City Airport, she would see how ill-informed her views are.
“The vast majority of Newham residents think the airport is an asset to the area. It provides some 2,000 jobs on-site, two-thirds of which are filled by local residents, and has plans to create a further 2,000.
“Business leaders deem the airport a major economic driver, providing vital connectivity, and generating some £750million per year for the UK economy, a figure that will double under expansion plans.
“The airport has been pivotal in the renaissance of London’s Royal Docks, it connected 4.3million passengers last year to business centres across Europe, and it can provide much-needed additional aviation capacity for London in the short term.
“If Ms Berry were better informed, she would understand the many benefits London City Airport brings to London and why the local and business communities value it greatly.”