London City Airport has released several images dating back to the early 1980s to mark the start of its 30th anniversary year in 2017. The airport, located less than six miles from the City of London, was officially opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth ΙΙ on 5 November 1987.
The photographs published are from the London City Airport archive and the personal collections of longstanding staff members, including Vic Abbott, a NATS air traffic engineer who has been at the airport since it opened and documented its early days.
The wider selection includes fascinating shots of Prince Charles laying the foundation stone in 1986, the opening by The Queen in 1987, and the completed airport during the late eighties and early nineties, as well as the former site in London’s Royal Docks, which was transformed during the mid-eighties to become the home of the international airport.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, comments: “2017 is going to be a significant year for London City Airport, as we prepare to reach the tremendous 30th anniversary milestone in the autumn. Since the airport opened in 1987 it has undergone a remarkable evolution, continuing to attract primarily business travellers thanks to our close proximity to central London and a customer experience defined by speedy check-in and arrival times.
“Collectively over 30 years we’ve enabled nearly 53 million passengers journeys, remained the only London airport actually in London, and become the one of the largest employers in the London Borough of Newham. I look forward with anticipation to the next chapter, which includes a £344 million development, construction for which begins later this anniversary year.”
London City Airport initially operated routes to Paris, Plymouth, Brussels and Amsterdam, welcoming 8,235 passengers in its first full month of operation. Today the airport serves nearly 50 destinations and in 2016 welcomed a record-breaking 4.5 million passengers over the course of the year.
The 30th anniversary year in 2017 will also see the start of the £344 million City Airport Development Programme, comprising seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and an extended passenger terminal, with completion expected by 2025.
A commemorative 30th anniversary book will be published later in the year.