18 FEBRUARY 2013
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It gained very little exposure at the time (hence our coverage now) due to events just up the road, but HM The Queen and Prince Philip (who claimed to be a retired aviator) found time during the London Olympics to visit London City Airport as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.
Her Majesty arrived midday 28 July and met long-serving employees, members of the local community, the airport owners and hierarchy, the Mayor of Newham and children from the airport’s chosen charity, the Richard House Hospice. She unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit.
It was on Tuesday 5 November 1987 that Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London City Airport. Since that time 36m passengers have used the now 1200m runway (it was originally 1080m, easily long enough for the DHC Dash 7 turboprop). Two airlines, Brymon and Eurocity Express (later London City Express) serviced Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, from what was an airport in the middle of nowhere, whose easiest access was by waterbus. The North London railway ran close by at Silvertown (about to become Crossrail – but no station – that is another story), and Canary Wharf did not exist. Today the airport moves in excess of 3m passengers per year to 44 airports by 10 airlines. www.londoncityairport.com
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