London City Airport was officially opened in November 1987.
A new airspace authority, Thames Radar, needed to be established to provide a radar control service and provide safe separations for London City arrivals and departures.
The short 3,543ft runway along with a glideslope of 7.5 degrees (to limit the noise) meant only a limited number of aircraft types could be used including the Dash 7 and Dornier Do 228. In 1992, the runway was extended to 4,948ft and the glidescope reduced to 5.5 degrees to allow the use of a larger range of aircraft including the BAe 146 regional jet liner.
In 1995, the owner Mowlem sold the airport to an Irish businessman Dermot Desmond. In 2002, a jet centre catering for corporate aviation was opened, and in 2003, a new holding point established at the eastern end of the runway. In 2005, London City Airport DLR station opened on a branch of the Docklands Light Railway, providing rail access to the airport and to the City of London. In 2006, the airport was sold to a consortium of insurer AIG and Global Infrastructure Partners.
The airport was granted to construct an extended apron with additional aircraft parking stands in 2001 which has now been completed. In 2009, British Airways started the first scheduled transatlantic flights to JFK International Airport using a specially configured Airbus A318.
The size and layout of the airport and overall complexity caused by the lack of taxiways mean that the airport gets very busy during peak hours. The size of the airport, constrained by the water-filled Royal Albert and King George V docks to the north and south respectively, means that there are no covered maintenance facilities for aircraft. London City Airport is small compared with the other four London international airports. Due to its proximity to London’s Docklands and financial district its main users are business travellers, but leisure traveller numbers are increasing.
Getting to London City Airport
London City Airport is ideally located in East London — home to Canary Wharf, ExCel London and The O2 arena, and is located outside of the London Congestion Charge zone. Getting to London City Airport is easy, whether by public transport, taxi or road. The Sat Nav postcode is E16 2PX.
The London City Airport DLR station is connected to the airport Terminal making transport to and from the airport fast and convenient. The airport is located in Zone 3. Oyster cards and tickets can be purchased at the DLR counter adjacent to the airport Terminal. If you are travelling out of London, National Rail can provide service information including timetables and routes.
Bus number 473 operates between London City Airport, Stratford, Silvertown, North Woolwich and Prince Regent DLR Station. Bus number 474 operates between London City Airport, CanПing Town, North Woolwich and East Beckton via Silvertown.
Licensed taxis (Black cabs) are available directly outside the terminal building.
London City Airport offers Short and Main stay car parking facilities, conveniently located just minutes from the Terminal. More information on car parking can be found on the official website.