With the overwhelming number of local and international flights in London, the London City Airport serves to ease the load and responsibility handled by the larger airports.
After the four bigger airports in London namely, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton, London City Airport exists to offer air services to the city. Reg Ward initially planned it in 1981, and after some feasibility studies and further planning, construction begun in 1986.
With the Prince of Wales as the one who laid the building’s first stone, and with Queen Elizabeth II as the one who opened it in 1987, the London City Airport is considered as among Europe’s premier airports intended for business trips.
The London City Airport, with its single-runway is conceived mainly for STOL airlines, which means Short Take Off and Landing. In simpler terms, STOL aircrafts are those which have short runway prerequisites. Furthermore, most of these STOL aircrafts are able to land off-airport as well, including fields, water, and areas with snow. Thus, the London City Airport is otherwise known as a STOLPORT.
Since it opened in 1987, the London City Airport has undergone several modifications. The length of the runway was extended, and the glideslope angle was decreased to 5.5 from the original 7.5 degrees. In 2003, the runway’s eastern end was built with a turning loop.
London City Airport has serves more than 1.9 million travelers in 2005 alone. People behind the airport’s operation believe that the city’s economy will be able to sustain the airport’s five million prospective passengers every year. Several domestic routes are handled to complement to the airport’s international services.
Passengers of the London City Airport are provided easy access to the city via the Docklands Light Railway. London Bus and shuttle services used to be the airport’s link to the city, but their services were discontinued when the London City Airport housed the DLR station.
There are very strict rules regarding noise impact caused by departing aircrafts at the London City Airport. Along with the runway specifications, this too, limits the type of aircrafts that are able to utilize the airport. Operations are only allowed from 5:30 to 21:30 on weekdays, and are a lot more restricted on weekends. The airport requires a 24-hour shutdown during the weekend.
Even if the London City Airport is much smaller than the other four airports in London, it continues to provide the most pleasant experience to those who want a hassle-free travel.