Despite not looking old enough to drink hard liquor, 2017 actually marks the 30th birthday of London City airport (LCY to its friends).
Its maybe difficult to imagine now just how radical the original concept was and the amount of ‘blue skies’ thinking involved to propose an airport built on what was then an area of derelict docklands. Imagine too, the first landings (by a Brymon Airways four-engined Dash 7) made on what is now Heron Quays, using a temporary surface cleared for these proving flights (first in June 1982, then a second one a year later).
In its first full year, the airport saw just 133,000 passengers passing through. In 2017, it will push towards 5 million passengers. Back in 1988, you could only fly to Paris and Brussels, bizarrely neither of those is now on the airport’s schedule of more than 30 destinations. Nevertheless, it’s still one of our favourite airports to pass through – not least because it’s quite feasible go from walking off the aeroplane to leaving the airport on the tube within 10 minutes.
The point of this reminiscing is that our good friend Malcolm Ginsberg, editor in chief of the very well-informed BT news (www.btnews.co.uk), is now writing a book about the first 30 years of LCY (a history in which he played a significant part). Malcolm has discovered that there appears to be virtually no images of the first two landings at Heron Quays, and less material than you might expect from the early days of this ground-breaking airport.
So, if you have any photos, documents or memorabilia that you think might be helpful, why not drop Malcolm a line at email@example.com