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In pictures: London City Airport through the years

Josh Mcloughlin

The only London airport that's actually in London is turning 30. Sure, you've probably never flown from there, but London City Airport is the only one that can reasonably lay claim to being in London proper. Heathrow may be on the Piccadilly line, but it's got a Twickenham postcode. Gatwick? Closer to Brighton. Luton, Stansted and Southend are so far outside the M25 they might as well be in Scotland.

London City Airport is formally announcing the start of its thirtieth anniversary year this week, as a year of celebration commences ahead of the official anniversary date in November. To mark this, the airport has delved into its archive and dug out 30 images – many dating from the early and mid-1980s with a few extending to the present day, including five images from the personal collection of NATS air traffic controller, Vic Abbott, which have not been published before.

The images offer a fascinating look into London's recent past, and the rapid change that has left the Docklands area unrecognisable in just a generation. Remember when Canary Wharf wasn't stuffed full of huge towers? Us neither.

Here's our pick of the best snaps of London City Airport at 30.

London's Royal Docks: 20th Century

Captain Harry Ghee: 1980s


 One Canada Square: 1992

Prince Charles Foundation Stone: 1986

Queen Elizabeth II Opening London City Airport: 1987

London Evening Standard Cartoon: 1987

Completed LCY Terminal: 1987

Check-in area: 1987

Corgis disembarking: 1980s

London City Airport: present day

Ben Walsh

London City Airport: 2025

All photos: London City Airport (unless otherwise stated)

In other news, the City of London is getting superfast free wifi.

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