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Croydon Airport, U.K. 

croydon airport emblemLondon Croydon Airport was once Britain's major and only international gateway airport.

As global air travel developed after World War One it played a significant part in early twentieth century British history and shaping global air travel.

With the March 1920 closure of the temporary aerodrome at Hounslow Heath, it became operational as London Terminal Aerodrome from March 29, 1920 until September 30,1959.

It began life using the former 1915 World War One airfield with commercial operations commencing when the RAF vacated the aerodrome in March 1920.

Britain's first airport expansion Act of Parliament in 1925 led to the 1926 redevelopment of the airport with the completion of the new buildings in 1928.

tmb 550 croydon imperial airways
Some of the significant historic events and achievements at London Croydon Airport include:-
  • Amy Johnson's record-breaking flights
  • Birthplace of Air Traffic Control
  • Innovation of "Mayday" international distress call
  • World's first integral airport terminal
  • World's first Air Traffic Control Tower
  • Establishment of Britain's national airline, Imperial Airways
  • Britain's first international air routes across Europe, Asia and Australia
  • Site of multiple world record- breaking flights

Significantly, the new airport introduced the world to two new types of specialized building:-

  • Airport Terminal
  • Air Traffic Control Tower.

These two types of new building were the first built in Britain, Europe or across the world and are instantly recognizable features of all modern airports. The buildings were of importance as they identified the key functions and processes needed in these transport buildings and were designed around those functions.

A de Havilland Heron stands outside marking the airport's final flight by Morton Air Services to Rotterdam on September 30, 1959. 

(Source: www.croydonairport.org.uk

tmb 550 croydon airport gate

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