London City Airport At A Glance

London City Airport (LCY/ EGLC) is the smallest and newest of all aerodromes that serve the capital. Due to its location close to the centre of the city its traffic is strictly limited because of noise and safety considerations. Still, its proximity to the Canary Wharf makes it the preferred choice for business flights, as many of the leading UK corporations have their headquarters just a few miles away.


The airport is situated in the Royal Docks, borough of Newham, just 7 miles away from the centre of the city and even closer to its financial heart – Canary Wharf. Its grounds are flanked by the Royal Albert Dock and King George V Dock to the north and south respectively and seen from above its runway looks like an inlet amid the Thames.



Since the late 1970s the Dockland area of London became a subject of debate for renovation and redevelopment. It was in this context that the idea for a small airport in the very heart of London was first proposed in 1981. It took almost six years of technicalities and court battles for the idea to turn into reality, but on May 2nd, 1986 the foundation stone of the terminal building was ceremonially laid down by the Prince of Wales. Just over a year later, on May 31st the first aircraft landed on the new runway and London City Airport was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on October 26 1987.

In 1988, its first full year of operation, the airport handled more than 130,000 passengers and showed its potential of growth. It took just seven more years to cross the million passenger mark annually and by 2008 the quota passed over the 3 million mark.


Top destinations

As already mentioned above, the close proximity to the financial centre of London in the Canary Wharf determines the great interest for high-end business travel. It is hardly a surprise then that the top four destinations from London City Airport are occupied by some of the most important financial cities in Europe – Amsterdam, Zurich, Edinburgh and Frankfurt.

Another trend in later years has been the growing interest for charter flights to skiing destinations, which explains why London City hits the peak of traffic during the winter – then Zurich, Geneva and Milan occupy the top spots for passenger turnover.


How to get to the airport?

Because of its location and the relative proximity to the heart of the city the task is quite simple. Here are the options you can choose:

  • Docklands Light Railway connects the airport to Canary Wharf, the City of London, the Stratford International Station at the Olympic Park.
  • If you travel by car you should use either the A1020 or the A112 road which give you access to Canning Town, the City of London and Stratford. Furthermore, the A13 connects you to the M25 motorway and the A406 – to the M11 motorway.
  • The 473 bus line to and from Stratford via Plaistow and North Woolwich
  • The 474 bus line to and from Canning Town and Manor Park via Beckton and East Ham.



*Looking for a reliable and cheap transfer from London City Airport to any given part of the city? Call 020 3369 9947 - our shuttle cabs are available 24/7!