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City of Derry Airport
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City of Derry Airport (IATA:
LDY, ICAO: EGAE) is an airport located a short distance from the
village of Eglinton, 13 km northeast of Derry City, Northern Ireland,
It is located on the south bank of Lough Foyle. Passenger numbers in
2008 were almost 439,000, a 2.7% increase on 2007.
Eglinton Aerodrome, as it is known locally, has a CAA Ordinary Licence
(Number P620) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers
or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Derry City
The airport has its origins in World War II. In 1941 RAF Eglinton air
base was established as home to No. 133 Squadron RAF which flew
Hurricane fighters in defence of the city. In 1942 the base was occupied
by No. 41 Squadron RAF. In 1943 the airfield became a Fleet Air Arm base
called HMS Gannet and was home to No. 1847 Fleet Air Arm Squadron which
provided convoy air cover as part of the Second Battle of the Atlantic.
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After the war the base remained a military establishment until the 1950s
when the Ministry of Defence returned much of the land to the original
landowners. Some limited commercial activities were undertaken at
the airfield during the 1960s when Emerald Airways operated a Glasgow
service. During most of the 1970s the only flying at Eglinton was
carried out by Eglinton Flying Club which is still based at the airport.
In 1978 Derry City Council decided to purchase the airfield with a view
to improving the transport infrastructure for the North-West of Ireland.
The airport has slowly developed since then with private short-haul
charters to various destinations within the British Isles, a service
which still continues including the recent addition of helicopter
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Loganair introduced the first scheduled flight between
Derry and Glasgow in 1979, a route which was recently dropped due to
rising fuel costs. This route was the only route for ten years until
Loganair introduced an additional daily Manchester service in 1989.
A major redevelopment
programme was undertaken by the Council from 1989 to 1993 with grant aid
from the European Regional Development Fund. £10.5 million was spent
upgrading all of the facilities at the airport including runways,
taxiways, access roads, navigation equipment and runway lighting, as
well as a new purpose-built terminal and fire station. The new terminal
was officially opened in March 1994. At that time there were still
only two scheduled routes carrying about 40,000 passenger each year.
1995 saw the first major
breakthrough with the arrival of Jersey European Airways. Since then a
number of carriers have launched a range of services from the airport to
UK destinations including a low fares route to London Stansted in 1999.
Also in 1999 the airport secured its the first package holiday charter
service to Majorca.
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Today the airport has scheduled flights to London, Glasgow International
and Glasgow Preswick, Liverpool, East Midlands and Dublin. Two
additional routes to London Luton and Birmingham will also commence
It also has summer charter flights to Majorca, Lanzarote, Salou/Barcelona
and Portugal and will carry over 450,000 passengers in 2008.
Derry Airport is 45km from
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