Thursday, January 17, 2008

After 1944 in Croydon Airport

In 1944, Croydon became the base of RAF Transport Command, and in outstanding course civil aircraft operations began again. In February 1946, the airport returned to civilian organize. Gradually it became obvious that with technical advances, post-war airliners were going to be bigger and the use of airports serving capital cities would intensify. Croydon, however, had no room for further development and would shortly be too small to meet evident travel demands. Heathrow was therefore designated as London's airport and a resolution to close Croydon's airport was made in 1952. Blackbushe in Hampshire and Northolt Aerodrome in Middlesex also served airlines in service European scheduled flights during the 1950s. Croydon's most recent scheduled flight departed on 30 September 1959. The De Havilland Heron external Airport HouseThe site may still be seen. Much of it has been built over, but several of the terminal buildings near the main road are still visible, obviously identifiable as to their former purpose, and a De Havilland Heron, a small (fewer than 20 seats) airliner of the 1950s, is currently (2002) displayed outside on struts flanking the entry path. A Tiger Moth in RAF training scheme livery is suspended within the preserved booking hall which functions as a dining room when necessary. A memorial to the Battle of Britain stands somewhat to the south. Although Croydon Airport has long ceased operation, the two ends of Plough Lane that had been separated have never been reunited, the area having been urbanized instead into parkland, playing fields and the Roundshaw residential estate with its roads aptly named after aviators and aircraft.

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