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London City Airport Feels the Earth Move

On 2 July 2009, the earth moved for London City Airport. No, really.

London City Airport’s runway designators ‘28’ and ‘10’ are the abbreviated magnetic runway headings of 280° and 100°. These headings are used to identify the direction in which the runway was being used.

As the earth slowly orbits in a circular path, the direction from a fixed object, like the airport’s runway, to magnetic north is constantly moving.

The direction of magnetic north decreases by approximately eight minutes of a degree every 12 months, therefore every seven and a half years it is altered by one degree. The amount of annual change depends on where in the world the fixed object is located.

In the UK, there is a directional change moving west which causes the runway heading to decrease. This means that the magnetic heading of the airport’s runway has moved by almost 10°since being established in 1987. Consequently last night (1/2 July) London City Airport’s runway designation was changed to 270° and 090°, abbreviated as ’27’ and ‘09’.

A team of staff and contractors worked throughout the night to change the airport’s signage and paint markings. In addition a comprehensive document change took place, whereby all official charts and reference material were amended to reflect the change.

Pilots flying into London City Airport today will notice the new markings on the runway whilst staff on the ground indeed felt the earth move under their feet.

It may be at least 50 years before the runway designation needs to change again at London City Airport. 

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@Colm_McKenna Great! That'd got to be a record time!
@RobHug For updates on your flight you'll need to get in touch with your airline, you can find contact details here http://t.co/AvhFR0TDE6
@je5 Sorry about the delay, but glad your all set up!
@CSchroeter86 Please DM us with your details so we can pass on to the relevant team.
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@R_Langer Let us know if you have any further issues.
@R_Langer Apologies for the delayed response, it appears we did have a few issues with Wifi access earlier but this has now been resolved.
@MrChips69 Any delays are due to low visibility early this morning, this has now cleared.
@R_Langer Sorry about this, bear with us whilst we look into this for you. Will come back to you asap.
@BlackMaverick12 Great picture!
@Colm_McKenna Great stuff, let us know how you get on.
@Colm_McKenna This work has now been completed and the e-gates are now up and running.
@CorinCole Thanks for letting us know, we'll get this changed #wishfulthinkingwednesdays
@karenannehinton They sure are, no issues reported. Have a good journey!
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@DomgbErnest A public consultation is currently underway until 27th November, all info can be found here http://t.co/AsxOxwWLia
@remittancegirl Sorry to read this, have you been speaking to @British_Airways in the terminal building?
Visibility has now improved, but flights may be delayed by the earlier disruption. If affected please contact airline http://t.co/AvhFR0TDE6
Low visibility is causing delays here at #LondonCityAirport this morning, please check with your airline for updates http://t.co/iEoxJH7mQq
@JasonWardmc Morning, please use the following link to check in with your airline http://t.co/iEoxJH7mQq
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