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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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LCY Tweets

@MRLOFT Perfect timing! Have a great Christmas!
Merry Christmas @visitlondon great video, check out our festive video http://t.co/OZC7M27jA2
RT @visitlondon: @LondonCityAir Merry Christmas from the City! Share a bit of #christmaslondon spirit with #London's new festive video http…
@Jim_Ackers No plans at the moment but we can certainly pass your feedback on to @bernardlavelle
2,000 (Air) miles by The Pretenders @manairport #AirportXmasSongs
Flight Christmas @manairport #AirportXmasSongs
@shuffler79 No, anything that can be classed as a liquid like Nutella must go in the hold.
@PipHoweson @flybe @FlybeNewsRoom Hi please talk to your airline handling agent at the airport, they will have the latest information.
@frasercontra thanks for letting us know, we'll certainly pass this on
@Cokelove_ here's a link to all of our airlines, give your airline a call http://t.co/AvhFR1Kr2i
@frasercontra Sorry to read this, can you let us know which toilets? We'll pass this on to the team.
@Cokelove_ Hi there, give our team a call and they will be able to help you 020 7646 0088
@allaboutdabenj Sorry to read this, is there anything we can help with?
@KaleighMaietta the airport will be open from midday, our team will be available from then.
It's time to say goodbye to the elves, thank you to everyone who took part it's been a pleasure! #acrossthemiles http://t.co/ltlYBhCnLy
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RT @TheTofuDiaries: New post on the blog tonight - #NoFilter Dublin #travel http://t.co/7b6uxDqXky
RT @_caseybee: The Dublin Post, #NoFilter* http://t.co/XowruhiQUs on @bloglovin
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