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Lancaster Bomber
Croydon Airport is commandeered for military use during WWII
1933 A system to establish a safe distance between aircraft landing and taking off is introduced.

1936 Gatwick Airport opens with the first flight on 17 May taking passengers to Paris for four pounds five shillings a seat. Other destinations include Malmo via Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and the Isle of Wight.

1939 Croydon Airport is deemed too small to deal with the larger and heavier aircraft being developed and the government starts consultations about a new London airport.

The state-subsidised Imperial Airways becomes fully state controlled and is renamed British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

Civilian flights are severely hampered during World War II as main airports, including Croyden, are commandeered for military use. But BOAC continues to operate out of Bristol, flying to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, India and the Middle East.

Planes are painted in military camouflage for safety, but a number are still shot down.


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