London City Airport Closed Due To World War II Ordnance

File this under “reasons you don’t hear every day for an airport being shut down.” Yesterday a World War II ordnance was discovered in London, in the River Thames at George V Dock. This was discovered as part of pre-planned work at London City Airport. As a result, yesterday evening the Royal Navy implemented a 214-meter exclusion zone so that the ordnance can be safely dealt with, while minimizing the risk to the public.

In addition to evacuating properties within the exclusion zone and closing roads, this is also causing London City Airport to be closed, given that it’s within the zone. London City Airport is closed all day today (Monday, February 12, 2018), and is expected to reopen tomorrow, but it may take longer.

While the Metropolitan Police and Royal Navy are trying to deal with this as quickly as possible in order to minimize disruption, they are also taking “all of the necessary steps and precautions to ensure it is dealt with safely.

If you were scheduled to fly out of London City Airport today, then you’ve hopefully already made other plans for getting to your destination. If you’re scheduled to fly tomorrow, be sure you’re following London City Airport on Twitter for all the latest updates.

As I said, this is certainly one of the more unusual reasons to see an airport shut down…


  1. I got lucky, I usually use LCY when I can because it’s so close to home, but went LHR this weekend. Pheew!

  2. @erick schmitt – Yeah, let’s just leave an unexploded ordnance sit exposed for a few days so we don’t disrupt traffic with thousands of people going by. What could possibly go wrong?

  3. From what I can gather, this was submerged and hadn’t been disturbed yet when discovered so this wasn’t exactly “exposed”. It’s not unheard of for removals to be put off to later dates to minimize disruptions, but it seems like an abundance of caution was best when this dock is only a few hundred feet away from a runway.

  4. I’m curious how compensation gets decided on this – especially under European Union rules for flight delays. Is the airline still accountable when it’s an issue with the airport?

    And if you can claim with insurance on this, can they refuse under the logic that this unexploded bomb is technically related to an act of war? (Many insurance providers refuse coverage when it comes to matters related to armed conflict).

  5. @Chucky This would surely fall under the exception “the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure.”

  6. Over here, old bean, we call it an unexploded bomb.

    Once in a while, the Germans find One of Ours on a building site or somesuch, just to even up the inconvenience.

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