London City Airport could become RAF Nightingale in COVID-19 Battle

An RAF Airbus A400M performing a Steep climbout (Aviation Media Agency)
An Airbus A400M performing a Steep climbout (Aviation Media Agency)

London City Airport (LCY/EGLC) is set to become ‘RAF Nightingale’ as it closes to all but military traffic.

The Airport is situated next to the Excel Centre in London which is being converted into NHS Hospital Nightingale to treat COVID-19 patients and ease the pressure on Hospitals.

The temporary hospital will have 4000 beds across two wards.

Supplies have already started to arrive at the hospital and it is expected that Royal Air Force (RAF) C130 Hercules, C17 Globemaster and Airbus A400M transport aircraft could utilise London City Airport to bring in supplies for NHS Nightingale and potentially even transport patients.

London City Airport (Image: Aviation Media Agency)
London City Airport is surrounded by tall buildings requiring special approaches (Image: Aviation Media Agency)

London City Airport is a challenging airport that requires a steeper than normal approach and shorter take-off and landing rolls, something the RAF is well used to doing in theatres such as Iraq.

The single runway at London City Airport is 1,508m long and Both the C17 and A400M are capable of operating from the airfield safely with landing distances of around 1,067m and 770m respectively.

The RAF has already been practising landing Hercules at the airport and was captured on video.

About Nick Harding 1101 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.