London City Airport has been closed today with all flights cancelled after a World War 2 bomb was found in King George V Dock during a pre-planned work on Sunday.
The airport in east London had all flights cancelled for Monday affecting up to 16,000 commuters after the bomb was found nearby in the Thames on Sunday evening.
Cordons were put in the surrounding areas on Sunday evening and the airport was shut at 10 pm after discussions between the Royal Navy and Metropolitan Police.
“At around 22:00hrs on Sunday, 11 February an operational decision was made with the Royal Navy to implement a 214-metre exclusion zone to ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public,” a statement from the Met Police said.
A total of 261 arrivals and departures were scheduled for Monday with 130 having been cancelled earlier, the airport’s website reported.
Some airlines have temporarily moved to other airports – CityJet to Southend and Alitalia to Stansted, London City Airport added.
The closure also affected commuters to other areas of London as Transport for London said the Docklands Light Railways will not operate between Pontoon Duck and Woolwich Arsenal due to the 214 metre exclusion zone.
The device was found during a survey for the £480m expansion of the airport which is likely to be removed by Monday evening with the aim of reopening the airport by Tuesday morning.
The airport used by about 4.5 million passengers last year as a gateway to and from the City and Canary Wharf to the UK’s domestic airports and some European destinations is Britain’s 14th largest.
Robert Sinclair, CEO of the airport, apologised and said: “I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents.”
Newham borough council has confirmed the bomb to be a ‘German 500kg fused device.’
Passengers have been advised by the airport to contact their airline for more information.