About Lydd Airport

The History of Lydd Airport

Lydd Airport – formerly known as Ferryfield – was built as a replacement for the old Ashford Airport at Lympne for the car ferry company Silver City Airways in just 6 months and opened to traffic in July 1954. By 1959 it was one of the busiest airports in the UK, with over 250,000 passengers annually. In the early 1970s the advent of the Hovercraft and roll-on-roll-off ferries led to a decline of the air ferry services from Lydd although other passenger and freight operations continued.

Today the Airport, which has benefited from substantial investment by the new owner, sees a healthy mix of private and training general aviation, corporate jets, air taxis, cargo and maintenance.

The Future of Lydd Airport

Lydd Airport’s plans for a 294m runway extension with a 150m starter extension and a new passenger terminal were finally given the go-ahead by the Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities and Local Government on 10th April 2013 following a 7 year planning process. On the 16th May a Judicial Review agreed with the Secretaries of State’s decision to grant Planning permission.

Shepway District Council had originally voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plans in March 2010 but the decision was called in for Public Inquiry which ran from February to September 2011.

The proposed developments aim to modernise the Airport so it is capable of handling passenger flights by aircraft up to the size of Boeing 737 or Airbus 319 – but no larger. At the moment the runway is long enough to operate these types of aircraft for Private, Maintenance, or Public Transport flights but with only a restricted pay load of passengers, luggage and for short flights only. The new Terminal will be more efficient, both in handling passengers, as well as energy and water usage compared with the current 1954 building.

We want to offer local people the chance to go on holiday or business from their local airport without the hassle and expense of flying from the London Airports which are becoming increasingly congested along with the roads that serve them.

The developments will help to create much needed employment on the Romney Marsh. Strict environmental controls will ensure that the special flora and fauna of Dungeness will continue to be protected or enhanced, and noise levels and aircraft numbers will be capped. Flying hours will be limited to 0700-2300, i.e. no night flights. Road infrastructure will be improved too.

Local Interest

Hotels can be booked through Customer Services or FAL Aviation, but we would recommend that you book your stay in advance.

Local Attractions such as The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, The Old Lighthouse, The Medieval town of Rye (a little gem!) are all close by, by taxi, but if you wish to venture to London, Ashford International Train Station is around 30 minutes away (by Taxi) and you can jump on the highspeed train in to St Pancras – only 37 minutes!

Taxis are available on request. Coaches and minibuses of all sizes can be hired with prior notification. Again please call ahead and book in advance to avoid any lengthy delays for yourself or passengers.