In November 1917 Aldergrove selected to be the Royal Flying Corps training establishment during the First World War. With the end of the war, Aldergrove remained open for Royal Air Force aircraft and for the fledgling civil traffic to and from Northern Ireland.
In June 1921 King George V and Queen Mary visited Northern Ireland. Aircraft landed at Aldergrove with cameramen and reporters and returned to London with newsreel films and photographs of the event.
In May 1925 Northern Ireland's own Special Reserve unit No 502 (Ulster) Squadron RAF was formed at Aldergrove.
On 31st May 1933 Northern Ireland's first ever regular, sustained civil air service started. The route was Glasgow to Aldergrove and the flight was operated by Midland and Scottish Air Ferries.
On 20 August 1934 Northern Ireland's first London service began to Nutts Corner, operated by Railway Air Services. The flight left from Croydon and went via Birmingham and Manchester to Belfast.
1939-45: During the second World War, Aldergrove remained an RAF base, particularly for the Coastal Command.
1946-63: The decision was taken to move civil flights back to Aldergrove because of less variable weather conditions than those at Nutts Corner. In recent years aircraft had been diverted from Nutts Corner to Aldergrove because of adverse weather conditions
On 26 September 1963 operations were transferred from Nutts Corner to Aldergrove. The first passenger flight to land that day was a BEA Viscount from Manchester.
On 28 October 1963 HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother reopened Aldergrove as a civil airport and inaugurated the present terminal building
On 4th January 1966 was the start of the first regular jet service, by a British United BAC 1-11 to Gatwick
In 1969 the annual passenger numbers hit the 1 million mark
On Tuesday 21st October 2003 British Airway's Concorde touched down at the airport on its final farewell tour.
1933-1934: Aldergrove became Northern Ireland's civil airport.
Rate this page
Thanks for rating
Please explain any problem (email address for reply):