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Shoreham Airport

Britain's oldest airport, opened 1910, and the first purpose-built commercial airport in the world, with a fine Art Deco terninal building by Stavers Tiltman, 1936

West Sussex
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):

Brighton City Airport, Cecil Pashley Way, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

BN43 5FF
Visitor Centre:

About Shoreham Airport

The aerodrome was first used in 1910, with a first flight by Harold Plume Piffard, and was officially opened on 20 June 1911. The first flying school opened in 1913. During World War I the aerodrome was used by the Royal Flying Corps.

The aerodrome became an airport for the adjacent towns of Brighton, Hove, and Worthing in the 1930s. A new terminal building, designed in Art Deco style by Stavers Hessell Tiltman, was opened on 13 June 1936. It is still in use and is now a Grade II* listed building.

During World War II the airfield operated a variety of military aircraft including Westland Lysanders that were later replaced by Supermarine Spitfires, Hawker Hurricanes, Boulton Paul Defiants and a pair of Bristol Beaufighters. It was an air-sea-rescue base with Supermarine Walrus aircraft joining other wartime activities in the nearby harbour.

The airfield was bombed several times and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 was shot down by ground fire during one such attack, crash-landing near the terminal building. A B-17 Flying Fortress crash-landed at the airfield after being damaged during a raid on Germany. The consequent damage to the old guardhouse on the north side of the airfield can still be seen.

The landing area was entirely grass until a tarmac runway was built in 1981.

There is a small museum with superb photos, pilots' memorabilia and many deteailed models of aircraft that flew from Shoreham over the years.

Now named Brighton City Airport, it will shortly host daily commercial flights to and from Alderney.

interior check-in desk


By road: Off A27 just West of Shoreham.

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Campbell, Peter G. Shoreham Airport: Record of Visiting Aircraft 1945-1970, Cirrus Associates ISBN-10: 1902807073 (1999)

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Falconer, Jonathan, RAF Bomber Airfields of World War 2, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 2080 9 (1995)

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National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR