Passengers at Southampton Airport found themselves at the centre of the very special international events to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when Air Force One and heads of state from across Europe landed at the airport.
Yesterday morning (5), aircraft from across the globe were welcomed on the runway as dignitaries flew in en route to the commemorative events in Portsmouth.
They included the heads of state for Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron – all at the Isle of Wight’s nearest international airport.
Later in the day, passengers were stunned to view close-up the arrival of Air Force One, followed by the Marine 1 helicopter carrying President Donald Trump on his return trip from Portsmouth.
The specially-marked Boeing 757 departed for the president’s next stop in Ireland before heading for Normandy.
Prime Minister Teresa May also passed through the airport on her way to the events today on the beaches at Normandy.
Extra staff were on duty to deliver the extra special airside operations, and there was a large police presence around the entire airport campus to ensure everything went smoothly.
Managing Director Neil Garwood said:
“From the first flight of the Spitfire off our airfield 1936 to the thousands of troops stationed here throughout the conflict, our airport is indelibly linked with World War II.
“It is very humbling to be able to play even a small part in these magnificent commemorative events and we are extremely proud to have been able to help bring so many nations together to recognise the sacrifices made 75 years ago.
“We may not see a day like this for a very long while, and it will live long in the memory of everyone who works here.”