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Southampton airport, England

July 14th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Southampton Airport (IATA: SOU, ICAO: EGHI) is the 20th largest airport in the UK, located in Eastleigh near Southampton. Southampton Airport is owned by BAA plc, which owns several other airports including the three busiest airports serving London. Southampton airport handled in excess of 1.9 million passengers during 2006.

Southampton International Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P690) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

The airport's runway is reputed to be built over the remains of a Roman villa.

According to local history author John Edgar Mann's Book of the Stonehams the site's connection with aviation can be traced back to 1910 when pioneer pilot Eric Moon used the meadows belonging to North Stoneham Farm as a take-off and landing spot for his monoplane, Moonbeam Mk II.

During the First World War, when forces from the United States Navy arrived in 1917, work on the building of hangars began. At the peak of the American presence, some 4,000 officers and men were billeted in tents and huts along the adjacent London to Southampton railway line.

After that war, the site became a transit camp for refugees, mainly Russian, who were anxious to sail to America from the port of Southampton. The shipping companies Cunard and White Star Line (the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company) together with the Canadian Pacific railway formed the Atlantic Park Hostel Company to house them temporarily. In 1921 the hangars were converted into dormitories, kitchens and dining rooms.

The hostel was intended to be a short-term clearing house for those trans-migrants changing ships, but following changes to US immigration law which restricted entry to the United States under national origins quotas, some residents were forced to stay much longer. In 1924 about 980 Ukrainian Jewish would-be emigrants were cared for at the hostel. Some of them were still there seven years later, stranded between the US and UK which would not accept them, and unable to return the countries they had fled. Atlantic Park had a school, library, and synagogue while the refugees formed football teams that played local sides and took part in local events, such as Eastleigh carnival.

At the height of its use 20,000 passed through Atlantic Park in 1928 but then figures started to fall away, leading to the closure of the hostel in 1931. In 1932 Southampton Corporation purchased the site and it became Southampton Municipal Airport.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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