Staff at Heathrow have been saddened by the death of Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who was a regular user of the airport since its earliest days in the 1950s.
As a consummate traveller and an enthusiastic supporter of the aviation industry, the Duke was a familiar figure in the airport particularly at the Royal Suite where he would often be seen behind the controls of the royal aircraft, much to the surprise of onlookers.
The Duke took a keen interest in developments at the airport including ongoing construction work and any new developments in the field of aviation.
A statement from the Heathrow management said that they were “saddened” by his death and added “through the Duke of Edinburgh awards and charity and his passion for aviation, His Royal Highness impacted the lives of thousands of our own colleagues, as well as people across the world. We will always be thankful for this legacy he has left behind”.
The Duke made thousands of foreign trips, the bulk of them out of Heathrow. He often accompanied the Queen but made many more on his own, usually using the airport’s various VIP suites.
And despite his love of aircraft he was no great fan of noise issues in relation to nearby Windsor Castle.
He flew on Concorde several times but said of the notoriously noisy jet “I must be the only person in Britain glad to see the back of that plane”. And one of his favourite quips was quoting an American tourist he supposedly as “why did they build Windsor Castle so close to the airport?”