There needs to be a pretty significant reason to shut down an entire airport, but an unexploded 500 kilogram bomb near the end of the runway seems like a pretty good one.

That was the surprising discovery made at London City Airport in the early hours of Sunday morning, during clearance work for the planned expansion of the airpot.

The workers came across the World War II bomb in the River Thames right near the end of a runway.

According to the BBC up to 16,000 passengers have been affected with the airport shut all day Monday and all flights cancelled.

London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said The Royal Navy were notified immediately and undertook an assessment to confirm the situation.

navy

A clearance zone was put in place around the bomb and the airport was evacuated.

“It was the right thing to do and the responsible thing to do, to actually put that cordon in place and evacuate those areas”

London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair.

“Clearly we are very sorry for the impact that has had on passengers, on staff, on business partners, on airlines and most importantly for our local community surrounding us,” he said.

London City Airport’s latest announcement on the news is that it is “cooperating fully with the Met Police, Royal Navy and London Borough of Newham to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

The operation is proceeding well at this stage and the official line is that it is expected to be completed during the course of Monday evening, UK time.

At this stage they expect London City Airport to be fully operational from Tuesday morning.

Do you know anyone whose flight was affected?