- In 1981, Reg Ward, the Chief Executive of the newly formed London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) started discussions with Sir Philip Beck (Chairman of John Mowlem & Co plc)regarding an airport for the Docklands area
- In November an outline proposal was submitted for a city centre gateway.
- In June 1982 a Dash-7 aircraft lansa on Heron Quay demonstrating the feasibility of airport project and in August a feasibility study was published by LDDC.
- In October an opinion poll shows many local residents are in favour and Mowlem submits application for planning permission.
- In 1983 an agreement is reached between Mowlem and The Port of London Authority to lease land in the Royal Docks and a Public enquiry took place.
- In 1984 the Secretary of state indicates he will agree the planning permission application but asks for more framing of the conditions including the noise controlling system.
- May 1995 saw the outline planning consent granted from the secretary of State.
- Construction work was launched by the Aviation Minister in 1986 and the Prince of Wales lays the foundation stone of the terminal building.
- In February 1987 the airport was officially named by the Mayor of London, during the year several routes were licensed and commercial flights started and November saw the official opening by The Queen.
- 15,000 passengers used the airport by the end of the year.
- In 1988 the airport launched a 35 minute river bus service to and from central London and the airport handles 133,000 passengers.
- 1989 saw Flexair opening a service to Rotterdam, Air France services to Lille and Strasbourg and planning permission submitted to extend runway as cver 216,000 passengers used the airport.
- In 1991 Secretary of state approves expansion plans but passenger numbers fall to 172,000 after Gulf War.
- In March 1992 the Princess of Wales visits the airport for the official relaunch of London City and the extended runway. Several new services are announced and passenger numbers rise to 186,000.
- Over the next few years many new services begin and by the end of 1995 passengers reach over 555,000. London City Airport Ltd is sold to Irish businessman Dermot Desmond during this year.
- London City wins two industry Awards in 1996 and passengers number rapidly increase.
- In 1997, more new airlines and destinations are added, the departure lounge is redesigned and developed and passenger numbers reach over 1 million.
- Approval was given to increase the number of passenger flights in 1998 and over 37,000 flights were made that year.
- In 1999 several improvements included a covered dock edge walkway, the terminal business centre refurbished and Jubilee line opens to passengers.
- 2000 saw many changes with British European launching new destinations, real time flight information and bookings made available online, refurbished restaurants opened and a planning enquiry was put forward for the Docklands Light Railway.
- In 2001 the airport won Business Travel 'Best Business Terminus' world award for the fourth time. More improvements were made to the arrivals and check in areas and planning approval was given for a new runway link.
- The Secretary of State approved the extension of the DLR to airport. The airport celebrates its 15th Birthday and 10 millionth passenger since 1987.
- Many new services were announced in 2003 including British Airways flights to Edinburgh, Paris, Geneva and Frankfurt. Work to extend the DLR began and the airport won several more awards including European Regions Airline Association's Airport of the Year Award.
- London City airport continue to develop as an important London gateway with 15 airlines flying to over 25 destinations and handling approximately 1.5 million passengers a year.