Liverpool John Lennon Airport (IATA: LPL, ICAO: EGGP) is an international airport serving North West England. On the outbreak of World War II, the airport was operated by the RAF and known as RAF Speke. Built in part of the grounds of Speke Hall, Liverpool (Speke) Airport, as the airport was originally known, started scheduled flights in 1930 with a service by Imperial Airways via Barton Aerodrome near Eccles, Salford and Castle Bromwich Aerodrome, Birmingham to Croydon Airport near London. The airport was officially opened in mid-1933. By the late 1930s, air traffic from Liverpool was beginning to take off with increasing demand for Irish Sea crossings, and a distinctive passenger terminal, control tower and two large aircraft hangars were built. The old terminal building, used between the 1930s and 1986, now the Crowne Plaza Liverpool John Lennon Airport Hotel . The airport is within the City of Liverpool on the banks of the estuary of the River Mersey some 6.5 nautical miles (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) south east of the city centre. Originally called Speke Airport, in 2001 the airport was renamed after Liverpudlian musician John Lennon of The Beatles. Scheduled domestic, European and North African services are operated from the airport. Between 1997-2007, the facility was one of Europe's fastest growing airports, increasing annual passenger numbers from 689,468 in 1997 to 5,470,000 in 2007. Despite passenger numbers having decreased to just over 4,800,000 in 2016, this was an 11.1% increase on the 2015 total, making it the twelfth busiest airport in the UK. In 2017 the airport served 4.95 million passengers an increase of 3% over 2016. The CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence Number is P735, that allows flights for the public transport of passengers and flying instruction. The airport handled just over 5 million passengers 2018.
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