British Civil Aviation in 1953

3 January
British European Airways (BEA) takes delivery of its first Vickers V701 Viscount turboprop airliners

4-11 February
British European Airways (BEA) helicopters help in evacuation, rescue and relief operations after flooding in the Netherlands. Aircraft from Royal Air Force Transport Command and 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany also take part.

19 February
A new civil aviation communications centre opens at Croydon airport.

3 March
A de Havilland Comet jet airliner ‘Empress of Hawaii’ crashes on take-off from Karachi, killing all 11 occupants.

3 April
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) begins to operate a weekly London to Tokyo service with de Havilland DH106 Comet Is.

18 April
British European Airways (BEA) begins the world’s first sustained passenger service by turboprop-powered airliners, on the London to Nicosia route.

2 May
A British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) de Havilland Comet I (G-ALYV) suffers structural failure and crashes near Calcutta with the loss of 43 lives.

21 May
Dan-Air is founded as a charter operator.

30 June
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret fly to Rhodesia in a de Havilland Comet jet airliner.

13 July
British European Airways (BEA) introduces a helicopter all-cargo service between London and Birmingham with Bristol Type 171s.

28 July
The formation of a new radar Research Establishment is announced.

7-13 September
The annual flying display and exhibition of the Society of British Aircraft Constructors is held at Farnborough.