British Civil Aviation in 1955

14 February
Westland Aircraft announces that the first British aeroplane fitted with jet deflection, a Gloster Meteor, has been tested in May 1954.

4 March
British European Airways (BEA) flies its first de Havilland Heron-operated charter ambulance flight.

17 March
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) announces its intention to buy twenty of the new de Havilland Comet IVs.

3 April
A new air traffic control centre for southern England becomes operational at Heathrow airport.

17 April
London Heathrow Airport Central becomes operational, with a British European Airways (BEA) Viscount making the first departure.

26 April
All gliders (sailplanes) flown within British airspace are made exempt from registration.

10 July
The United Kingdom Government announces measures designed to reduce the annoyance and damage from supersonic ‘booms’ caused by aircraft.

3 September
Squadron Leader J.S. Fifield of the Royal Air Force makes the first parachute escape from an aircraft travelling at speed on the ground. He is carried 70-80 feet in to the air when testing a Martin-Baker ejection seat installed in a modified Gloster Meteor 7, travelling at 194kph (120mph).

5-11 September
The annual Society of British Aerospace Companies exhibition and flying display takes place and includes fly-pasts by Vickers Valiant and Hawker Hunter jets.

17 October
British European Airways (BEA) announces its negotiations with Vickers-Armstrong for the purchase of Vickers Vanguard airliners.