A petition has been launched to name Leeds Bradford Airport's new terminal after Amy Johnson

A flight comparison website has launched a Change.org petition to name Leeds Bradford Airport's new terminal after pioneering aviator Amy Johnson.

By Grace Newton
Saturday, 7th March 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 10:52 am
Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson

In the 1930s Amy Johnson, from Hull, was known as the Queen of the Skies for her daring feats of aviation.

Now Netflights are asking Leeds Bradford Airport to name their new terminal building - which is set to open in 2023 - in her honour. Of the 352 airports around the world named after a person, only 16 of these were inspired by a woman and just three of these women had a background in aviation.

2023 is also the 120th anniversary of Amy's birth.

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Amy was born in 1903 in Hull into a well-off family who were fish merchants and local politicians. Her parents encouraged her education, and she studied economics at the University of Sheffield before working in London as a secretary at a law firm.

She became interested in flying as a hobby in the late 1920s, gaining a pilot's licence. She also had strong ties to Slingsby Aviation in Kirkbymoorside, a company which built early gliders, and she was a member of the Yorkshire Gliding Club at Sutton Bank.

In 1930, she became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia and the first to fly from London to Moscow in one day. She also set a record time for a flight to Japan and for a trip from London to Cape Town - the record she broke on this flight had been held by her husband, Scottish pilot James Mollison.

When war broke out, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, which allowed women to fly planes between British air bases on non-combat operations. In 1941, she was flying between Glasgow and an RAF airfield in Oxfordshire when she was blown off course in bad weather. She ran out of fuel and crashed into the Thames Estuary in Kent.

She was alive when she parachuted out of the aircraft, and a nearby naval vessel attempted to rescue her. She was unable to reach the ropes they threw and became lost beneath the ship. Her body was never found and the captain of the vessel died after trying to swim out to her. Amy was 37.

An RAF serviceman claimed in 1999 that he had shot her plane down after Johnson failed to give the correct radio codes that would have identified her as a British pilot. This has never been officially verified.

There is a large collection of memorabilia relating to her life at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington, which was donated by her family.

To sign the petition, click here.