Emirates Aviation Experience Opens In North Greenwich

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 62 months ago
Emirates Aviation Experience Opens In North Greenwich
emirates_outside.jpg
Jet engine model made from LEGO
Jet engine model made from LEGO
Interior of the A380 nose cone.
Interior of the A380 nose cone.
A video showing the journey through an airport's baggage carousel
A video showing the journey through an airport's baggage carousel
The cafe and shop
The cafe and shop
Would you want this man flying your plane?
Would you want this man flying your plane?

On Friday the Mayor cut the ribbon on east London's latest boondoggle: the Emirates Aviation Experience, a tourist attraction with the lofty aim of "[providing] an insight into the operations and modern achievements of commercial air travel".

If the name hadn't tipped you off, the £4m attraction has been paid for by Emirates. Parked beside the Greenwich cable car terminal, the small building houses a model of a jet engine made out of LEGO, some interactive games demonstrating the principles of air travel, a full-size replica of an Airbus A380 nose cone, four flight simulators and (our favourite of the lot) a panoramic video showing a suitcase's journey through an airport baggage system. There's also a cafe and a shop selling Emirates swag.

Entry costs £3 for adults, £1.50 for children, but that doesn't include a go on the flight simulator. Want to try one of those out? You'll need to fork out £42 for a half-hour flight, or £35 if you go before 10am. Ouch.

Speaking at the launch, the Emirates CEO and Boris Johnson both enthused about the potential of the Aviation Experience to inspire a new generation of aviation enthusiasts. Perhaps, but it's also little more than a giant interactive advertisement for the airline. Diamond Geezer has written a good article about it, in which he coins the neologism brandtertainment: "An attraction funded by a major company, opened with the sole aim of boosting brand awareness and enhancing customer perception". He's documented countless examples, many of them around Greenwich peninsula and the Royal Docks, with the Emirates Aviation Experience merely the latest.

The attraction is open now. Will you be going?

Last Updated 08 July 2013