Sidney Island is a District of the city-state of Laurentia. It is an island off the southwestern coast of the city that is mostly dedicated to the Airport that was once the choicest point of entry to the city.
History of Sidney Island
From antiquity to the earliest days of the 20th century, Sidney Island was an uninhabited wilderness, largely ignored and untouched even as the beginnings of a great metropolis grew up across a narrow strait on the mainland. The island was largely filled with forests and wetlands, and was a nesting ground for sea turtles and an extraordinary diversity of birds. Naturalist journals from the late nineteenth century documented numerous species of flowering plants that were native only to Sidney Island, which became prized rarities later on in the city's history.
The first major human impact on the landscape of Sidney Island came in 1914, when a band of bold young dreamers, inventors and engineers who would be remembered as the founders of the Laurentian aerospace industry staked out a tract on the south side of the island and constructed the city's first airport - Hamilton Field. While Hamilton Field was simply a dirt runway and a few simple hangars and maintenance shops in its earliest days, it witnessed many great pioneering aeronautical feats and firsts. Most notably, Sidney Island was the beginning - and end - of the first solo circumnavigation of the world of Meropis, completed in 1925 by Laurentian icon and Hamilton Field regular Samantha Tatham in her monoplane, the Spirit of the Blue Rose. Following this momentous event, interest in aviation soared, and by the 1940s Hamilton Field had expanded to include a paved runway and the first real terminal for regular passenger service to destinations throughout Meropis.
Hamilton Field served the aviation needs of Laurentians without incident until 1998, when Air Laurentius Flight 47 overshot the main Hamilton Field runway and crashed into the sea off the coast of Cimmeria. Despite the extraordinary heroism of rescue services and ordinary Laurentians in rescuing survivors of the crash, this tragedy shook the public consciousness and highlighted the inadequacies of the aging infrastructure of Hamilton Field. Legislation to create a larger, state-of-the-art airport on Sidney Island was passed almost immediately, although construction faced resistance from conservationists (the Alliance for the Preservation of Sidney Island) who urged the protection of the still-pristine north half of the island from development. Sidney Island International Airport officially opened in 2001 to significant fanfare; despite continuous opposition and protests, the APSI was unable to save the natural habitat of more than a tiny area of the island. Sidney International quickly became one of the most frequented airports on Meropis, serving ever-growing freight, tourism and business travel as the Laurentian economy boomed in the 21st century. However, as conflict swept the globe in the final months before Laurentia was pulled into the Nexus, nearly all air travel ceased and Sidney International was officially shuttered - though City Administration described the closure of the airport as only a temporary setback.
Visiting Sidney Island
Sidney Island is not directly accessible on foot from any other district, and is reachable only by ferry or by swimming south from Cimmeria. Almost the entirety of the island is dedicated to Sidney International Airport and its runways and amenities, though a small scrap of the original landscape has been preserved to the north as a token political gesture.
The secure zone at Sidney International was created to be a self-contained city in miniature, capable of offering all necessary amenities to air travelers and crew. In the Nexus, the airport likewise offers a wide range of valuable resources in a compact area. The bulk of the airport is the terminal itself; while aircraft no longer take off and land at Sidney International, the terminal is the single best source of Fuel Cans in the Nexus. Gun-using characters may arm themselves at the Airport Security Center on the west end of the airport, while healers can find supplies at the Sidney International Medical Clinic to the east. An assortment of other amenities can likewise be found throughout the airport, and a wide range of clothing worn by globe-trotting passengers can be found at the Traveller's Inn near the ferry station.
Sidney Island is powered by Sidney Island Power Station, located at 6,33.