Gatwick became an aerodrome in the 1930s, but the airport we know today opened in 1958 with just 186,000 passengers in our first year of operation.

Facts about Gatwick airport

Today, it's a different story. We're open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we now serve around 36 million passengers each year.

Overview

Gatwick is the world’s most efficient single runway airport and the second largest airport in the UK. Uniquely, we're the successful home to scheduled, low-cost and charter airlines. Currently around 45 airlines operate from the airport including Air China, Vietnam Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian Air, Emirates, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Virgin.

We are the most important base for one of Europe’s most successful airlines, easyJet, and we're also home to key charter operations, particularly Thomson, Thomas Cook and Monarch.

We provide connectivity from the regions to London, with significant numbers of passengers travelling on Flybe, easyJet and Aurigny. We also accommodate the away-based operations of airlines such as Ryanair, Norwegian and airberlin.

In addition to the major long haul leisure operations of British Airways and Virgin, we are now seeing the emergence of long haul services to the Far East, with the arrival of Vietnam Airlines, Air China, Turkish Airlines and Garuda Indonesia in October. These complement the existing long haul services provided by, for example, Emirates.

Gatwick serves more destinations than any other UK airport and is the best connected point-to-point airport in Europe welcoming around 36 million passengers a year flying to around 200 different destinations.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is the largest shareholder.

Destinations and airlines

Gatwick has been competing vigorously since the change in ownership in December 2009. We have been winning new routes to the UK’s key trading partners and providing direct connections between London and high growth economies.

Since 2011, Gatwick has attracted new routes to Indonesia, Turkey, Vietnam, China and Russia. We continue to provide connections to closer destinations with new routes to Germany and Iceland recently announced and we have seen growth from some of our established carriers including easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Gatwick’s improving connections should help to maintain London’s role as a major hub.

  • Gatwick serves more destinations than any other UK Airport (source: OAG data).
  • Around 45 airlines use Gatwick serving approximately 200 destinations in 90 countries.
  • EasyJet is Gatwick’s largest customer; they fly 37% of the total number of passengers at the airport.
  • British Airways is the second largest carrier at Gatwick, accounting for 14% of passenger traffic.

Top ten international destinations 

  • Malaga
  • Dublin
  • Barcelona
  • Geneva
  • Amsterdam
  • Orlando
  • Faro
  • Dubai
  • Madrid
  • Palma de Mallorca

Top three UK/Channel Islands destinations

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Jersey

destinations map

Aircraft stands

There are 115 stands in total at Gatwick Airport:

  • 67 pier served stands split roughly 50:50 between each terminal; and
  • 48 remote stands serviced by coaches

Passenger profile

  • AB: 42.4%; C1: 41.2%; C2: 11.7%; DE: 4.7%
  • 1 in 5 of our passengers are travelling on business

Facilities

  • Number of runways: 1
  • Runway length: 3,316m long by 45m wide
  • Number of terminals: 2 - South (opened in 1958) and North (opened in 1988)
  • South Terminal is 160,000 square metres of which 14,768 square metres is retail facilities
  • North Terminal is 98,000 square metres of which 12,530 square metres is retail facilities
  • We have 346 check-in desks. 187 in South Terminal and 159 in North Terminal. In addition, there are 69 self-service kiosks.
  • Fast rail links to London: Just 28 minutes to London Bridge and 30 minutes to London Victoria 

Employment and investment

  • Gatwick provides around 23,500 on-airport jobs, of which around 2,650 are London Gatwick employees
  • Gatwick provides a further 20,000 jobs indirectly
  • The operation of Gatwick contributes around £2 billion annually to the economy of London and the South East
  • We invested £1.2 billion between 2008 and 2014 and are continuing to invest. Since the change of ownership in December 2009, Gatwick has invested over £900 million in upgrading facilities for its customers.

Improvements made so far

South Terminal

  • Created a new, £31 million South Terminal forecourt
  • Introduced a new £45 million state-of-the-art South Terminal security area
  • Extended the South Terminal departure lounge with an investment of £34 million
  • Refurbished and improved the gate rooms and aircraft stands on Pier 2 with £40 million
  • Invested £8 million improving the UK Border Zone and introduced dedicated lanes for passengers with young children and those with reduced mobility
  • Invested £47 million on a new inter-terminal shuttle to deliver quick, convenient connections between both terminals
  • Spending £180 million on knocking down and re-building Pier 1

North Terminal

  • Created a £25million new North Terminal interchange
  • Invested £75 million extending the North Terminal creating more space for departing and arriving passengers with more self-service check-in options
  • Invested £39 million in a new departures baggage system
  • Improved the security search area with a £5 million investment to create more lanes to handle increasing passenger traffic, with more investment to come
  • Invested £17 million in a new multi-storey car park with 1,177 new short stay parking spaces and a premium parking area
  • Created six new large aircraft stands with a £40 million investment
  • Opened the brand-new A380 stand in March 2013, making Gatwick A380 enabled.