Gatwick became an aerodrome as early as 1930, but the airport we know today opened with just over 186,000 passengers passing through 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 34.2 million passengers each year.


Gatwick is the world’s busiest single runway airport and the second largest airport in the UK. Around 45 airlines operate from the airport including Air China, Vietnam Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian Air, Emirates, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Virgin.

Gatwick serves no more than 25% of the London and South East market and we aim to provide services that compete in all sectors of this market. We welcome short haul, long haul, low cost carriers (LCC), full service carriers (FSC) and charter traffic.

We are the most important base for one of Europe’s most successful airlines, easyJet, and we also serve important 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 34.2 million passengers a year flying to approximately 185 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 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.
  • 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 2012/13

  • 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

Aircraft movements

  • Gatwick Airport operates the world's busiest single runways. We operate the highest number of air traffic movements per year off a single runway
  • In 2011/12 Gatwick operated 242,498 air transport movements - more than any other single runway in the world.
  • San Diego, the second busiest single runway airport, handles around half the number of annual movements on its single runway.
  • Annual air transport movements in 2011/12: 242,498
  • Average daily air transport movements 2011/12: 664
  • Busiest day ever: 22 August 2008, 895 aircraft movements.

Passenger numbers by terminal

  • South Terminal – 16.5 million passengers on 120,830 flights
  • North Terminal – 17.7 million passengers on 121,281 flights

Passenger profile

  • AB: 42.4%; C1: 41.2%; C2: 11.7%; DE: 4.7%


  • Cargo tonnage in 2011/12: 88,111 metric tonnes


  • 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: Gatwick Express, 30 minutes to London

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 are investing £1.2 billion between 2008 and 2014. 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