London Gatwick brand flow line over dark blue background

Key facts

The airport we know today was officially opened on 9 June 1958 by Queen Elizabeth II

When we opened

London Gatwick became an aerodrome back in the 1930s, but the airport we know today was officially opened on 9 June 1958 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Over the past 60 years​,​ our airport has grown from just 186,000 passengers to over 40 million passengers. 

London Gatwick runway

We're the busiest single runway airport in Europe. We have two runways, but they can’t be used at the same time due to their proximity.

This means that our Northern Runway can only be used if our Main Runway is not available. Our Main Runway is 3,316m long and 45m wide.

North and South Terminals

We have two terminals, the North Terminal and the South Terminal. Both have 31 stands each, with an additional 57 remote stands that are served by coaches. The ability to use a stand flexibly however means that we can park up to 186 planes. We also have a total of 245 check-in desks, 123 self-service check-in desks and 119 self-service bag drop kiosks.

Key stats
2023 2019
Total passengers 40.9 million 46.6 million
Aircraft movements 253,000 280,700
Total aircraft seats 48.6 million 53.9 million
Average load factor 84.1% 86.3%
Biggest airline easyJet 19m passengers easyJet 19m passengers
Long haul passengers 14% 19%
Travel at London Gatwick

We were the world’s first airport to have a direct mainline train link with our own dedicated train station. We are also the UK’s best-connected airport by train. We have direct connections to more stations than any other European airport station. From London Gatwick you can travel directly by train to over 120 stations without having to change. You can also reach over 700 stations within one change.

​​​We have the largest rail catchment of any UK airport. A massive 15 million people, which is more than a quarter of the population of England, can access London Gatwick by road or rail within 60 minutes.​​ ​​​Trains from London Gatwick reach central London in just 30 minutes, and run every three to four minutes. ​​ 

Increasing our capacity

We’ve made several improvements to our train station to provide a better and more seamless passenger experience. ​​ 

With new trains, investment and technology, train capacity has more than doubled in the last ten years.

London Gatwick is also part of the Oyster and contactless payment network​. This​ mean​s​​​ that​​ ​​train passengers benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital on London’s ticketless transport network.