London Gatwick Airport
Learn more about London Gatwick Airport
|IATA: LGW - ICAO: EGKK|
<tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Airport type</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">Public</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Operator</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">BAA</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Serves</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">London</td></tr>
|Elevation AMSL||202 ft (62 m)|
Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW, ICAO: EGKK) is London's second largest airport and the second busiest airport in the UK after Heathrow. It is also the busiest single runway airport, and sixth busiest airport overall, in Europe in terms of passengers per year. It is located in Crawley, West Sussex (originally Charlwood, Surrey) 2.7 nm (5 km or 3 miles) north of the town centre, and 24.7 nm (46 km or 28 miles) south of London, and 40 km north of Brighton.
London Gatwick has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P528) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
In 2005, the airport handled over 32.6 million passengers , flying to around 200 destinations. Charter airlines are generally not allowed to operate from Heathrow and many use Gatwick instead as their base. Many flights to and from the USA also use Gatwick because of restrictions on transatlantic operations from Heathrow. The airport is a secondary hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
In 1979, when the last major expansion took place, an agreement was reached with the local council not to expand further before 2019, but recent proposals to build a second runway suitable for large jets at Gatwick led to protests about increased noise and pollution and demolition of houses and villages. The government has now decided to expand Stansted and Heathrow but not Gatwick. Gatwick's owners BAA have published a new consultation which includes a possible second runway south) of the airport, but leaves the villages of Charlwood and Hookwood intact, north of the airport.
Like many other airports, car parking is in limited supply at Gatwick. This is partly due to local planning restrictions. Facilities are often full to capacity in the summer months.
The name "Gatwick" dates back to 1241, and was the name of a manor on the site of today's airport until the 19th century. It is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words gāt, 'goat', and wīc, 'dairy farm', i.e. 'goat farm'.
In 1891, a racecourse was created at Gatwick beside the London-Brighton railway. A railway station was built which included sidings for horse boxes. The course was popular and held both steeplechase and flat races. During the first world war the course hosted the Grand National.
In the 1920s land adjacent to the racecourse at Hunts Green Farm along Tinsley Green Lane was used as an aerodrome and licensed in August 1930. The Surrey Aero Club was formed in 1930 and used the old Hunts Green farmhouse as the first club house.
The Redwing Aircraft Company bought the aerodrome in 1932 and operated a flying school. The aerodrome was also used for pilots flying in to watch the races. In 1933, the aerodrome was sold to an investor who had designs to run it as an airport. The Air Ministry approved commercial flights from Gatwick the following year, and by 1936, scheduled flights were operating to several destinations on the Continent. A circular terminal called "The Beehive" was built, with a subway connecting it to Gatwick railway station so that passengers could travel from Victoria Station to the aircraft without stepping into the elements. Two fatal accidents in 1936 questioned the safety of the airport, it was also prone to fogs and waterlogged soil. The new subway regularly flooded after heavy rain. As a consequence of the conditions and the need for longer landing areas British Airways Ltd moved out to Croydon Airport in 1937. Gatwick changed back to private flying and also a contract to run a Royal Air Force flying training school. The airport also attracted aircraft repair companies.
Gatwick Airport was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force in September 1939 and used for aircraft maintenance. Although night-fighters, an army co-operation squadron and later fighters were based at Gatwick it was mainly used as a repair and maintenance facility.
Aircraft maintenance continued after the war, but a number of charter companies (using war-surplus aircraft) started to use Gatwick. Most of the services were cargo flights. The airport still suffered from bad drainage and was little used. In November 1948 the airport owners warned that the airport could be de-requesitioned by November 1949 and revert back to private use.
Stansted airport was favoured as London's second airport and Gatwick's future was in doubt. Despite opposition from the neighbouring local authorities the cabinet in 1950 decided that Gatwick was to be designated as an alternative to Heathrow Airport. British European Airways started flying from Gatwick and BEA Helicopters opened a base at the airport. The government announced in July 1952 that the airport was to be developed, and the airport was closed for an extensive (£7.8 million) renovation between 1956 and 1958. On 9 June 1958 Queen Elizabeth II flew into the new airport, in a De Havilland Heron, to perform the official opening.
The new Gatwick was the world's first airport with a direct railway connection, and was one of the first to use a fully enclosed pier-based terminal design with covered jetbridges connecting waiting areas directly to aircraft.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s passenger figures grew and despite all modifications to the existing terminal and the opening of the satellite pier in 1983, there was still a need for more capacity. In 1988, the North Terminal was completed; it is connected to the south terminal with a rapid transit system. In May 2005 the £110 million pier 6 was opened along with the new sky bridge walkway which linked an extra 11 piers to the north terminal. The highest of its kind, the new bridge spans across an active taxiway at Gatwick, giving departing and arriving passengers at Gatwick views of taxiing aircraft.
Gatwick has two runways but the northern runway 08L/26R is a non-instrument runway and is only used when 08R/26L is temporarily non-operation for maintenance or accident.
Both runways cannot be used at the same time because of insufficient separation between them. It can take up to 15 minutes to change over from one runway to the other.
The northern runway 08L/26R does not have an Instrument Landing System and aircraft need to use a combination of Distance Measuring Equipment, Non-directional beacons, and assistance from the airport approach controller using a surveillance radar.
The airport has two terminals; North and South.
 North Terminal
Construction began on the North Terminal in 1983: it was the largest construction project south of London to have taken place in the 1980s. The terminal was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988 and was expanded in 1991.
- Adria Airways (Ljubljana)
- Air France
- Air France operated by Brit Air (Strasbourg)
- Air Namibia (Windhoek)
- Air Southwest (Newquay, Plymouth)
- Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv)
- American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth, Raleigh/Durham)
- Astraeus (Accra, Alghero, Aqaba, Aswan, Banjul, Bastia, Bergen, Bodrum, Brescia, Calvi, Chambery, Corfu, Deer Lake, Dubrovnik, El Alamein, Fagernes, Freetown, Geneva, Hassi Messaoud, Heraklion, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kuusamo, Las Palmos, Malabo, Malaga, Monrovia [Starts 15 January, 2007], Murcia, Murmansk, Mykonos, Olbia, Paphos, Preveza, Salzburg, Sharm El Sheikh, Split, Taba, Tenerife, Thira, Uralsk, Volos, Zadar, Zakinthos)
- British Airways (Aberdeen, Algiers, Amsterdam, Antigua, Atlanta, Athens [ends March 2007], Barbados, Barcelona, Bari, Bermuda, Bologna, Bordeaux, Cagliari, Catania, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dresden [starts March 2007], Dublin, Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Grenada, Grenoble, Hassi Messaoud, Houston-Intercontinental, Izmir, Jersey, Kiev-Boryspil [ends March 2007], Kingston, Krakow, Luxembourg, Madrid, Manchester, Marseille, Naples, Newcastle [ends March 2007], Nice, Orlando, Pisa, Port of Spain [starts March 2007], Prague, Priština, Reykjavik/Keflavik, Riga [ends March 2007], Rome-Fiumicino, Salzburg [Starts 1 December], Sarajevo [starts March 2007], St Lucia, Sofia, Split, Tampa, Tirana, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Tobago, Toulouse, Turin, Varna, Venice, Verona, Zürich)
- BA Connect (Inverness, Isle of Man)
- British Airways operated by GB Airways (Agadir, Ajjacio, Alicante, Arrecife, Bastia, Dalaman, Faro, Funchal, Gibraltar, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Las Palmas, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marrakech, Montpellier, Nantes, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Seville, Sharm el Sheikh, Tenerife North, Tenerife South, Tunis)
- Daallo Airlines (Djibouti)
- Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, New York-JFK)
- Emirates (Dubai)
- Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi)
- First Choice Airways (Agadir, Alicante, Almeria, Antayla, Antigua, Arrecife, Aruba, Banjul, Barcelona, Bodrum, Burgas, Cancún, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Goa, Grenoble, Heraklion, Holguin, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kittala, Kos, Krakow, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Malta, Mitilini, Mombasa, Monastir, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Porlamar, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Porlamar, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, St. Thomas, Skiathos, Taba, Tel Aviv, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Varadero, Varna, Verona, Volos, Zadar, Zakynthos)
- Flyjet (Amritsar, Corfu, Heraklion, Larnaca, Luxor, Mahon, Paphos, Sharm el Sheikh, Tenerife)
- flyLal (Vilnius)
- Israir Airlines (Tel Aviv)
- Kıbrıs Türk Hava Yolları (Antalya, Dalaman)
- Malev (Budapest)
- Nationwide Airlines (Johannesburg)
- Royal Air Maroc (Marrakech)
- SN Brussels Airlines (Brussels)
 South Terminal
The main pier of the South Terminal was built during the 1956-58 construction of Gatwick. In 1962, two additional piers were added, and in 1983, a circular satellite pier was opened, connected to the main terminal by the UK's first automated people mover system. The original pier was extensively refurbished in 1985, and the entire terminal is currently under a second refurbishment program.
- African Safari Airways (Mombasa)
- Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli)
- Air Algerie (Hassi Messaoud)
- Air Atlanta Europe (Faro, Hurghada, Paphos, Orlando-Sanford, Sharm el-Sheikh)
- Air Madrid (Madrid)
- Air Malta (Catania, Malta)
- Air Transat (Halifax, Montréal, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver)
- airBaltic (Riga, Vilnius)
- Ajet (Larnaca, Paphos)
- Alexandair (Heralion, Kos)
- Aurigny Air (Guernsey)
- Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku)
- Belavia (Minsk)
- BH Air (Burgas, Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna)
- BritishJet (Malta)
- Bulgaria Air (Sofia, Varna)
- Centralwings (Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw)
- Continental Airlines (Cleveland [seasonal], Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)
- Croatia Airlines (Dubrovnik, Pula, Split)
- Cubana de Aviación (Havana, Holguin)
- easyJet (Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin-Schönefeld, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Edinburgh, Faro, Fez [starts September 2007], Geneva, Glasgow, Ibiza, Inverness, Krakow [starts September 2007], Madrid, Malaga, Marrakech, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Nice, Olbia, Palermo [starts Summer 2007], Palma de Mallorca, Pisa [starts Summer 2007], Prague, Rome-Ciampino, Split, Toulouse, Valencia, Venice)
- Estonian Air (Tallinn)
- Eurocypria Airlines (Larnaca, Paphos)
- European Aviation Air Charter (Rimini)
- Excel Airways (Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Athens, Barbados, Bastia, Bodrum, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Goa, Grenada, Heralion, Holguin, Hurghada, Kalamata, Kavala, Kefallina, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lemnos, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marsa Alam, Mitilini, Mombasa, Murcia, Mykonos, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Pula, Punta Cana, Rhodes, Samos, Santa Clara, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, St. Kitts, Taba, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Tobago, Zakinthos)
- Flybe (Belfast, Guernsey, Jersey)
- Free Bird Airlines (Antalya, Dalaman)
- Futura (Tenerife)
- Ghana International Airlines (Accra)
- Germanwings (Hamburg)
- operated by Air Nostrum (Mahon)
- Jet2.com (Manchester, Newcastle [Starts March 2007])
- Karthago Airlines (Monastir)
- LTE International Airways (Las Palmas, Palma, Tenerife)
- Meridiana (Cagliari, Florence, Olbia)
- Monarch Airlines (Accra, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Barcelona, Bodrum, Calgary, Cancún, Chania, Colombo, Corfu, Delhi, Faro, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Goa, Grenoble, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Kos, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Luxor, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Mombasa, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofio, Taba, Tenerife, Toulouse, Trivandrum, Turin, Venice, Verona, Zacinthos)
- Monarch Airlines (scheduled) (Alicante, Faro, Granada, Lisbon, Malaga)
- MyTravel Airways (Agadir, Almeria, Arrecife, Bodrum, Calgary, Cancun, Corfu, Dalaman, Fuerteventura, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kefallinia, Kos, La Romana, Las Palmas, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Monastir, Montego Bay, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Tenerife, Toronto-Pearson, Turin, Vancouver, Zakinthos)
- Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
- Nouvelair Tunisia (Djerba, Monastir)
- Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong)
- Olympic Airlines (Athens, Thessaloniki)
- Onur Air (Bodrum, Dalaman)
- Pegasus Airlines (Dalaman)
- Pulkovo Aviation (St. Petersburg)
- Qatar Airways (Doha)
- Ryanair (Cork, Dublin, Shannon)
- Scandinavian Airlines System
- SAS Braathens (Bergen)
- SATA International (Ponta Delgada)
- Sterling Airlines (Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda [Starts 25 March, 2007])
- Sudan Airways (Khartoum)
- TAP Portugal (Funchal, Lisbon, Porto)
- Thomsonfly (Accra, Alghero, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Barbados, Bodrum, Bergas, Cancun, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Enontekio, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Luxor, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Mombasa, Monastir, Montego Bay, Niš, Orlando-Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Rovaniemi, Salzburg, Santa Cruz, Sharm el Sheikh, Sofia, Tenerife, Toulouse, Turin, Varadero, Verona)
- Thomas Cook Airlines (Agadir, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Bodrum, Burgas, Calgary, Cancun, Corfu, Cunagua, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Halifax, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Izmir, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Monastir, Montréal, Munich, Orlando-Sanford, Ottawa, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofia, Split, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Toronto-Pearson, Toulouse, Turin, Vancouver, Varadero, Verona, Zakinthos)
- Titan Airways (Chambery)
- Travel Service (Prague)
- Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)
- US Airways (Charlotte, Philadelphia)
- Viking Airlines (Heraklio)
- Virgin Atlantic (Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Mauritius [Starts November 2007], Nassau, Orlando, St Lucia, Tobago)
- Virgin Nigeria (Lagos)
- Zoom Airlines (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Manchester UK, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg)
 New Routes Where it is Unclear Which Terminal is Used
 Gatwick Airport Transit
The Gatwick Airport Transit provides free transportation between the North and South Terminals. The transit system uses transit vehicles that run along a 1.2km long elevated two-way track system. The transit vehicles are automatic driverless people movers each with three cars. The transit is free to use with a travel time of only one minute fifty six seconds. The transit runs every three minutes in peak travel periods (when two vehicles are used) and every six minutes at all other times (when one vehicle shuttles back and forth).
 Plane accidents
- 17 February 1959 - a Turkish Airlines Vickers Viscount crashed near Horley whilst approaching to land at Gatwick. The plane hit some trees and went into a house. 12 of 22 on board the plane died. On board at the time was then-Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was amongst the survivors.
- 5 January 1969 - Ariana Flight 701, a Boeing 727-113C of Ariana Afghan Airlines was arriving at Gatwick from Frankfurt International Airport in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and crashed into a house while attempting to land in low visibility conditions. The flaps were not extended far enough to maintain flight at final approach speed. 50 of the 66 people on board died as well as two on the ground.
Both terminals at Gatwick offer a range of facilities for travellers. Business travellers are catered for by several executive lounges offering peace and quiet and modern business facilities. There is also a conference and business centre with meeting facilities and business services. Business Travellers are also offered Fast Track which enables an efficient car park to airport to check-in and then to flight service.
Children are catered for with facilities for baby changing and feeding and there are play areas and video games to keep them amused. The airport also has Skyview in the South Terminal which offers views across the airfield and interactive activities, however this was closed to the public in 2004.
Disabled passengers can travel easily through Gatwick too with all areas being accessible and added special needs facilities.
There is a fairly standard range of shops and restaurants throughout both terminals at Gatwick, such as Starbucks Coffee shops and Boots.
The South Terminal includes a Pizza Express, McDonalds, several WH Smiths, Boots and a Hilton hotel. There used to be a Burger King in the south terminal, but it was replaced by a McDonalds after a minor cooking oil fire accident (BK staff did not follow fire procedures).  Both terminals used to contain record shops. For many years these were Our Price stores. They closed in 1999 and reopened as Virgin records. Impulse record shops can now be found landside, in both terminals.
 Ground transport
The Gatwick Airport railway station is located next to the South Terminal and provides fast and frequent connections along the Brighton Main Line to London Victoria and London Bridge stations, as well as Brighton to the south. The Gatwick Express service to Victoria is the best-known rail service from the station, but several other companies, including Southern, First Capital Connect, Virgin Trains and First Great Western Link, use the station as well. First Capital Connect provide direct trains to Luton Airport, and foot passengers with modest luggage can reach Heathrow Airport by catching an X26 Express Bus from East Croydon.
Route 21 of the National Cycle Network passes under the South Terminal, allowing virtually traffic-free cycling northwards to Horley and southwards to Three Bridges and Crawley. A [goods-style] lift runs between the terminal and ground level (signed "Lift to Cycle Route"), near Zone L.
There are also at least two sets of stairs which foot-passengers can use to leave the South Terminal and get to ground-level (near the cycle route) from the vicinity of Zone L and the train-station area (steps are labelled Exit Q and Exit P on the ground). These are widely used by Gatwick workers and locals and allow access to bus stops for local services. There is a useful (but poorly signposted) footpath that leads to Crescent Way in the south of Horley.
The airport has several long and short stay car parks, both at the airport and off-site.
- United Kingdom AIP
- Gwynne, Peter. (1990) A History of Crawley (2nd Edition) Philmore. ISBN 0-85033-718-6
 External links