Gatwick Airport in the UK has announced plans to introduce a drop-off fee next year in a bid to support its recovery from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airport intends to introduce a £5 charge for vehicles that use the forecourt to drop passengers directly outside the terminals.

However, the proposed fee will not be imposed on vehicles using the airport’s long-stay car parks to drop-off or pick-up passengers.

The move is expected to support Gatwick Airport’s recovery, as well as help the authorities to preserve jobs.

It is also expected to encourage public transportation usage and reduce road traffic congestion and emissions near the airport.

Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer Jonathan Pollard said: “Gatwick has just gone through the most challenging period in its history and this new drop-off charging scheme will give us a new revenue stream to aid recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and ultimately help us continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.

“Gatwick is also committed to promoting sustainable travel and this new scheme will encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including public transport services or parking options at the airport, which only involves two single car trips, compared to two return trips when dropping off.”

The airport authorities did not confirm when it plans to implement the charging system.

However, the first step includes a consultation on the implementation of a Red Route system, which will prohibit vehicles to park, load and unload, drop or board across the airport campus.