UK’s Gatwick Airport has announced plans to invest £250m in various projects in 2017.

The investment is part of the airport’s five-year, £1.2bn plan to expand its terminal departure lounges and shopping facilities.

It will also be used to construct a modernised railway station in conjunction with Network Rail, as well as increasing parking and optimising operations at the airport.

Over a six-month period ending on 30 September, Gatwick said that long-haul routes grew by 21%, versus the same period in 2015.

Gatwick also reported a growth of more than 7% in domestic routes as passengers took advantage of the regional services available from the London airport.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates Gatwick’s ongoing commitment to our development and growth, maintaining our vital role within the UK economy as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”

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“We continue to grow strongly breaking records as passengers respond to the variety on offer at the airport, low-cost, charter airlines and full services airlines.

"Today’s announcement demonstrates Gatwick’s ongoing commitment to our development and growth."

“Our long-haul routes have grown 21% with the very latest of these British Airways’ new route to Cape Town starting today. Meanwhile, next summer Gatwick will start the UK’s only direct route to Xi’an China – home of the Terracotta Army.”

This year the airport has added destinations in China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria as well as the US.

In January 2017, three of Gatwick’s major carriers will move terminals as part of a strategic transformation programme.

British Airways will move to the South Terminal, while Virgin Atlantic and easyJet will be based in the North Terminal.

Gatwick Airport offers long and short-haul flights to more than 220 destinations in 80 countries.

Image: Gatwick's North Terminal building and transit station. Photo: courtesy of Dbx54.