Passenger traffic at Gatwick Airport hits 40 million mark

17 November 2015 (Last Updated November 17th, 2015 18:30)

The passenger traffic at London’s Gatwick Airport hit the 40 million a year mark for the first time, with October being the busiest month.

gatwick runway

The passenger traffic at London's Gatwick Airport hit the 40 million a year mark for the first time, with October being the busiest month.

The traffic data for the month revealed 3.6 million passenger movements to and from the airport in the month of October, 262,600 more than the same month last year.

The achievement highlights an error in the Airport Commission's final report, which forecast that it would take nearly ten years (2024) for Gatwick to hit 40 million passengers a year.

The commission predicted that the airport will generate only two million passenger numbers in the first year of operating with a second runway.

The commission also predicted that after five years with a second runway, Gatwick will grow by only eight million passengers.

On the contrary, Gatwick grew by 2.7 million passengers last year with a single runway.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: "To reach 40 million passengers a year is a tremendous achievement and sets a global benchmark for a single runway airport.

"We have grown rapidly under new ownership and the benefits of competition are clear for passengers - more choice, higher standards and lower fares. It will not be long however before we are full. That is why Gatwick needs a second runway.

"We have reached this milestone ten years ahead of the Airport Commission's prediction that we would do so in 2024."

"We have reached this milestone ten years ahead of the Airport Commission's prediction that we would do so in 2024.

"The Commission's Report has unravelled in recent months and we now know beyond doubt that there is a fundamental error at the heart of the Report. Whether the Report is flawed is no longer a matter of debate, it is a statement of fact."

The routes that saw the maximum traffic flow include European routes up by 9.7% and North Atlantic routes up by 8.5%.

The European destinations include flight movements to and from Madrid, Rome, Venice and Barcelona while the North Atlantic destinations include New York and Los Angeles.

Route to Dubai saw an increase in figures by 11.4%.

The airport is on its way to reach full capacity soon.


Image: Gatwick Airport's single runway. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport Limited.