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Gatwick breaks through four million passengers for the first October ever

London Gatwick has announced that the airport has achieved over four million passengers in the month of October for the first time ever. Passenger numbers grew +2% versus October 2017.



The airport’s long-haul connections continue to grow and were +12.4% in the month whilst Gatwick’s cargo tonnage grew +1.6%.

North Atlantic routes proved particularly popular +15.4% on last year. Boston was up +67.9%, on last October, due to Norwegian adding to their previous five times weekly service with a now daily service to the city this autumn / winter.

Further afield, passengers travelling to Singapore were +30% higher than the same month last year. Gatwick will be further catering to passenger demand for connections to Asia, with the airport starting a new thrice weekly service to Shanghai with China Eastern airlines in December 2018. This adds to Gatwick’s growing route network to this region, which already includes Hong Kong, Chengdu and Taipei.

Closer to home, UK passengers jetted off for winter sun with Turkey and North Africa being the destinations of choice. Passengers to Antalya were +44.5% higher than last year while passengers to Dalaman were +28.6%. Meanwhile, passengers to Fez, Casablanca and Tunis grew by +146.8%, +34.8% and 23.8% respectively.

This October, Gatwick Airport published its draft master plan, setting out the airport’s vision for its future. The draft master plan considers how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios, looking ahead to the early 2030s:

1. Main runway – using new technology to increase capacity
In the near term, the airport has considered how deploying new technology could increase the capacity of the main runway, offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.

2. Standby runway – bringing existing standby runway into routine use
The draft master plan sets out for the first time how Gatwick could potentially bring its existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s.

3. Additional runway – safeguarding for the future
While Gatwick is not currently actively pursuing the option of building a brand new runway to the south of the airport – as it did through the Airports Commission process – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future as part of its draft master plan.

The airport is now keen to encourage responses to a 12-week public consultation it has launched to gather feedback and views on the draft master plan. The consultation is live until 5pm on 10 January 2019 and can be completed at All responses will be reviewed before a final version of the master plan is agreed next year.

London Gatwick, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:

“Gatwick continues to showcase the vital role it plays for the country, with October’s passenger figures the latest demonstration of this. Last month saw over four million passengers travel through the airport – the first time Gatwick has broken this mark in October – demonstrating the passenger response to the breadth of destinations and airlines available from the airport.

“Gatwick’s growth is vital for the future prosperity of Britain and the country’s post-Brexit future – and our growing global connections are needed more than ever. This December our latest long-haul route will begin, as we open up yet further connections to Asia, with China Eastern starting their new service to Shanghai.

“To further enable Gatwick’s global connectivity, this October, we published the airport’s draft master plan, setting out our vision for growth to the 2030s. We are now seeking feedback from the public, including our local neighbours and our airport partners on this draft master plan, as we seek to fulfil our role for the country, in the most sustainable way.”

Month   Moving Annual Total
Growth Nov-17 Nov-16 Growth
  Oct-18 Oct-17 (%)   Oct-18 Oct-17 (%)
Total terminal passengers (000s) 4,017.2 3,936.6 2.0% 45,924.2 45,454.6 1.0%
Market Analysis:
UK + Channel Islands 332.2 366.4 (9.3)% 3,735.6 4,133.2 (9.6)%
Ireland 141.8 137.7 3.0% 1,680.1 1,686.0 (0.4)%
European scheduled 2,546.6 2,522.4 1.0% 29,052.7 29,340.9 (1.0)%
European charter 275.4 268.6 2.6% 2,875.4 3,073.0 (6.4)%
North Atlantic 372.5 322.8 15.4% 3,976.4 3,150.9 26.2%
Other long haul 348.5 318.8 9.3% 4,604.1 4,070.6 13.1%
Air transport movements 25,069 25,107 (0.2)% 283,164 286,387 (1.1)%
Cargo (metric tonnes) 10,481 10,316 1.6% 112,735 92,495 21.9%


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“the scale of expansion currently being proposed would have a very wide range of impacts on the local community” says Crawley Council as Gatwick confirms to use standby runway



It was not at all unexpected. Gatwick Airport has revealed their plans to use its current standby runway for departing flights.

In order for them to do so though they will have to seek planning permission so that the airstrip can be widened as well as increase the gap between both runways.

But whilst some it’s potentially good news for jobs there has already been a backlash from campaign groups.

Crawley Council meanwhile has also made a statement, carefully worded to neither show support for or against the move.

A council spokesperson said:

“Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) is currently seeking permission for simultaneous use of both the airport’s existing and its standby runways. The question of whether or not to permit the dual use of these runways belongs exclusively to central government, with Crawley Borough Council having no direct role in the decision-making process. However, alongside other neighbouring planning authorities we do have the opportunity to participate in the process of scrutinising their emerging plans to ensure that all relevant considerations have been taken into account.

“Gatwick Airport is the biggest business in Crawley and the scale of expansion currently being proposed would have a very wide range of impacts on the local community. The participation of council officers and consultants in scrutinising Gatwick’s proposals is vital to ensuring these impacts are fully considered and that, in the event the Government approves the proposal, all possible mitigations are put into effect.

“When a developer seeks planning permission they are required to pay the council a planning fee to cover the costs involved in determining their application. In this case that fee will be going to the Government, as they are taking the decision. Consequently, to ensure we can afford to fully participate in the scrutiny process without unreasonable cost to the taxpayer, Crawley Borough Council alongside other neighbouring councils are negotiating an agreement with GAL to ensure that they provide the funding necessary for local authorities to fully participate in the planning process.”

But only time will tell on whether negotiations with GAL will provide the funding Crawley Borough Council needs to be able to participate in the way they feel they need to.

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