About Gatwick


Freight traffic has declined from 391,000 tonnes in 2000 to 78,000 tonnes in 2016.

The average number of passengers per aircraft was 154. 


Gatwick is the second largest airport in the UK, and has a serious adverse effect on the environment, both globally and locally

In the calendar year 2016 Gatwick handled 43.1 million passengers, i.e. 21.5 million return trips.

In 2016 there were 280,089 traffic movements (ie take-offs and landings), an average of 767 a day (but far more in summer). This is only 8% above 260,000 reached in 2000, a rate of growth of half of 1% a year.
At peak times a rate is reached of nearly one movement a minute.  


Gatwick is situated 28 miles south of London, in the county of West Sussex, and in the Borough of Crawley. The northern boundary of the airport adjoins Surrey County. The boundaries of Horsham District, Mole Valley District, Reigate and Banstead Borough, and Tandridge District all adjoin the airport. The planning authority is Crawley.

The countryside around Gatwick, thanks to strict planning policies, is attractive and unspoilt - its main characteristic being woods and small fields and historic villages. All the land to the north of the airport is designated as Green Belt where development is prohibited.  Nationally designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) almost encircle the airport on west, north and east. The South Downs National Park lies about 20 miles south of the airport. Thanks to strict planning policies, the main industrial and commercial development associated with the airport has been confined to the Crawley industrial area to the south of the airport. 

Gatwick Airport Map

Gatwick Airport was originally part of the publicly owned British Airports Authority.  In 1986 BAA (owning Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and other airports) was privatised to become BAA plc.  In 2005 BAA was bought by the Spanish company Ferrovial. 

In 2009, as a result of an anticipated order from the Competition Commission, Gatwick was split from the rest of BAA, becoming Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) and sold to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an international investment consortium with about 50 investing partners.  GIP has subsequently sold shares in GAL to a number of foreign pension funds, retaining 42% of the ownership and control of the Board. 

GACC has deplored the fact that each change of ownership has meant a turnover of senior staff, and has expressed concern that the main underlying motive of the present ownership must be to increase the profitability of the airport with scant regard to the local community or to environmental improvement.
Global Infrastructure Partners have made no secret that they hope to sell their share in Gatwick in 2018 - 2020. Their main motive in proposing a new runway is therefore likely to be to improve the price at which they can sell. 


Since it bought the airport, Gatwick Airport Ltd has paid little or no corporation tax.  This has been achieved by paying a high rate of interest on money borrowed from subsidiary companies in tax havens abroad.  See Research Study.

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