Could using an existing runway at Gatwick help ease London’s air capacity problems? Gordon Smith visited the West Sussex site to find out more
It’s a familiar routine for many frequent flyers based in or around the south of the UK. Stepping off the train at Gatwick from central London and channelling up the escalators towards the station concourse and terminal buildings. It’s a journey-before-a-journey that passengers have taken (in one form or another) since the airport railway station opened in 1935. Back then, travellers had just The Beehive – the world’s first circular terminal – as their point of reference for airside adventures.
Fast forward more than 85 years and Gatwick once again finds itself with just one operational terminal building. The pandemic has crippled its previously booming operations to a level where, even with the consolidation of the North and South complexes, the departure board remains relatively subdued.