Gatwick Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport handles over 33 million passengers per year, and is international, serving more destinations than any other airport in the United Kingdom. It is situated 28 miles to the south of London, and is considered to be the UK’s second largest airport. Gatwick is also well-known for being the busiest single-runway airport in the world. The top international destinations include Malaga, Dublin, Orlando, Geneva, Dubai and Madrid, while the three most popular UK destinations include Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey.

This formal name is London Gatwick, but is still commonly referred to as just Gatwick. Its official code is LGW (or IATA code) and its ICAO code is EGKK. In a closer proximity lies Crawley, West Sussex, only 3 miles away, while on the other side of the airport is Horley. East Grinstead, Brighton, Clapham, Croydon, Dorking and Tunbridge Wells are also situated within a short driving distance of the airport. In regards to passenger numbers, it was ranked as the world’s 28th busiest airport in 2008, the 9th busiest in terms of international passengers, and in terms of passenger traffic, the 8th largest airport in Europe. Heathrow is the only airport larger than Gatwick in the United Kingdom.

90 airline companies flying to 13 domestic locations and 200 international destinations served. This airport is often chosen over Heathrow for use by charter airlines, and some of the charter airlines currently in operation are Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. It is also a base for scheduled operators such as British Airways, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, Flybe and Aer Lingus. Other notable airline companies include Ryanair with flights to Cork, Dublin, and Madrid, Wind Jet, with flights to Forli, Air Southwest with flights to Newquay and Plymouth, and Emirates, with flights to Dubai.

This international airport operates as a single runway, although it actually has two runways, and it consists of two separate terminal buildings. The main runway in use is 3,316 meters long and 45 meters wide, and is known as 08R/26L. The second runway cannot be used simultaneously with the main runway as they are situated too close together. However, if the main runway is out of order due to maintenance or an accident, the second, or northern runway (08L/26R) will be used. In normal operations, it is used as a taxiway. Only the main runway is equipped with a Category III Instrument Landing System, whereas other equipment and systems are used for landing aircraft when the northern runway is in use. Gatwick pays much attention to the control of noise and the impact of noise on the surrounding environment, limiting the overall number of flights at night between 23:30 and 06:00, and prohibiting the use of the QC/4 aircraft during the night and early morning hours.

The two terminal buildings are named as the North Terminal and the South Terminal. The South Terminal is the larger of the two, and was also the first one to be established, as it was opened in 1958, while the North Terminal was completed in 1988. The South Terminal is 120,000 square meters and the North Terminal is 75,000 square meters. In total there are 317 check-in desks, 191 in the South Terminal and 126 in the North Terminal. The terminal buildings are quite far from each other, at a distance of 1.21 km, or 0.75 miles, therefore this gap is linked by a two-way automated people mover track. The transit system was first constructed in 1983 to link the South Terminal with the new circular satellite pier, and was the first automated people mover system in the UK. Another track was added a few years later to connect the new terminal building, and this system was used up until 2009, in which time the cars traveled a total of 2.5 million miles. In September 2009 the transit system was upgraded at a cost of 45 million pounds, and today the shuttle cars consist of six Bombardier CX-100 vehicles, and a new operating system.

Its terminals are well equipped to handle the millions of passengers that pass through them every year. They both have excellent VIP Lounge facilities, with the Servisair Wentworth Lounge, as well as lounges for British Airways, Emirates and Delta passengers in the North Terminal, and the Servisair Executive Lounge in the South Terminal. British Airways, Delta and Emirates also have dedicated lounges in the South Terminal. The Servisair Wentworth Lounge caters for both adults and children, with a relaxing atmosphere, comfortable seating, complimentary drinks and snacks, internet access, computer points and TV, newspapers and magazines for adult clients, while the children enjoy PlayStations, computer games, soft play equipment and healthy snacks. No children are allowed in the Servisair Executive Lounge, but there is the separate Gatwick Family Lounge available for passengers with youngsters under the age of twelve. Internet desks and kiosks, and high-speed WiFi connections are also available in other areas of the terminal buildings. Gatwick features the United Business Center on the seventh floor of the South Terminal, offering 17 meeting rooms, each with a maximum capacity of 65, presentation equipment and full secretarial services. ATMs are available in both terminals, as well as currency exchange facilities, lost property and luggage storage facilities, public telephones and fax machines and baggage trolleys. There are also chapels in both terminals for religious passengers.

Disabled passengers will find the facilities to be fully accessible. Dedicated disabled (blue badge) parking spaces are available in the short stay car parks with special assistance help points nearby, and reserved seating and disabled toilet facilities are available in each terminal. There is also additional assistance provided by Travel-Care, an independent charitable agency, or passengers can request further assistance from their airline company.  

There could be future plans to extend London Gatwick Airport to enable it to handle even more passengers than at present time. The initial future goal will be for Gatwick to be able to handle an extra 6 million passengers by 2018, by expanding the North Terminal and increasing the check-in facilities and baggage reclaim hall capacities. There will also be a new short-stay car park with an extra 900 spaces. It may also even be considered to build a third terminal building and another runway, which can be in continuous use.

Further information is available at the Information Desks in the arrival areas of both terminal buildings, and they are open 24 hours a day.

Please find below GPS coordinates for Gatwick  which may help you in your arrival or departure from the Airport. The Coordinates are 51.14806, -0.19028 which you can enter into your Smartphone or in-car GPS.

Below is a sample of routes flight times and Airlines that fly.

Destination Weekly Flights Distance
Jersey (JER) 88 259 Km (161 Miles)
Malaga (AGP) 71 1,645 Km (1,022 Miles)
Guernsey (GCI) 62 256 Km (159 Miles)
Dublin (DUB) 60 484 Km (301 Miles)
Faro (FAO) 56 1,687 Km (1,049 Miles)
Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) 56 365 Km (227 Miles)
Alicante (ALC) 54 1,431 Km (889 Miles)
Edinburgh (EDI) 54 573 Km (356 Miles)
Glasgow (GLA) 47 595 Km (370 Miles)
Madrid (MAD) 47 1,216 Km (755 Miles)

easyJet, British Airways and FlyBE are the busiest airlines companies that fly from Gatwick and cover the majority of the destinations The busiest being easyJet which covers a total of 862 flights a week form a total of 2721 easyJet covers 32% of all outbound traffic movements out of Gatwick. easyJet offers flights from Gatwick to the most popular destinations including Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Alicante El Altet, Amsterdam-Schiphol, Faro, Barajas and Edinburgh.

You can see below a selection of nonstop flights covered with approximate times

Airliner Destination Flight Time (Est)
easyJet Malaga (AGP) 2 Hours 45 Minutes
easyJet Alicante (ALC) 2 Hours 30 Minutes
easyJet Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) 1 Hour 5 Minutes
easyJet Faro (FAO) 2 Hours 48 Minutes
easyJet Madrid (MAD) 2 Hours 14 Minutes
easyJet Edinburgh (EDI) 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Most of the car rental companies offer a great range of vehicles at the best prices possible. Make your car hire reservation in advance to ensure that you receive your ideal vehicle. Please be sure to bring a valid driving license if you intend to hire a vehicle. For your FREE London Gatwick Car Hire quote please follow the link.