England’s Gatwick Airport surpassed the 44 million passenger/year mark for the first time on April 7th. This is a world record for yearly passengers among single runway airports. The growth is driven mainly by long haul routes and connections. Routes from Gatwick to LA, Boston, Toronto, Denver, and Seattle grew 37% in March. Other international routes, like Cape Town, Hong Kong, and Costa Rica grew close to 35%. This past March was the busiest ever for the airport (3.3 million passengers passed through that month) and marked the 49th consecutive month of growth for the airport. The new record breaks the previous record, which was also held by Gatwick.
This massive growth came as a surprise to many. “We have just hit 44 million passengers a year – a world record for a single runway airport – and a mark that some predicted we would not hit until 2035, in 18 year’s time!” said Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate.
Yet Gatwick isn’t limiting its records to passengers. The airport also sees large amounts of cargo fly in and out. Wingate comments that “We’ve seen a 34 percent increase in cargo this month along, which is important as the U.K. readjusts and focuses attention on global destinations further afield.”
England’s government recently decided to grant a new runway to London Heathrow instead of Gatwick, but Gatwick officials aren’t giving up hope for more growth. On the topic, Wingate said “Gatwick offers a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.” The airport hopes to see more growth in the coming months and years.