This month we thought we would change our blogging game slightly and write a little bit about the history of Gatwick airport, seeing as we call ourselves a Gatwick Bed and Breakfast. We could spend all day telling you about how grand and magnificent Gatwick Airport is, although we are sure you don’t choose which airport to fly out of based on anything but its convenience, so here is a blurb about how Gatwick came to be.
London Gatwick, although an airport on a fantastically large scale, is actually London’s largest airport second to Heathrow in regards to passenger traffic. It is made up of two terminals, north and south, and hosts the world’s busiest single-use runway, moving up to 55 aircrafts per hour. This is all great, but where did Gatwick start?
The name Gatwick actually dates back to the 13th century, where a manor house called Gatwick stood on the site of the current airport and was owed by the De Gatwick family up until the 19th century. Since the sale of the land after the creation of the London & Brighton Railway, there has existed a variety of things on the Gatwick land including a race course and a golf club. It wasn’t until the late 1920’s when an area of Gatwick was used as an aerodrome.
Since the creation of the aerodrome, flying became a hobby and attraction for a growing number of people. Having been already established as a centre for flying, a new owner (A. M. Jackson) had bold plans for Gatwick. Jackson expanded the existing infrastructure and obtained the licencing to run commercial flights, forming his own company which would later merge with 2 others to become British Airways. Gatwick’s first scheduled commercial flight was in 1936.
Without getting into too much detail, we’ll just say a lot happened between then and now. Gatwick has been expanding ever since, now servicing over 35 million passengers in a year! This success can mainly be attributed to the British Airport Authority, who owned and operated Gatwick Airport from 1966 until 2009 when the Competition Commission forced the sale to Global Infrastructure Partners, an international firm.
Gatwick still has plans of expansion, having hit somewhat of a wall in terms of growth. The expansion of a second runway and terminal at Gatwick would increase the traffic flow through the airport to a number higher than that at Heathrow. There have been 3 proposed plans and most interestingly of the three is a plan that looks towards linking Gatwick and Heathrow airport by a high speed rail line which would transfer passengers between the two airports in just 15 minutes.
Gatwick hosts a very large number of destinations around the world so regardless of where you’re planning your trip, think Gatwick. Don’t forget to check our availability on the night before your flight and save yourself the stressful morning drive!