London Gatwick has welcomed 46 million passengers in the last twelve months – the first time ever the airport has achieved this passenger milestone.
Gatwick also claimed it had been able to serve more passengers while at the same time reducing the number of residents within its noise footprint.
The area in the airport’s noise footprint, the standard measurement 57dB leq contour, has reduced by nine per cent since 2008 while numbers of flights in the last decade have grown nine per cent.
This reduction has been driven by many of the airport’s new routes being flown by new generation aircraft, for example the Airbus A320neo – aircraft which are up to 50 per cent quieter on departure than the current models which they are replacing.
More recently Gatwick has focused on incentivising airlines to modify their current aircraft fleet.
Some 97 per cent of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft flying from Gatwick, which account for half of all of the airport’s flights, have been modified to reduce noise.
This modification was a significant factor in reducing the airport’s noise footprint by three per cent in the last full calendar year according to independent noise analysis by the Civil Aviation Authority, despite a three per cent increase in traffic over the same period.
Gatwick has seen a 41 per cent increase in passenger numbers in the last eight years driven by the airport’s new global connections, with long-haul passengers growing 21.3 per cent in the last year alone, and the last twelve months seeing Gatwick’s highest-ever customer satisfaction levels in the airport’s passenger survey.
In response to passenger demand for Gatwick’s global connectivity, the airport has published its draft master plan, setting out the airport’s vision for growth to the 2030s.
The publication of Gatwick’s draft master plan reflects department for transport guidance for airports to provide regular updates on their long-term plans, and responds to the government’s recent call for airports to ‘make best use of their existing runways’.
The airport is now keen to encourage responses to a 12-week public consultation it has launched to gather feedback and views on the draft master plan.
All responses will be reviewed before a final version of the master plan is agreed next year.
London Gatwick, chief executive, Stewart Wingate said: “We are delighted to have welcomed 46 million passengers to Gatwick in the last year which is testament to the hard work and innovation of all staff working at the airport.
“At Gatwick we work hard with our airlines to ensure that the higher passenger numbers using the airport, attracted by new and improved services, are balanced by noise improvements for our local neighbours.
“Our ambition to be the UK’s most sustainable airport has already seen us become the first carbon neutral London airport and also the first airport to achieve zero waste to landfill.”