Gatwick airport is this week celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of its South Terminal.
The £7.8m facility was officially opened by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on June 9, 1958, with the inaugural flight being a British European Airways DC3 flying to Jersey and Guernsey. A total of 368,000 passengers passed through the airport in its first full year of operation, compared to over 35 million in 2007.
The £200m North Terminal followed in 1987, at which point Gatwick was the world’s second busiest airport, ahead of New York JFK. It remains the busiest single-use runway, although it faces challenges ahead, with the demise of low-cost carrier Oasis (which flew between Gatwick and Hong Kong), and the recent decision by Delta to withdraw its New York JFK route from this August.
For a look at what lies ahead for London’s second airport, read Gary Noakes' report in the June 2008 edition of Business Traveller.
Report by Mark Caswell