Northern flights

Is opening up Gatwick’s underutilised northern runway the most efficient solution to London’s capacity problems? Gordon Smith visited the West Sussex gateway to find out

It’s a familiar routine for many frequent flyers based in or around the south of the UK. Stepping off the train at Gatwick from central London and channelling up the escalators towards the station concourse and terminal buildings. It’s a journey-beforea-journey that passengers have taken (in one form or another) since the airport railway station opened in 1935. Back then, travellers had just The Beehive – the world’s first circular terminal – as their point of reference for airside adventures.Fast-forward more than 85 years and Gatwick once again finds itself with just one operational terminal building. The pandemic has crippled its previously booming operations to a level where, even with the consolidation of the North and South complexes, the departure board remains relatively subdued.

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