Without a doubt, Gatwick Airport is flourishing with enormous success. 1/4th of UK's population choose Gatwick Airport. In fact, the same amount of population lives at time-distance of 1 hour to Gatwick Airport.
But there some facts that are interesting and intriguing about Gatwick. Here’s the list of top 5 unique & rare facts about Gatwick Airport.
1. World’s First Airport
Gatwick Airport has the honour to become the first and foremost airport in the world to have a direct train link. When the revamped airport was officially inaugurated in 1958 by the Queen. The border of the Gatwick Airport was expanded 40km (25 miles) to the south of the capital. In fact, ten airline captains were presented with the Guard of Honour by the Royal Queen and the Duke.
2. World’s Longest Air Passenger Bridge
Constructed at the cost of £110m – Gatwick Airport Pier 6 Bridge is the longest bridge for passengers located at North terminal. This 3,316-meter-long and 198m giant with 2,99 tonnes of steel is a landmark that posed several challenges (erection and fabrication) to complete. The bridge covers a taxiway underneath where passengers can witness the inimitable scene of aircraft taxiing. It links the North terminal to new satellite building at Gatwick Airport. Pier 6 Bridge is also the biggest constructional project after North terminal at Gatwick Airport.
3. First Fully Enclosed Pier Terminal
Followed by Longest bridge, Gatwick Airport is honoured to receive the title for one of the first airports to provide fully enclosed pier terminal for passengers to reach in-total undercover. It means that passengers can reach the North terminal feasibly by walking without any sort of congestion and stepping outside. It also has 11 airport stands.
4. Independent from Government Owned-Corporation
Gatwick Airport was initially run under the supervision of BAA – British Airport Authority (presently Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited). Stakes were sold in 2009 onwards to various international firms based on GIP. In fact, the new runway that is to be completed in 2025, requires £7.8 billion to complete and interestingly all of this will be privately funded as the government has not yet announced its contribution. Currently, following are the owners of Gatwick Airport with relative stake shares:
- Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – holds 41.95% of shares
- Australian Government Future Fund (AFF) – holds 17.23% of shares
- Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) – holds 15.90% of shares
- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) – holds 12.78% of shares
- National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) – holds 12.14% of shares
5. Renowned Community Service
Gatwick Airport looks forward to catering locals neighbouring the airport. In fact, Gatwick has pledged to pay £1000 annually to the council tax to those affected by significant levels of noise from the airport. Not only this but it has also promised to complete the new runway by 2025 to facilitate maximum passengers with the eradication of taxpayer funds. Unlike Gatwick, Heathrow airport has introduced a 1.5hour night ban that might be extended for future for noise compensation because it has pledged to insulate surrounding homes at the cost of £700 million.