London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
History, Facts and Overview
Gatwick Airport is extremely historic and dates back to the early 1920s, when it started life as a small aerodrome off Tinsley Green Lane, on farmland once home to Gatwick Manor House. After a short spell as a flying school, Gatwick Airport was operating a series of scheduled passenger flights by the mid-1930s. The Beehive Terminal building was built at this stage and linked to the nearby train station.
Due to frequent heavy mists and the need for longer runways, passenger flights switched to nearby Croydon Airport and London Gatwick Airport was used solely by the RAF, with occasional cargo flights. In 1950, a controversial decision was made by the government to make Gatwick Airport the city's number two airport, second only to the up-and-coming Heathrow. Major renovation work followed for many years afterwards.
Direct rail access to London's Gatwick Airport was always a major feature and modern piers and jet-bridges were added soon after. The modern North Terminal opened at the end of the 1980s and was linked to the South Terminal by fast trains. In 2005, more than £100 million was spent on improvements at Gatwick Airport, including a new pier and passenger bridge, which overlooks much of the airport itself.
Constant investment at London Gatwick Airport has ensured that facilities are modern and state-of-the-art. Passengers flying into and out of Gatwick can expect plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops in both the North and South terminals, along with a useful 'Shopping Collection Service'.