Things You Didn't Know About Gatwick Airport


Gatwick airport is one of the most famous airports in the United Kingdom and Europe as a whole. It stands in the top 30 busiest airports in the world, and is the 8th largest in Europe by passenger traffic. Gatwick also holds the record as the busiest single-runway airport in the world, constantly handling traffic that other airports divide over multiple runways.

Though Gatwick has always been considered a 'lesser' airport than Heathrow, this is due to the merits of the latter rather than any shortcomings in the former. Indeed, Gatwick airport has a history that warrants more attention than it is generally given.

1 - Architectural Advances

In 1936, Gatwick unveiled the world's first circular airport terminal, dubbed the Beehive. It was an extraordinary achievement, as it was the first terminal to combine literally every necessary stage of air travel. A direct rail link was also installed for the first time anywhere, which meant that passengers could board their aircraft directly rather than having to travel across the runway by bus or on foot.

2 - The Blitz

The second World War saw Gatwick become primarily a military airport, to aid Britain with its air to air combat against the deadly German air-force. Gatwick participated when it was requisitioned by the RAF as a combat airfield, and provided service to a number of important operations necessary to keeping England's skies clear of bombers.

3 - Royal Attentions

Gatwick has been graced on two separate occasions with a Royal presence at important opening ceremonies. Queen Elizabeth II first attended to re-open the airport after it underwent a major redevelopment in 1956, and she returned thirty years later with her husband Prince Phillip to preside over the opening of the new North Terminal.


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