August passenger growth at Gatwick has enabled the airport to reach 42 million annual passengers – a milestone the Airports Commission forecast it would not reach until 2030.

Spurred by continued long haul growth, the airport claimed record numbers last month helped prove that the Airports Commission forecasts “are even further out of date than previously thought”.

Long haul routes at the airport grew 25% against August 2015 and were followed by Cathay Pacific starting flights to Hong Kong just last week.

Overall, the airport recorded its busiest ever August with 4.8 million passengers, up 5.7%.

North Atlantic routes drove the growth, rising by 51%, with Vancouver routes up 96%, Montreal up 63%, and Los Angeles routes up 51%.

This is despite the Airports Commission’s assessment that Gatwick would not deliver long haul connectivity.

Long haul summer holiday destinations proving popular included Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands up 64%, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands up 42% and Aruba up 29%.

The greatest short haul growth came from Valencia up 56%, Tivat ip 56% and Gibraltar up 50%.

Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Our performance proves beyond any doubt that the Airports Commission’s report is fundamentally flawed.

“Gatwick has had its busiest ever August, long haul routes have gone through the roof and we have just passed the 42 million passenger mark 14 years ahead of when the Airports Commission said we would.

“It is encouraging that the prime minister and the newly-established sub-committee will be examining this issue and looking at new evidence as a decision on airport expansion is considered. Gatwick is delivering for Britain today and, with a second runway, will continue to deliver the crucial growth we need now more than ever.

“The Airports Commission said that Gatwick could not deliver long haul routes yet we have added 20 this year alone putting us in the premier league of airports in Europe that serve 50 or more long haul links.

“The Airports Commission also said that we would not serve 42 million annual passengers until 2030 yet we passed this mark just days ago.

“Our growth and success illustrates that Britain needs to put the failed plans of the past behind it and back the plan that can actually deliver and deliver cheaper, faster, simpler and with absolutely no taxpayer subsidy. It’s time for growth and certainty, it’s time for Gatwick.”