Gatwick today repeated that it was ready to go ahead with a “deliverable” second runway alternative to Heathrow expansion.

The call came as the UK’s second largest airport revealed a record annual passenger numbers of more than 45 million.

Gatwick’s busiest June saw 4.4 million passengers handled, an increase of 5.6% on the same month last year.

This brought the annual total up to 45.1 million, a rise of 8.4%.

Air transport movements last month rose by 4% year-on-year to 26,786.

Long haul growth of 11.8% was spurred by a 10.6% rise in transatlantic traffic, with Oakland and Los Angeles among the fastest growing routes.

Other popular early summer destinations were Keflavik, Iceland (up 37.3%), Bermuda (up 30.6%) and San Jose, Costa Rica (up 29%).

The airport has achieved 60 long-haul connections as new routes to Seattle, Austin, Denver, Chicago by low cost carrier Norwegian and Taipei by China Airlines from December 1 were announced.

Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick continues to demonstrate its vital role in bringing Britain and the world closer together as more and more destinations right across the globe are added to the range of long-haul services we offer.

“We’re seeing strong passenger response to our new connections across the globe as we break through 45 million annual passengers for the first time ever.

“It’s a stark fact that Gatwick is the only airport in the world’s top 20 for passenger growth that has a single runway.

“We continue to the offer the UK a financeable and deliverable second runway scheme which we stand ready to deliver should the government give us the go ahead.”

He added: “We’re gearing up for our busiest summer yet, with once again lots of new things in store for our passengers, as we welcome Jamie Oliver bringing his new restaurant The Diner to the airport.

“Five years ago Jamie Oliver chose Gatwick to be his first airport restaurant and we’re delighted Gatwick is his destination of choice to yet again bring a new concept to.

“Plus, later this year, our new connections to Seattle, Austin, Denver, Chicago and Taipei will join our network of more than 60 long-haul routes as we continue to open up more connections to more parts of the world.”

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Record year underlines case for expansion, says Gatwick chief

Long-haul routes give Gatwick 12% passenger boost

Norwegian Air: ‘We’d base 50 787s at expanded Gatwick’