Gatwick today restated plans for a second runway while reporting a record financial performance for the summer half year period.

Revenue rose by 5.5% to £469.7million resulting in a rise in earnings [ebitda] by almost 10% to £290.6 million and a pre-tax profit of £140.7 million.

The six month period to the end of September was the busiest in Gatwick’s history with passenger numbers rising by 5.1% or 1.3 million to 26.4 million.

Those using haul routes were up by 12.4% over the same six months last year while growth on domestic routes came in at 5.3%.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick now serves 45.5 million passengers each year and is playing a vital role for Britain.

“As we prepare for Brexit, it is critical that we continue to grow our long haul links in addition to connections within the UK and Europe.

“We have ambitious plans to build on these results to reach 50 million passengers per year and beyond which will further set the standard for a single runway airport. This will be done while continuing to deliver the best passenger experience which is at the heart of everything we do at Gatwick.

“We are currently preparing our full submission to the government’s re-opened National Policy Statement consultation.

“We are planning future submissions to support the aviation strategy in which we will detail the plans we have to continue to make best use of the airport’s existing facilities.

“Gatwick is ready to play an increased global role for Britain as we grow. Gatwick is prepared to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme so that Britain can reap the benefits of greater global connectivity faster.”

The current growth is based on a combination of more, bigger and fuller aircraft – each carrying four more passengers, on average, than last year.

Gatwick achieved its busiest day ever on September 1 with 950 aircraft movements.

Further long-haul connections to Taipei, Buenos Aires, Chicago and Austin are planned before the end of the financial year building on new routes to Singapore, Rwanda, Seattle and Denver in the last six months.

Gatwick planning an extension to Pier 6, as the airport requires additional aircraft stands to meet passenger forecast demand and maintain service levels, taking the pier from ten to 17 to  stands.

Retail income increased by 8.3% year-on-year to £98.1 million with an increase in income per passenger of 3.1% to £3.67.