Gatwick Airport to charge £5 for vehicles to drop off passengers at terminals

Gatwick Airport is to introduce a £5 fee for vehicles dropping off passengers outside its terminals from next year in a bid to help the airport recover from the impact of Covid-19.

The airport said the move would bring it in line with most UK airports and that the funds raised would go towards recovery and helping to preserve airport jobs from the economic impact of the crisis.

The £5 charge will also help Gatwick continue to meet its commitment to reduce ‘Kiss and Fly’ journeys involving two return car journeys, said the airport, encourage public transport use and cut road traffic congestion. Currently, around 15% of airport journeys are classed ‘Kiss and Fly’.

Drivers who do not want to pay the charge will be able to drop off or pick up passengers in the airport’s long-stay car parks, with two hours’ free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminals.

Currently, cars can drop off passengers directly in front of both terminals but are required to use the short-term car park for picking up passengers.

Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer, said the airport remained committed to its investment into a £150 million project to upgrade the airport’s train station to improve passenger flow, including new lifts, escalators and wider platforms.

He said: “Gatwick has just gone through the most challenging period in its history and this new drop off charging scheme will  give us a new revenue stream to aid recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and ultimately help us continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.

“Gatwick is also committed to promoting sustainable travel and this new scheme will encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including public transport services or parking options at the airport, which only involves two single car trips, compared to two return trips when dropping off.”

No date has been set for the new charging system but the first step will include a consultation on the implementation of a Red Route system – which prohibits vehicles stopping to park, load or unload – across the airport.

Revenue raised through the Red Route fines will be used to fund sustainable transport initiatives.

Gatwick said it was also looking at solutions to allow those who regularly drop off and pick up at the South Terminal each day, such as local residents, to access the train station to make a token annual payment contribution. Other options are also being looked at for Blue Badge holders.

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