A £5 charge for vehicles dropping off passengers outside Gatwick’s North Terminal comes into force today (Monday).

The fee will also apply to the airport’s South Terminal forecourt from April 12, in preparation for the expected restart of international travel following the government’s Covid-19 roadmap.

The charge will apply to all vehicles except for passengers holding a Blue Badge and airport staff.

The charge of £5 for 10 minutes rises by £1 for each additional minute up to 20 minutes. The maximum charge will be £25 and the maximum length of stay 30 minutes.

The alternative is 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 terminal.

The charge is being introduced as a new revenue stream to help protect the business and preserve jobs following a loss of £465.5 million and over 40% of its workforce due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief commercial officer Jonathan Pollard said: “We recognise that a drop off charge is never going to be popular with some people, however given that we have just announced losses of £465 million and a reduction of more than 40% of our workforce in 2020, we have little choice but to explore new revenue streams to help us protect the remaining jobs.   

“Equally, as we consider how to rebuild better, we hope this new scheme will also encourage passengers to consider more sustainable journeys to the airport, including using our excellent public transport facilities. 

“A proportion of the revenue raised through the drop off charge will be used to support new sustainable transport initiatives, in addition to the investment in our new £150 million airport train station which is progressing well.”