Gatwick Airport's passenger increase calls for new runway

End-of-financial-year results show that the amount of passengers using Gatwick Airport reached an all-time high this past year, bolstering its push to add a second runway.

Some 35.9 million passengers travelled through the airport between April 2013 and March 2014 – a 4.8 percent growth on the yearly like-for-like, reports

More passengers also meant more profit and a greater share of London traffic. Compared to a loss in the 2012 to 2013 financial year, this past year ended with £57.5 million in profit and now calls for a second runway are becoming louder.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “Gatwick’s record performance and growth to around 36 million passengers this year demonstrates how we are successfully competing in the London market and why we are best-placed to deliver the UK’s next new runway.

“Airlines and passengers are increasingly choosing to fly from Gatwick and this growth is expected to continue,” he added.

In order for the UK to remain economically competitive both Gatwick and Heathrow need new runways, according to Sir Richard Branson. The Virgin Atlantic founder told the Financial Sunday Express: “We urgently need those extra runways at Heathrow and Gatwick or we’ll go backwards.”

Both airports have submitted expansion plans to the Airports Commission, which is expected to reach a decision next year. A £7.8 billion second runway is desired at Gatwick, while Heathrow’s third runway would cost £17 billion, reports