Gatwick Airport has announced that on March 8 it will introduce a £5 (US$7) charge for vehicles which drop off passengers directly outside its North Terminal, where all flights are currently operating to and from. The charge will be extended to the South Terminal forecourt at a later date.
The new charge is part of Gatwick’s commitment to reduce ‘Kiss and Fly’ journeys at the airport – the least sustainable type of journey to the airport as it involves two return car journeys. According to the Gatwick, around 15% of airport journeys were ‘Kiss and Fly’ in 2019. The £5 charge will hopefully reduce traffic congestion and emissions for the surrounding area and will create a new revenue stream for the airport.
Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer, Gatwick, said, “It is no secret that the airport is going through the most difficult period in its history and we have little choice but to explore new revenue streams that will us help us recover from the Covid-19 crisis and continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.
“This new scheme will also encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including taking advantage of our excellent public transport services. We plan to use this charge to build on these services by using a proportion of the revenue raised to support new sustainable transport initiatives, in addition to our ongoing project to build a new £150m (US$207m) airport train station which is progressing well.”
The charge will be £5 for 10 minutes, and £1 (US$1.40) for each additional minute up to 20 minutes. The maximum charge will be £25 (US$35) and the maximum length of stay 30 mins. The charging system and enforcement will be managed using convenient barrier-free technology and by automatic license plate recognition cameras.
Passengers wishing to avoid paying the charge can use the airport’s long-stay parking lots with two hours free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminal. Alternatively, passengers can arrive by public transportation, taking advantage of the significant improvements to train and bus services to the airport in recent years.