Gatwick’s anniversary marred by transport failure
Gatwick’s anniversary marred by transport failure - Gatwick Airport News
Airport news for Gatwick on 12/06/2008.
Gatwick celebrated its birthday this week, celebrating 50 years as one of the most important airports in the UK. Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations were marred by a transit problem which resulted in a state of near-chaos for thousands of passengers trying to travel by monorail between Gatwick’s two terminals.
It was on June 9th, 1958 that the Queen officially opened the extended airport at Gatwick. As the result of £7.8 million in modernizations, the airport became the first to offer combined air, rail and road transportation linkages. The redevelopment of the airport for the 1958 opening included laying 15 miles of concrete to form the roads, and runways of the airport.
The airport first opened in May 1936 with scheduled services to Paris but it wasn’t until the modernization was complete in 1958 that Gatwick really became one of London’s major airports. Today, Gatwick is the sixth largest airport around the world, with 33 million passengers flying in and out every year. In the South East, it is estimated that Gatwick creates jobs for 25,000 people.
According to travel journalist Simon Calder, who was on hand for the anniversary celebrations: “Whilst great and good meet at an airport hotel, thousands of passengers are missing their flights. The transit between the North and South terminal broke at about 23:00 last night and passengers are being forced to walk – with their luggage – between the two terminals, which are quite a distance apart.”