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Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OwnerGlobal Infrastructure Partners
OperatorGatwick Airport Limited
LocationCrawley, West Sussex
HubBritish Airways
Elevation62 m (203 ft)
Passenger change 09-10(-)3.1%
Aircraft Movements240500
Movements change 09-10(-)4.5%

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Gatwick Airport is located 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and 45.7 km (28.4 mi) south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick, it is London's second largest international airport and second busiest by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom after Heathrow. Gatwick furthermore is Europe's leading airport for point-to-point flights and has the world's busiest single-use runway averaging 52 aircraft movements an hour. Its two terminals North and South cover an area of 75,000 and 120,000m2 respectively.

In 2010, over 31.3 million passengers passed through Gatwick, making it the 9th largest in Europe by passenger traffic and the 12th busiest in terms of international passengers.

Charter airlines generally prefer Gatwick over Heathrow as a base for London and the South East. From 1978 to 2008, many flights to and from the United States used Gatwick because of restrictions on the use of Heathrow implemented in the Bermuda II agreement between the UK and the US. As of 2011, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, and Sun Country Airlines are the only US carriers to continue serving Gatwick from the US. The airport is a base for scheduled operators Aer Lingus, British Airways (BA), EasyJet, Flybe and Virgin Atlantic, as well as charter airlines including Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Gatwick is unique amongst London's airports in having a significant airline presence representing each of the three main airline business models: full service, low/no frills and charter.

BAA Limited and its predecessors, the British Airports Authority and BAA plc, owned and operated Gatwick continuously from 1 April 1966 until 2 December 2009. On 17 September 2008, BAA announced it would sell Gatwick following a report by the Competition Commission into BAA's market dominance in London and South East England. On 21 October 2009, it was announced that agreement had been reached to sell Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the owners of London City Airport, for £1.51 billion. Of this amount, £55 million will depend on the airport's future traffic development and its owners' future capital structure (£10 million and £45 million respectively). The sale was formally completed on 3 December 2009. On this day, Gatwick's ownership passed from BAA to GIP. In early 2010, GIP reportedly sold minority stakes in Gatwick to South Korean National Pension Service and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). On 18 June 2010, it was reported that CalPERS, California's and the US's biggest state pension fund, had bought a 12.7% equity stake in Gatwick Airport from GIP. An announcement made in the Financial Times on 21 December 2010 stated that the Future Fund, a sovereign wealth fund set up by the Australian government, planned to buy a 17.2% stake in Gatwick Airport from GIP.

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