Gatwick Airport introduces South Terminal forecourt charge

Following the implementation of forecourt charges at its North Terminal in March 2021, Gatwick has announced that the South Terminal forecourt charges will begin in April 2021.

Gatwick Airport to begin charging for use of forecourt in 2021

Credit: London Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport (LGW) has announced that, from 12 April 2021, a £5 charge for vehicles dropping off passengers directly outside of its South Terminal will be introduced and will apply to all vehicles, except for passengers holding a Blue Badge and staff employed on the airport campus.

The charge was introduced at the airport’s North Terminal from 8 March 2021 to provide the airport with a new revenue stream to help to protect the business and preserve jobs, following a significant loss of £465.5 million and over 40 per cent of its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone who does not wish to pay the charge will be able 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. Local commuters living in certain postcode sectors (RH6 0, RH6 9, RH11 0) with limited public transport access will be allowed two visits per day to use the train station by paying an annual £50 charge.

The introduction of a drop-off charge will also encourage more sustainable journeys to the airport – including the use of Gatwick’s strong public transport links – and may also reduce traffic congestion. Reducing the airport’s environmental impact continues to be an important focus for the airport, and Gatwick will contribute revenue generated from the drop-off charge into the airport’s existing Sustainable Transport Fund.

Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer at Gatwick Airport, said: “We know that a drop-off charge is not going to be popular with everyone, but we have just lost £465 million and more than 40 per cent of our staff, so this new revenue stream will help us to protect the remaining jobs.”

“We are also considering how to rebuild better, and this charge has a role to play in encouraging more sustainable journeys to the airport using our strong public transport connections. Our investment in the new £150 million airport train station is also progressing well and will benefit anyone travelling to the airport by train, and a proportion of the revenue raised through the forecourt charge will also support other new sustainable transport initiatives,” he added.

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

People picking up passengers should continue to do so from the short stay car parks, as it often takes more time to collect passengers. Short stay car park users are permitted a 30-minute stay for the same tariff (£5) as 10 minutes on the forecourts. Alternatively, passengers can be picked up in the long stay car parks, where parking is free for up to two hours, using the free shuttle bus from the terminal.

Charging and enforcement – including penalty notices – will be managed using convenient barrier-free technology and Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. Passengers can pay online using a range of payment methods, including credit or debit card, Google and Apple Pay.

A Red Route system will be introduced across the airport campus to indicate that stopping to park, load or unload, board or alight from a vehicle is prohibited. Revenue raised through Red Route fines will also be used to fund sustainable transport initiatives under the guidance of the airport’s Transport Forum Steering Group.

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