December 4: Control of London’s Gatwick Airport has officially transferred to new owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which has pledged to “kick-start a new era of competition between London’s airports” and promised a “more efficient operation and a better passenger experience”.
A transition team is being put in place by GIP, which will be looking at management processes, with check-in and security the first to be tackled. Sir David Rowlands, newly-appointed Chairman of Gatwick’s Board, said “Gatwick is now a major independent airport company and from today, for the first time ever, it is competing directly with Heathrow, Stansted and Luton, as well as with our other airport, London City, in a competitive London airports market. Our plan is to gain a competitive edge by modernising Gatwick, providing more efficient operations for airlines and a better experience for passengers.”
GIP also announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer for the airport, Stewart Wingate. “It will take some time for our changes to take effect,” he said, “but within months passengers will begin to feel that their journey through Gatwick is getting easier, and in a year or so they will start to notice physical improvements too.”