Operating hours will increase to 06:00-22:00 and North Terminal operations will resume with easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Belavia, Vueling and Blue Island flights. Whilst we have remained open throughout the COVID-19 epidemic – for repatriation flights and for the transportation of key medical supplies – we have hugely scaled back operations, including consolidating into our South Terminal.
This is a positive first step in helping our sector to recover. The recovery will be slow, and we continue to push the government to help our industry, not least through the replacement of the 14-day quarantine system with more evidence-based, country-by-country measures that allow for travel when safe to do so.
The health of our staff and passengers remains our top priority. As such, key measures at the airport will include:
• Passengers will be required to wear a face covering throughout the airport with Gatwick staff mandated to wear face coverings in passenger-facing areas of the terminals. Face mask vending machines will also be made available at the airport.
• Encouraging good hand hygiene with ample, well signposted hand washing facilities and numerous hand sanitising stations - including touch-free models - throughout
• Frequent, enhanced deep cleaning of common-use surfaces throughout the airport with dedicated teams visible to respond to any passenger concerns on cleanliness
• Social distancing procedures in place at check in, security, gate rooms, seating in departure halls and in restaurants, bars and shops
• Installation of Perspex screens throughout the terminals, including check in desks, and gate rooms.
As we ramp up operations, sustainability will continue to be a key part of our strategy. We have just published our latest Decade of Change report on how we are doing on a range of sustainability measures.
In 2019 we continued to deliver in all areas while increasing our focus on local economic and community initiatives, further improving our recycling rate, and collaborating with industry partners on the roadmap to decarbonise UK aviation.
We have committed publicly to become a net zero airport well before 2050, and to play our part in UK aviation getting there too. As we evolve our next Decade of Change plan, we’ll seek to build on what we have already achieved.
We know the importance of a strong Gatwick to the region and to the country as a whole. That is why we are doing everything we can to get our sector moving and help fuel the economic recovery. I hope you will do all you can to help support our endeavours over the coming weeks, but also through the expected turbulent years ahead.
We have been clear on what is needed from government, which includes:
1. Make borders fair: Develop risk-based quarantine rules and Foreign Office advice on a country-by-country basis, and build ‘air bridges’ between countries
2. Unlock capacity: Allow airlines to take over vacant slots through a resumption of ‘use it or lose it’ slot allocation rules
3. Protect jobs: Extend the furlough scheme to April 2021, protecting thousands of jobs in airports and airlines
4. Free up communities: Allow airports the same business rate exemptions as other businesses, freeing up local authorities from rate collection
5. Streamline regulation: Provide a common-sense approach to regulation and fees for the Civil Aviation Authority, air traffic control, and others.