Gatwick Airport[nb 1] (IATA: LGW, ICAO: EGKK) is 2.7 nautical miles (5.0 km; 3.1 mi) north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and 29.5 miles (47.5 km) south of Central London. Also known as London Gatwick, it is London’s second-largest international airport and the second-busiest (by total passenger traffic) in the United Kingdom (after Heathrow). Gatwick is Europe’s leading airport for point-to-point flights[nb 2] and has the world’s busiest single-use runway, with a maximum of 55 aircraft movements per hour. Its two terminals (North and South) cover an area of 98,000 m2 (1,050,000 sq ft) and 160,000 m2 (1,700,000 sq ft), respectively. In 2014, 38.1 million passengers passed through the airport, a 7.5 per cent increase compared with 2013.
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. US Airways, Gatwick’s last remaining US carrier, ended service from Gatwick on 30 March 2013. This leaves Gatwick without a scheduled US airline for the first time in over 35 years.The airport is a base for scheduled airlines Aer Lingus, British Airways (BA), EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle andVirgin Atlantic and charter operators such as Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Gatwick is unique amongst London’s airports in its representation of the three main airline business models: full service, low-no frills and charter. During Gatwick’s 2011–12 financial year,[nb 3] these accounted for 33 percent, 55 percent and 11 percent of total passenger traffic respectively.
BAA Limited and its predecessors, BAA plc and the British Airports Authority, owned and operated Gatwick from 1 April 1966 to 2 December 2009. On 17 September 2008, BAA announced it would sell Gatwick after the Competition Commission published a report about BAA’s market dominance in London and the South East. On 21 October 2009 it was announced that an agreement had been reached to sell Gatwick to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), who also have a controlling interest inLondon City and Edinburgh[nb 4] airports, for £1.51 billion. The sale was completed on 3 December.