London Gatwick gears for busy festive travel season

Snow ploughs parked at London Gatwick Airport
Photo Credit: London Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick is set to welcome passengers this Christmas with the busiest day predicted to be 22 December.

The airport has specially trained a large number of its staff, so they are well-prepared to react to extreme weather conditions such as snow and ice.

Friday, 22 December: Busiest Departure Day


As the festive spirit fills the air, London Gatwick anticipates Friday, 22 December, to be the busiest day for departures.

However, the holiday cheer doesn’t pause for Christmas Day, as the airport remains open, with an impressive 254 flights scheduled.

As a rundown, here are the most popular destinations on offer from Gatwick over the holiday travel period.

Short-Haul: Geneva Beckons

For those seeking a quick holiday escape, Geneva emerges as a popular short-haul destination.

With its picturesque landscapes and enchanting winter charm, Geneva promises a festive retreat for travelers from London Gatwick.

Long-Haul: Dubai Takes Center Stage


Venturing farther afield, Dubai emerges as the long-haul destination of choice.

Known for its extravagance and cultural richness, Dubai captivates holidaymakers looking for a unique and luxurious Christmas experience.

Gatwick Airport control tower with aircraft in flight in background.
Photo Credit: Gatwick Airport

Behind the Scenes: Gatwick’s Winter Warriors


Winter brings its own set of challenges, and Gatwick is prepared to face them head-on. A skilled and dedicated team of 350 professionals is trained in snow and ice clearance.

From airfield engineers to fire crews, these unsung heroes play a crucial role in maintaining the airport’s efficiency.

Armed with nine snow ploughs and two snow cutters, Gatwick’s winter arsenal is equipped to tackle even the heaviest snowfall.

These specialized vehicles ensure the swift clearance of the runway, guaranteeing minimal disruption to flight schedules.

Snow ploughs parked at London Gatwick Airport
Photo Credit: London Gatwick Airport

The Polar Bear Brigade


Meet Gatwick’s “polar bears,” a team of 150 specially trained individuals ready to take on the challenge of clearing aircraft parking stands and surrounding roads.

Operating 20 smaller snow ploughs and 30 tractors, they ensure the entire airport remains accessible and safe for passengers.

De-Icing in Action

With over 352,000 liters of surface de-icer on standby and an additional 25,000kg of solid de-icer, Gatwick prioritizes passenger safety.

Swift action in snow clearing and de-icing treatment, which can take mere minutes, ensures that walkways and congested areas remain free of hazards.

Terminal Staff

Beyond the airfield, Gatwick’s commitment to passenger welfare extends to the terminal. Terminal staff are on standby, ready to provide assistance and ensure a comfortable travel experience for every passenger.

A Message from Graham Alder


Graham Alder, Head of Aerodrome at London Gatwick, emphasizes the airport’s dedication to passenger satisfaction:

“This Christmas, everyone at London Gatwick is looking forward to welcoming passengers as they travel over the festive period. We can’t dictate the weather, but we can plan and prepare for it.”

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London Gatwick Airport is set to welcome passengers this Christmas, with the busiest day predicted to be 22 December.
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