Gatwick Airport has announced that it will start charging for terminal drop-offs in 2021.
Any vehicles dropping off passengers directly outside either the North or South terminals will be charged a £5 fee for the privilege.
It now joins Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Manchester and many other regional airports in charging. London Heathrow is the notable outlier, with drop off and pick up free at all times.
On introduction it will also be one of the most expensive airport drop-off fees in the country, matching Stansted’s pricing.
If you want to park for free you can get up to two hours free parking in Gatwick’s long stay car parks, although you’ll have to hop on a (free) shuttle bus to the terminal.
Gatwick is spinning this as a sustainable initiative to reduce traffic in and around the airport. Around 15% of all passengers currently get dropped off on the kerb and Gatwick is clearly hoping it can encourage more people to take the train.
It also suggests that any revenue generated will help the airport “recover and preserve jobs from the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
No date has yet been set for the launch of the charges, but look out for it in 2021.