Runway delays at Gatwick

Posted on 07. Nov, 2011 by in News

One of the issues that passengers often get irritated about are delayed flights. For the busy travellers, time is of the essence and an hour delay in their flights would mean a bad impression on the airport itself. This is what happened to Gatwick Airport ever since the hub was bought by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in 2009. According to the London Evening Standard in 2010, almost 10% of commercial aircraft movements at Gatwick were delayed by more than an hour, twice the increase when compared to the statistics of the previous year. Passengers were dismayed about this since it didn’t live up to the promise made by GIP, to “provide a better experience for passengers”, shortly after the finances forked out £1.5bn for the Crawley hub in October 2009.

flightontime.info mentions that some passengers were concerned that they had to hang around for up to 20minutes between taking their seat and the plane taking off, three minutes longer than the average. Even worse, there is a steady progress in the number of travellers that complain of being delayed by three or more hours, from 0.79% in 2009, to 1.4% in 2010.

For most airports, delayed and cancelled flights were often caused by weather extremes such as heavy snowfall and a dusting of volcanic ash. But people don’t believe this is the case for Gatwick Airport. They presume it is something internal, something to do with the administration of the airport itself. Whatever the cause for the delay is, the spokesperson of Gatwick acknowledges the presence of the issue and promised to bring improvements showing progress with just a few months into 2011. This shows the concern GIP has with the London hub’s time-keeping capabilities.

Gatwick heads claim that they have properly addressed the issue and now the airplane punctuality has improved by 10% this year. Their spokesperson reassured avid customers that they will continue to make an effort to keep their airlines and handling agents at their top shape to drive better performance.

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