Gatwick airport plans to introduce a £5 fee for vehicles dropping off or picking up passengers at its terminal doors.
The airport said it was following others in the UK in levying a charge to drop off or meet passengers in front of its terminals and that revenue raised would help its recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
“Anyone who does not wish to pay the charge will be able to drop-off or pick-up passengers in the airport’s long-stay car parks with two hours’ free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminals,” it said.
Gatwick estimates around 15% of airport journeys are “Kiss and Fly”. It said these were “the least sustainable type of journey to the airport as it involves two return car journeys”.
The airport said it would look at solutions for those who regularly drop off and pick up at the South Terminal each day to access the train station, which includes many local residents. Blue Badge holders are likely to be exempt.
No date has been set to introduce the new charging system. The first step includes a consultation on the implementation of a Red Route across the airport campus to indicate that stopping to park, load or unload, board or alight from a vehicle is prohibited.
Gatwick said revenue raised through Red Route fines would be used to fund sustainable transport initiatives.
Jonathan Pollard, the airport’s chief commercial officer, said: “Gatwick has just gone through the most challenging period in its history and this new drop off charging scheme will give us a new revenue stream to aid recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and ultimately help us continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.
“Gatwick is also committed to promoting sustainable travel and this new scheme will encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including public transport services or parking options at the airport, which only involves two single car trips, compared to two return trips when dropping off.”