Gatwick Airport began life in 1930 as the Surrey Aero Club, a small flyers club, used exclusively by flying enthusiasts - however it did not stay this way for long. Four years later Gatwick was licensed as a public aerodrome, intended to provide regular air services to Paris and act as a relief aerodrome for London Croydon Airport. In this year Gatwick also gained its first scheduled flights – Hillman’s Airways to Belfast and Paris.
The descendants of Hillman’s Airways still fly from Gatwick; though you might know them better as the company they later formed a part of - British Airways. Today, they have been joined by roughly 45 airlines flying to 200 destinations and carrying over 38 million passengers.
We’ve come a long way since the 30s. Take a look below to see the key points in our journey from private aerodrome to RAF base to the busiest single-runway airport in the world.