Gatwick today confirmed that it broke the 40 million passengers a year milestone at the weekend following a record October.
Chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said the figures highlight the need for a second runway at Gatwick and showed that the Airports Commission’s forecasting is “flawed”.
A total of 3.6 million passengers used the West Sussex airport last month, up 7.8% or 262,600 more than October 2014.
European routes saw an increase of 9.7% while North Atlantic routes were up 8.5%.
Destinations in Europe recording the strongest growth included Madrid, Rome, Venice and Barcelona.
New York and Los Angeles were both up while growth to Dubai rose by 11.4%.
The average load factor across all flights was 85.3% as the airport saw its 32nd consecutive month of growth.
Wingate said: “We have grown rapidly under new ownership and the benefits of competition are clear for passengers – more choice, higher standards and lower fares. It will not be long however before we are full. That is why Gatwick needs a second runway.
“We have reached this milestone 10 years ahead of the Airport Commission’s prediction that we would do so in 2024.
“The Commission’s report has unravelled in recent months and we now know beyond doubt that there is a fundamental error at the heart of the report.
“Whether the report is flawed is no longer a matter of debate, it is a statement of fact.
“Traffic forecasts obviously underpin the economic figures in the report so people will make their own judgment on the economic credibility of the Commission’s work.
“Illegal air quality has prevented Heathrow expansion twice in the past and it is worse today than it was then. A third runway at Heathrow would fail again as it would be illegal.
“So the choice is clear – expansion grounded at Heathrow once again with Britain losing out, or expansion taking off at Gatwick with Britain reaping the benefits.”
A government decision on airport expansion is expected in weeks after the Commission backed Heathrow for an additional runway.
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