Gatwick was given 30-minute flood warning before Christmas Eve chaos

Stewart Wingate
Stewart Wingate

The chief executive of Gatwick Airport has apologised to passengers affected by the severe flight disruptions on Christmas Eve.

Speaking at a House of Commons transport committee hearing this afternoon (Tuesday January 7), Steward Wingate told MPs the airport was given its first flood warning 30 minutes before the River Mole broke its banks on the day.

He added the airport would publish a review of the incident – the worst case of flooding at the airport since 1967 – in February.

Mr Wingate said: “I would like to start this hearing by repeating my sincere apologies to all of those passengers whose travel plans were disrupted at Christmas Eve as a result of the flooding that took place at Gatwick on the day.

“It is clear there was a lot more that we could and should have done with our airport partners to make sure our passengers had a lot more painless day.

“On this occasion our actions and those of our airport partners fell short.”

Flooding caused power cuts in the North Terminal on Christmas Eve, leading to the cancellation of 62 departures and 59 arrivals.

The airport has since offered affected passengers £100 in shopping vouchers as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.