Gatwick is to boost its transport links with trains to London every three minutes as it aims to get more passengers to the airport by public transport than other UK airports.
The launch of the new fleet of Gatwick Express trains today will mark the start of a change in rail services to the airport, with two new fleets of trains and digital technology.
The change in rail services will double capacity and allow a train to leave the station for London ever three minutes by 2018.
Read more: Heathrow or Gatwick airport expansion?
“In just two years, the new Gatwick Express trains will be complimented by a state of the art Thameslink fleet, which together will serve Gatwick with tube-like frequency. Shortly after, Gatwick will also complete a brand new train station so we can comfortably meet the expected increase in passenger numbers," said Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport's chief executive.
“The rail improvements will bring almost a quarter of the UK population to within an hour of Gatwick by train.
"They will also help us to get more than half of our passengers to the airport by public transport – comparable with the best globally and much better than any UK airport," he added.
The completion of the £6.5bn Thameslink upgrade in 2018, including London Bridge station, will unlock the bulk of the new capacity.
And the improvements in services will be matched by a £120.5m redesign to transform Gatwick Airport railway station by 2020 – more than doubling the size of the concourse area.
The upgraded transport links come after a poll found that Londoners are significantly more likely to support the expansion of Gatwick Airport than another runway at Heathrow Airport.