A Heathrow to Gatwick rail link does not a single airport make

News from many British news organizations that the Government is considering a high speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick as an alternative to a third runway at Heathrow. BBC version here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15227879

It is classic UK Government nonsense – the idea that perhaps all long-haul flights would leave from Heathrow and all short-haul would leave from Gatwick with only a 15 minute train journey is clearly unworkable when you compare to single terminal airports – such as Copenhagen. Even Paris CDG has airside transfers, and most of Frankfurt’s flights operate in and out of the same terminal.

Reality check –

  • 20 minute journey from the further gate to Immigration
  • 20 minutes in Immigration (if you’re lucky, stories are about of up to 90 minutes since the Government cut Border Control Officers)
  • 5 minutes through Customs
  • 5 minutes to re-check luggage
  • 5 minutes to walk to Rail Station
  • You just miss a train – so 15 minute wait
  • 15 minute journey time
  • 10 minute walk to Security
  • 15 minutes through Security
  • 20 minutes to the gate

So 130 minutes transfer time – Are they mad?

Clearly if they could make the connection airside (secure area) to airside then it would make the whole time shorter, but still no where near the time spent walking from pier to pier at Schipol.



  1. Is it just me, or is a 130mins transfer time not that bad compared to other airports? I know of some that have a MCT of 2 hours within the same terminal! But then again in reality it wouldn’t be anywhere close to 130mins.

  2. I don’t know. I still think 2 hours is pretty close to how long it will take – assuming everything works smoothly.

    In terms of minimum connection times, I am sure it will be much greater than 2 hours. Airline like to give themselves plenty of time.

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