London‘s Gatwick Airport (LGW) reported that its latest record for annual passenger traffic with 43 million passengers travelling through the airport in 2016, a 7.1% increase year over year. The peak came on the 22nd of December 2016, a month in which the airport achieved 3.1 million passengers, a 15% increase YoY.

The airport’s long-haul services grew by 26.8% and its cargo increased by 13.3% in metric tonnage.

Toronto, Canada, is the long-haul destination in 2016 with the biggest passenger increase with 191,124 passengers, or a 97% increase YoY.

At the same time, Belfast International saw the biggest increase in passenger numbers with 388,486 passengers, up by 83% YoY.

Gatwick Airport and Boeing announced they have entered into exclusive discussions to build a commercial aviation maintenance hangar at the airport. The proposed facility is subject to local authority planning permission and will add engineering capacity to support the Gatwick airline community’s immediate operational needs.

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said: “Three million more passengers are travelling through the airport this year versus the same time last year, with 43 million passengers now passing through the airport annually. A figure that puts us 14 years ahead of industry predictions. This milestone is an impressive conclusion to 2016, the year that saw the 80th anniversary of the very first flight from Gatwick.

Gatwick’s booming long-haul services and increased cargo volumes illustrate the vital contribution the airport continues to make to the local and national economy, in the airport’s busiest-ever December, as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”