Gatwick Airport water shortage: why is there a lack of water, will it affect passengers and will it be fixed?

The company that provides Gatwick with water experienced a burst main on Thursday morning

The UK’s second busiest airport, Gatwick Airport, has faced further problems as it is currently experiencing a water shortage.

Airports nationwide have all faced a multitude of problems, largely due to staff shortages and a surge in people booking flights abroad.

It comes amid a time when experts believe will see the travel industry ‘bounce back’ with many predicting passenger levels may reach pre-Coronavirus levels this summer.

Why is there a water shortage at Gatwick Airport?

The company that provides Gatwick with water experienced a burst main in the morning of Thursday, 14 July.

The burst pipe, which occurred nearby in Shipley Bridge in Horley, Surrey, caused 100 properties to be without water and a further 1,200 to have low pressure in Horley as well as Gatwick and Crawley, West Sussex.

In response to the issue, which caused widespread problems at the airport, Gatwick responded by saying that the supply had led to "lower water pressure than normal across the airport".

It’s unaware if the problem has now been fixed, with the provider, SES water saying that it was "working hard to resolve this"

How has it impacted the airport?

Gatwick was directly impacted by the issue that occurred in Surrey.

A screen at Gatwick read: ‘Only limited toilets available due to a local water supply issue. Sorry for the inconvenience’.

Only two toilets in the terminal were thought to be working, the Sun reported.

The airport confirmed all restaurants were still open and had been open all day, despite earlier reports suggesting that some eateries had been forced to close.

Gatwick Airport has apologised for the lack of water and said it would offer passengers free bottled water until the matter was "resolved’. Officials later said water tankers were on site.

Will there be any further problems at Gatwick in the near future?

It’s hard to tell if any problems will ensue at Gatwick, but it may be a possibility as the travel industry gets back on its feet after a tough couple of years.

During the pandemic, as all air travel came to a halt, airports and airlines alike had to axe staff, and now the staff shortages are contributing to the chaos we have seen recently.

After travel restrictions were heavily reduced, airports have seen a high number of passengers make their way to the airport as people look to get aboard for the first time in years for some.

Despite the recent problems the airport has endured, there are measures in place to try and stop the issues that have plagued the airport.

These include the aforementioned dropping of flights, which reportedly is going to impact around 800,000 passengers.

A Heathrow boss recently revealed that the problems happening to airports now could last for 12 - 18 months.

Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of easyJet said: “We see a strong summer ahead, with pent-up demand that will see easyJet returning to near 2019 levels of capacity, with UK beach and leisure routes performing particularly well”.