Gatwick has been named as the UK's airport with the worst record for delays, as latest official figures revealed passengers across the country have experienced a fall in punctuality.
The number of charter flights which were on time at major UK airports fell to 73 per cent in 2014, compared to 77 per cent the year before, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Punctuality among all scheduled flights also dipped one percentage point to 79 per cent compared to 2013.
Gatwick was identified as the worst performer with 74 per cent on time – as well as the longest average delay of 15 minutes.
The airport is currently vying with Heathrow for an additional runway as both sites look to expand. The Airports Commission is due to makes its recommendation this summer whether to build a third runway at Heathrow, a second at Gatwick or to expand one of the existing runways at Heathrow.
In the CAA report, London City was named as the airport with the highest punctuality with 88 per cent of flights on time, along with the shortest average delay time of seven minutes.
The CAA report looked at flights in and out of the 10 major UK airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Overall, the average delay for chartered flights rose to 18 minutes in 2014, compared with 17 minutes in 2013.
The average delay to sceduled flights however remained at 12 minutes.
Only three of the ten airports saw an improvement on the 2013 figures, with Newcastle and Manchester up one percentage point each and Heathrow up two percentage points.
All of the seven other airports saw their punctuality figures drop, with Luton falling the most with a decline of five percentage points.
Iain Osborne, Group Director for Regulatory Policy at the CAA, said: "Arriving on-time matters to passengers and our work helps ensure consumers have the best data and information to make better and more informed choices.
"In the last five years punctuality has been improving and it is therefore disappointing to see a small dip in performance in the last year.
"Notwithstanding this, the industry has had to deal with some unseasonably poor weather and a number of overseas air traffic control strikes, both beyond their control.
"With this in mind we expect the industry to continue to build on the overall positive trajectory and to do all they can to improve punctuality performance further."
The CAA monitored 1.4 million scheduled passenger flights at the 10 airports for the report.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: "Gatwick operates the world's busiest single runway airport and strives to get all flights in and out of the airport on time. The airport has recently invested in efficiency improvements and expects a significantly better performance this year.
"In December 2014 Gatwick was officially accredited for 'Airport Collaborative Decision Making' (ACDM) – a process which allows Gatwick and third parties to share data allowing aircraft to turn around and take off quicker and more efficiently. It also improves operational planning through better predictability and improved utilization of European airspace."
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