the drone attack on Gatwick reduced the airport's performance for 2018 by reducing the expected increase by one quarter.

An unauthorized drone shut down the Sussex airport for 33 hours shortly before Christmas, causing the cancellation of about 1,000 flights and wiping out 150,000 passenger travel plans.

Gatwick Airport has grown rapidly in recent years, but in 2018, passenger growth slowed to just 1.1%.

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The growth would have been 1.4% without the drone attack.

Gatwick is the busiest single runway airport in the world. In 2018, 46.1 million passengers were treated, making it the second busiest traffic in the United Kingdom.

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London's rival, Heathrow, reached a milestone in 2018, welcoming 80 million passengers for the first time. The 2.7% increase over last year is due to the use of larger and larger aircraft.

Heathrow is one of seven airports in the world to have reached this milestone.

The regions with the highest growth in passenger numbers were Africa and Latin America, with 9.3% and 7% respectively. British domestic flights fell slightly.

John Holland-Kaye, General Manager of the airport, said: "We are on the right track to Expanded Heathrow in the early years of Brexit, which will keep Britain among the major trading nations of the world. "

The drone activity was responsible for closing one of the two Heathrow runways for nearly an hour Tuesday night, delaying many flights. The police asked the public to help identify the culprits.

The third British airport, Manchester, recorded a 1.7% increase in passenger numbers, reaching 28.3 million. Manchester Airports Group also includes Stansted, which grew by 8.2% to reach 28 million passengers.

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Tim Hawkins, Head of Strategy, said the bulk of this growth came from the EU's single aviation market, adding: "It is essential that British and European negotiators Agree to agree on a new one "Open sky'Aviation Agreement.'

In case of Brexit without agreement, the flights of British airlines to the European Union would be capped.

London remains largely ahead of all cities as the world capital of aviation. Once Stansted, Luton, London City and Southend were added to Gatwick and Heathrow, the total number of passengers in 2018 reached 175 million.