London's Gatwick Airport, scene of last week's drone drama, will start the new year under new ownership, with France's Vinci company taking a 50.1% share of the field's operating company for about €3.2 billion. The current operators will own the rest.
Vinci is a large French construction company which also owns or operates a large portfolio of airports around the world, including such major sites as Lisbon, Belfast, Lyon, Phnom Penh, and dozens of others. In the U.S., it operates Burbank and Ontario in the Los Angeles area and Orlando-Sanford, as well as terminals in other airports.
At Gatwick, Vinci will be running the UK's second-busiest airport, with over 45 million passengers; it is Europe's eighth-busiest. It lost out to Heathrow last year in competition to be authorized an added runway. Its present single runway is the world's busiest single runway, and has handled up to 950 flights in one day.