Gatwick Airport will introduce a £5 charge for vehicles which drop off passengers directly outside its North Terminal next month.
Currently all flights are operating to and from the terminal.
The charge will be extended to the South Terminal forecourt at a later date.
The initiative will help to reduce traffic congestion and emissions for the surrounding area as well as being a deterrent for a car-led recovery once more regular travel resumes post the Covid-19 national lockdown.
Gatwick said the charge will also create a “vital new revenue stream” for the airport, providing further protection for local jobs as the negative economic impacts of the pandemic continue.
Anyone who does not wish to pay the charge will be able to drop-off or pick-up passengers in the long-stay car parks with two hours free parking and a free shuttle bus to the terminal.
Alternatively, passengers can arrive by public transport, taking advantage of the significant improvements to train and bus services to the airport in recent years.
Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer at Gatwick, said: “It is no secret that the airport is going through the most difficult period in its history and we have little choice but to explore new revenue streams that will us help us recover from the Covid-19 crisis and continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.
“This new scheme will also encourage passengers to consider more sustainable transport options, including taking advantage of our excellent public transport services.
“We plan to use this charge to build on these services by using a proportion of the revenue raised to support new sustainable transport initiatives, in addition to our ongoing project to build a new £150 million airport train station which is progressing well.”
The charge – first unveiled in October – will be £5 for ten minutes, and £1 for each additional minute up to 20 minutes.
The maximum charge will be £25 and the maximum length of stay 30 mins.