Burst pipe cut pressure for miles around and left airport scrambling to provide water to passengers
The shortage reportedly left passengers in one terminal with only two working toilets while restaurants were forced to close.
Airport officials apologised said they were handing out bottled water to passengers.
SES Water, which serves the airport and surrounding area, said a burst water main in Shipley Bridge had cut pressure to Gatwick and the nearby towns of Horley and Crawley.
BBC News reported that 100 properties had their water cut off completely while 1,200 had low pressure.
At 6pm a spokesperson for SES apologised and said repairs were under way.
“We are pleased to confirm that our teams are currently repairing the burst water main in Shipley Bridge, Horley, and we expect supplies to be restored to normal soon,” they said.
Gatwick said contingency measures were in place to ensure the safety of staff and passengers during the water shortage.
The lack of running water forced the closure of all but two toilets in one terminal, the Metro reported, adding that some restaurants could not provide food or drinks.
The Shipley Bridge burst came after thousands of residents on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent were left without running water for days due to a similar incident.
Two main pipes to the island burst on Tuesday, affecting 24,000 homes and shutting 12 schools.
Residents were provided with bottled water at emergency distribution points set up around the island while repair work was ongoing.
Southern Water said on Thursday morning the pipes were fixed and the supply would return during the day – though residents were told to expect cloudy water and low pressure.
The series of pipe bursts took place on a week when temperatures were higher than normal across Britain and ahead of potentially dangerous levels of heat over the weekend into early next week.
An amber heat warning has been issued for Sunday to Tuesday as the Met Office said there was a chance of the UK temperature record of 38.7C being broken.
The government has urged people to check on vulnerable relatives and neighbours over the expected period of extreme heat, as ministers warned the NHS was under pressure only usually experienced in Winter.