Gatwick has announced that a public consultation will start on 9 September 2021 on plans to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use alongside its Main Runway.
The scheme will help secure the airport’s long-term growth, generating approximately 18,400 jobs by 2038 and an additional expected £1.5 billion GVA to the region. While passenger numbers currently remain low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gatwick is taking its plans for growth forward now as it still expects to be capacity-constrained in the time it would take to secure approvals, complete construction and start operations.
The proposed plans would allow the airport’s Northern Runway to be brought into routine use, for departing aircraft, by repositioning its centre line further north by 12 metres. This would enable dual runway operations with the airport’s Main Runway, while meeting all international safety standards. The plans would add resilience to Gatwick’s operations (reducing delays and congestion), bring new global connections and allow an increase in passenger capacity to approximately 75 million passengers per year by 2038. Other elements of the proposals include improved airport access, highway improvements, as well as additional landscape/ecological planting and environmental mitigation.
The project proposals are low impact and are in line with government policy of making best use of existing runways. The project will be delivered in a sustainable way, which helps to achieve the government’s overall goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
As the proposed Northern Runway plans are considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the airport plans to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the scheme. Before the application is submitted, Gatwick will be running a 12-week public consultation, for anyone who is interested in reviewing or commenting on the proposals, from 9 September 2021 to 1 December 2021.
“While we are currently experiencing low passenger and air traffic volumes due to the global pandemic, we are confident that Gatwick will not only fully recover to previous passenger levels, but has the potential to continue to grow back into one of Europe’s premier airports,” said Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport. “Our plans to bring our existing Northern Runway into routine use will not only help to secure that growth but will also ensure many thousands of additional jobs and a vital boost to the economy for our local region. We would like to hear views from local people and interested groups on the proposed Northern Runway Project as part of our comprehensive public consultation process and encourage everyone to take time to review our plans. Aside from the economic benefits our plans will have, we remain committed to our sustainability goals, and our Northern Runway plans are designed to be a low impact way of unlocking new capacity from our existing infrastructure, much of which is already in place.”
Key Strategic Partners are the British Aviation Group (BAG), the aviation trade association representing over 200 UK airport suppliers, and the Regional and Business Airports Group (RABA), the regional airports trade association of over 40 UK and British Dependency airports.
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