London Gatwick has announced expansion plans, bringing its existing Northern Runway into routine use to secure the airport’s long-term growth.
The plan will see the existing Northern Runway which is currently used for taxiing brought into use alongside the main runway. Public consultation will start on September 9 on the expansion which is forecast to create 18,400 new jobs by 2038.
Operators of the UK’s second largest airport have said the scheme will help secure long-term growth and generate an additional expected £1.5bn gross value add (GVA) to the region. Gatwick is bringing forward plans for growth while passengers numbers remain low due to the Covid pandemic. A statement by the airport said capacity was expected to remain constrained within the time it would take to secure approvals, complete construction and start operations.
Plans would bring Northern Runway into routine use
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 whilst meeting international safety standards.
The airport said the plans would add resilience to Gatwick’s operations by reducing delays and congestion, bring new global connections and allow an increase in passenger capacity to approximately 75 million passengers per annum by 2038. Other elements of the proposals include improved airport access, highway improvements, as well as additional landscape and ecological planting and environmental mitigation.
A statement on the airport’s website added that the project proposals were low impact and in line with Government policy of making best use of existing runways. It added that the project would be delivered in a sustainable way which helps to achieve the Government’s overall goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
The proposed Northern Runway plans is considered as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and the airport plans to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the scheme. Before submission of the application, Gatwick will be running a 12 week public consultation, for anyone interested in reviewing or commenting on the proposals, from September 9 2021 to December 1 2021.
12 week public consultation starts on September 9
The Statement of Community Consultation (setting out how Gatwick proposes to consult the local community on the proposed Northern Runway project) has been published at www.gatwickairport.com/futureplans and full consultation materials will be made available on the web pages from September 9 along with a virtual exhibition and an option to book a telephone surgery with project experts or to request a virtual briefing for local stakeholder groups. Gatwick will also be operating a mobile project office which will visit key areas around West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent and all consultation materials will also be available at various deposit points, including libraries in those areas.
Gatwick has “potential to grow back into one of Europe’s premier airports”
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “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. 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.
He added: “Aside from the economi
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