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Gatwick considering standby runway to increase capacity

Words: Laura Edgar
Gatwick Airport / iStock-1036390630

Gatwick Airport has outlined plans that could see its standby runway being used routinely to increase operational resilience.

The current planning agreement dictates that the runway is only used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. This 40-year agreement ends in 2019.

A draft masterplan, put together by the airport for the independent consultative committee GATCOM, sets out how the standby runway could be used routinely for departing flights by 2020.

The airport notes that this would be delivered without increasing its noise footprint and would provide “greater operational resilience”. It is confident that such a project would remain within the existing airport footprint, and if the airport went ahead with the plan it would apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Planning Inspectorate.

The draft masterplan satisfies a Department for Transport requirement that the airport should provide regular updates on long-term plans, as well as meeting the government’s call for airports to make the best use of existing runways.

Gatwick is looking at how technology can be used to increase capacity of the main runway by improving efficiency. Land allocated for a new runway for the Airports Commission, the process from which the government chose to support expansion of Heathrow Airport, will be safeguarded for the future.

The airport is holding a 12-week public consultation to gather feedback and views on the draft masterplan before a final version of the masterplan is agreed on early next year.

The masterplan and details of public exhibitions can be found here on the Gatwick Airport website.

Image credit | iStock