Today Gatwick Airport has said it is pressing ahead with its plans to use the northern runway for routine flights, first announced in 2018.
Currently the runway is used as a taxiway and as a standby for the main runway during maintenance and emergencies.
Despite a dramatic fall in passenger numbers because of the pandemic, the airport is confident about a recovery and wants to be able to use the runway for departing short haul aircrafts from the Summer of 2029.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, 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.
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.Steve Wingate, SEO Gatwick Airport
The scheme involves moving the northern runway further north by 12 metres. The airport has said this would allow them to increase in passenger capacity to approximately 75 million passengers per annum by 2038.
CAGNE Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions represents campaigners in Sussex, Surrey, and Kent. It has said the airport’s expansion plans “flies in the face of the climate emergency, we are all facing”. They are hosting a series of virtual talks “Time is Ticking” about the environmental impact of flying.
The public consultation will open on 9th September and will run for twelve weeks until 1th December 2021. Click to find-out more: Northern Runway Project.