Gatwick Airport northern runway: Plans include separating local traffic on M23 but ‘will not disrupt a single residential body’ says airport's development director

Gatwick’s plans to bring its existing northern runway into routine use ‘will not disrupt a single residential body’, according to the airport’s development director Bronwen Jones.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 6:32 pm

Gatwick has today announced that a public consultation will start on September 9 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 additional jobs by 2038 and an additional expected £1.5 billion to the region.

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.

Gatwick Airport's development director Bronwen Jones. Picture by Steve Robards

This would enable dual runway operations with the airport’s main runway whilst meeting all international safety standards.

Bronwen said there would be numerous redevelopment projects, but that they would only be taking place within the boundaries of the airport.

She said: “Moving the centre line 12 metres has a consequential impact. We’re trying to be as low impact as we can by linking some existing taxiways to better affect the flow around the airfield.

“We then need to be able to park them, so we will be building stands for those aircraft.

“We’ll need to process the passenger cargo, so we will be expanding our terminal facilities, with additional space for departure lounges.

“We’ll need to expand baggage handling, security processing, and a lot of reconfiguring space within our terminals.

“The key thing to mention about all of that is that it remains within our existing airport boundary. We can do all this on the land we already occupy.

“We don’t need to buy extensive parcels of land, we will not disrupt a single residential body in these plans.

“There’s already a project to expand the station at Gatwick and allow even more passengers.

“One of the things we will do is work to separate the local traffic that is accessing the local area from the M23 from airport traffic.

“We’ll grade separate the south terminal roundabout, and there will be similar works in the north terminal.

“It’s not a massive expansion to the existing space occupied by those roads.”

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Bronwen added: “It’s an innovative, elegant, low impact use of our existing infrastructure to add some capacity without massive changes to our existing infrastructure, and making best use of what we already have.

“It’s an operating model that’s in use throughout the world, probably most notably in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“It offers the opportunity to reduce taxi times. Just physically it’s a little bit closer to all of our gates.

“It offers the opportunity to improve airborne holding time, because you’re taking some intensity out of that main runway and the arrivals operation.

“It offers resilience. It offers us the chance to recover quicker if we have any disruption.

“And it adds capacity. It allows our existing airlines that wish to grow to have the opportunity to do so.

“It allows new airlines, new routes to open up. We have a huge pent up demand and it allows us to start to accommodate some of that.”