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Project Description

Project Description

As set out in Section 1, the Project proposes alterations to the existing northern runway which, along with lifting the current restrictions on its use, would enable dual runway operations.  Together with the alterations to the northern runway, the Project would include the development of a range of infrastructure and facilities to allow increased airport passenger and aircraft operations and to allow Gatwick Airport to make best use of its existing runways.

Key components of the Project include:


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Airfield/Airport Works Sheet 1


Once operational, the Project would result in all aircraft arrivals using the existing main runway and shared departures between the existing main runway and the altered northern runway. The existing taxiways would be amended and realigned to accommodate the altered northern runway and to allow safe manoeuvring of aircraft associated with both runways.

As a consequence of the Project, passenger throughput is anticipated to increase to approximately 75.6 million passengers per annum by 2038. This represents an increase in capacity of approximately 13.2 million passengers per annum compared to the compared to the forecast throughput of 62.4 million passengers per annum in the absence of the Project.

The Project would facilitate making better use of the existing runway to increase airfield capacity so that passengers can access the airport efficiently, with good levels of customer service, and would provide land for environmental effects to be mitigated.

A number of existing facilities would require reconfiguration, relocation or additional facilities to be provided. This would include the following:

Table 2: Summary of Key Aspects of the Project

Element of the Project

Key Parameter for Assessment

Changes to Enable Dual Runway Operations

Development consent application area

820 hectares

Works within existing GAL land ownership

747 hectares

Permanent land take (third party)

68 hectares

Temporary land take (third party)

6 hectares

Passenger throughput

Future airport throughput (without Project 2038)

62.4 mppa

Project additional throughput (2038)

13.2 mppa

Proposed new airport throughput (with Project 2038)

75.6 mppa

Air traffic movements

Approximate future commercial air traffic movements (2038 without Project)


Approximate future non-commercial air traffic movements (2038 without Project)


Approximate future total aircraft movements (2038 without Project)


Approximate additional commercial air traffic movements (2038 with Project)


Approximate future commercial air traffic movements (2038 with Project)


Approximate future non-commercial air traffic movements (2038 with Project)


Approximate future total aircraft movements (2038 with Project)


Cargo throughput

Future cargo throughput (2038 without Project)

254,000 tonnes

Project additional cargo (2038)

69,000 tonnes

Proposed cargo (with Project, 2038)

323,000 tonnes

Alterations to the Existing Northern Runway

Centreline repositioning

12 meters to the north


Commencement of main construction phase


Year of opening for northern runway


Completion of construction works


Flood Risk and Water Management

To accommodate the alterations to the northern runway, to allow for the areas of new development and to meet current planning requirements (including an allowance for climate change), modifications to floodplains of the River Mole and Gatwick Stream plus upgrades to the existing surface water drainage strategy are proposed. This would ensure that no adverse impact on flood risk is likely off site. Measures are anticipated to include the provision of additional floodplain capacity (called floodplain compensation areas), by lowering existing ground levels; works to realign existing surface water drainage infrastructure; creation of additional runoff treatment and flood compensation areas to complement the existing capacity.

Changes to the foul drainage system to improve capacity and resilience are proposed in order to provide for the new and improved facilities, including wastewater from the extended terminals, hotels and new pier. New pumping stations and pipeline connections to Crawley Sewage Treatment Works are proposed to accommodate flows from the extended North Terminal and the new pier.

Climate Change

In addition to GAL’s existing net zero carbon commitments, as set out within their Decade of Change document, GAL is currently developing a detailed Carbon and Climate Change Action Plan, to enable the airport to continue to reduce carbon emissions and to deliver sustainable development. The following factors will be considered further: 

The timing of the Project would be dependent on securing development consent and the discharge of the associated requirements. The indicative construction programme is based on construction commencing in 2024. The programme for the main airfield construction works would be of approximately five years duration enabling the altered northern runway and taxiways to be complete and fully operational in combination with the main runway in 2029. The indicative phasing is outlined in Table 3.

Table 3: Indicative Phasing

Anticipated Phasing

Component of the Project


Pre-construction activities (including surveys for any unexploded ordnance and any necessary pre-construction surveys)


Early works, including establishment of compounds, fencing, early clearance and diversion works and re-provision of essential replacement services 


Reconfiguration of existing maintenance airfield facilities (Phase 1)

Alterations to the existing northern runway

Airfield works to support use of the realigned northern runway


Extensions to North and South Terminals


Hotel and commercial facilities


Car parking


Flood compensation areas


Surface access improvements including:

  • South Terminal roundabout improvements (2029-2030)
  • North Terminal roundabout improvements (2029-2032)
  • Works to Longbridge roundabout (2030-2032)


Ongoing reconfiguration of existing maintenance airfield facilities (to final state)

Further improvements to airfield facilities


Pier 7


Reinstatement of final land use at temporary construction compound locations

Construction would be undertaken in accordance with a Code of Construction Practice. The Code of Construction Practice will set out the key management measures that contractors would be required to adopt and implement. These measures will be developed based on those identified during the EIA process. They include strategies and control measures for managing the potential environmental effects of construction and limiting disturbance from construction activities as far as reasonably practicable. An outline Code of Construction Practice is provided as part of the PEIR.

Control of Accidents and Disasters

The EIA Regulations require consideration of the effects on the environment resulting from the vulnerability of the Project to risks from major accidents and/or disasters, where these are relevant to the project concerned. Work has been undertaken to consider the design of the Project in relation to the potential for accidents and disasters to occur.

The Project would not introduce hazards during the construction phase which could not be effectively managed through the Code of Construction Practice and/or existing plans and procedures currently in place at the airport.

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