Gatwick Airport’s two-runway expansion plans that would double its capacity

Gatwick’s Development Consent Order (DCO) papers have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, and can be seen by the public. The DCO hearing will probably last for about 6 months, and start by the end of 2023. The airport’s current annual capacity is 32.8million passengers. It wants to double that by building space for an extra 100,000 flights a year, partly by making even more use of its one full runway, and by changing the emergency runway, so it can handle take-offs (it is too short for landings). The project “would also include the development of supporting infrastructure and facilities to enable increased capacity at Gatwick airport to service 75 million passengers per year by 2038”. Final sign off will be decided by the Secretary of State.  There is a consortium of 10 local councils (Tandridge, Crawley, East Sussex, Horsham, Kent CC, Mid Sussex, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Surrey CC and West Sussex CC that is opposed to the expansion plans. They had significant concerns about the poor initial consultation, and poor engagement with the public, by Gatwick before the application was submitted.



First look at Gatwick Airport’s two-runway expansion plans that would double its capacity

The planning inspector has agreed to examine Gatwick’s plan it build a second runway and add 100,000 extra flights a year

The first details of Gatwick’s multi-billion pound expansion plans – to double capacity and create a second Heathrow Airport in the south east – have emerged. Gatwick originally submitted its bid to create a fully functioning two-runway airport to the planning inspector in July, as it pushes to increase annual capacity to 75 million passengers.

The plans have now been released to the public ahead of an expected six-month hearing due to begin at the end of the year. The airport’s current annual capacity is 32.8million passengers. It wants to double that by building space for an extra 100,000 flights a year.

The project “would also include the development of supporting infrastructure and facilities to enable increased capacity at Gatwick airport to service 75 million passengers per year by 2038”.

READ MORE: Gatwick Airport’s bid to be second Heathrow ‘has bigger local impact than Horse Hill oil drilling’

The plans include:

  • Repositioning northern runway so both can be used together
  • Reconfigured taxiways
  • A new pier
  • Extensions to the north and south terminals
  • New hotel and office space
  • New car parks
  • Highways improvements

Opponents, including 10 neighbouring councils, and the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE), and GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) said they were “disappointed” the application is moving forward as they had raised “significant concerns about Gatwick’s approach towards engagement and consultation”.

A spokesperson for CAGNE said: “Time and time again, airports that seek expansion and growth during the climate emergency use the same straplines to convince the government that it will be good for the country and that everything else can be mitigated. Gatwick seems to have done the same.”

They added: “The planet cannot afford this expansion. We are horrified that a government Planning Inspector would agree to a second runway when it impacts the wellbeing and house value of so many residents, as well as the planet.” The group said it was preparing a “strong legal team” to put forward a case against expansion.

 Gatwick Airport’s second runway expansion plans (Image: PINS/ Gatwick)

“The broken record keeps spinning as far as Gatwick’s management are concerned. The Development Consent Order is a cheap way to significantly increase capacity, without having to pay for the infrastructure needed to support such vast growth”, the spokesperson said.

[The change is to convert the current emergency runway into a full runway, by moving it 12 metres to the north – to meet international standards.  However, it can only be used for take-offs, not landings – as it is not long enough – and all landings would still have to be on the main runway.   If two runways were sufficiently far apart, as at Heathrow, it would be possible for planes to arrive and depart in the same direction at the same time. That cannot happen with the amended Gatwick.  AW comment]

Final sign off will be decided by the Secretary of State.

Tandridge District Council is a member of a consortium of 10 local councils in Surrey, Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex, which have come together to ensure their interests are represented.

A joint statement from the councils read: “We are disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate has this week decided to “accept” Gatwick Airport Limited’s development consent order application for dual runway operations through the routine use of the existing northern runway for its detailed consideration and examination.

“We had raised significant concerns about Gatwick’s approach towards engagement and consultation with us and the wider local community and felt that further, more meaningful consultation should have taken place before the application was submitted. Now the application has been accepted, we will engage with the Planning Inspectorate with the many outstanding issues that are unresolved and without agreement across a wide range of issues.

“We believe this challenging situation will require significant resources from the local authorities to present its case on the many and varied environmental and economic impacts arising from the development and the associated growth of the airport. It is hoped that engagement and provision of information by (Gatwick) will improve as we approach examination to give confidence to all parties about the impacts of the proposals and enable the Secretary of State to make a robust decision.”

London Gatwick’s chief planning officer Tim Norwood, said: “In coming weeks, the airport will let residents and other stakeholders know how they can register their interest in taking part in the examination stage of the planning process, so they can submit comments and feedback on our important proposals.”

London Gatwick’s DCO application is available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.  Crawley Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Kent County Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Tandridge District Council, West Sussex County Council form the coalition of councils.

Those interested in finding out about CAGNE’ fundraising can visit


See earlier:


Gatwick submits plans for second runway to double passenger numbers

Gatwick has formally submitted plans for a £2.2bn second runway, as the airport looks to double its passenger numbers to 75 million a year.  There are the usual claims of more jobs and “a £1bn annual boost to the region”, which ignores the impact of yet more holiday flights, taking money out of the region and reducing tourism spend in the UK.  The additional flights would significantly worsen noise and air pollution, as well as carbon emissions, from the airport.  The 30,000-page application for a Development Consent Order to convert its standby runway for routine use was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate on 6th. The process is expected to take about a year before it reaches the Transport Secretary for final approval.  The project will convert the emergency runway by moving its centreline 12 metres north, allowing planes to take off while others come in to land on the existing runway. There are road changes with additional local road lanes and flyovers. Gatwick has hopes work will start in 2025 for the runway to be in use by 2030. The political decision may potentially be just before or after a general election in 2025.  The extra million tonnes of CO2 per year are totally inappropriate, with worsening climate change and global heating already apparent.

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Gatwick Airport expected to submit second runway DCO application within two weeks

The long-awaited Development Consent Order (DCO) application to convert Gatwick Airport’s emergency runway into a second runway is expected to be submitted within the next two weeks. No date has been given.  Gatwick wants to rebuild its Northern Runway, which is currently used as a standby and for maintenance, to be used by smaller departing aircraft. This would include moving the centre line of the runway further north by 12m, bringing it within global safety standards to operate dual runway departures. The plan also include provision for road changes, a new pier, improvements to existing terminal buildings and additional parking and hotels. Due to the scope of the plans, the scheme has been deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project meaning that a DCO is needed before construction can start. The DCO application is expected to comprise of 25,000-30,000 pages with approximately 100 plans. Gatwick is using its legal advisors’ SharePoint site to submit the documents.  Most of Gatwick’s passengers are leisure travellers, for holidays or visiting friends and family.  The flights enabled by the extra runway would lead to an increase of perhaps 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. At a time of climate crisis.

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