First Look At Gatwick Airport’s Two Runway Expansion Plans That Would Double Its Capacity

The proposed second runway at Gatwick airport

How the new runway will look at Gatwick airport. Credit: London Gatwick Airport

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 32.8 million 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”.

The plans include:

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

Planned Gatwick Runway
The planned expansion. Credit: London Gatwick Airport

Opponents, including 10 neighbouring councils, and the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE), said they were “disappointed” the application is moving forward.

They had raised “significant concerns about Gatwick’s approach towards engagement and consultation”.

A spokesperson for CAGNE told Surrey News: “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 well being 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.

What do you think about the expansion plans? Let us know by commenting.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.


    • John McLean

      07 August 2023 • 11:08

      They need to improve the airport access in the South West, not more facilities in the South East. People in the South West have very poor acces to airports and flights with only one airline flying out of Exeter most have to drive 2 hrs to Bristol for more choice.

    • Neil Friday

      07 August 2023 • 20:33

      Was it not in the discussion document about the “Third London Airport” many years ago that Gatwick had plans for their second runway, after about ten years later. But time marches on and their 2038 would be quite legitimate. There was talk of Boris´s Airport ?

      But above all else, the biggest serious mistake of all time was made around 1974 when Harold Wilson cancelled the plans for a Maplin Airport. 50% of the noise and pollution would have been over the Thames estuary. The UK Ministry of Defence put up a powerful defence that they would have had to remove all their unexploded munitions at Shoeburyness. Upgrading one of the two Southend railway lines would have been easy, and (now) would have dovetailed neatly into the Elizabeth Line.

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