Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

Gatwick Airport will widen emergency runway for use by passenger planes

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Ginger Lawrence | 21 October, 2018, 16:45

Local opposition groups fear increased noise, with the additional runway likely to concentrate more traffic over existing flight paths.

Now the 2,560m runway runs parallel to the 3,292m main runway and is only used as a taxiway or main runway in emergencies, and opening it up to departing flights could potentially increase capacity by 30%, or more than 80,000 extra flights a year.

However Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the proposed use of the existing standby runway would not increase airport noise and would meet all worldwide safety requirements, If it progresses the plan, a detailed planning proposal would be submitted.

Gatwick has successfully utilised its runway to unlock growth in recent years and remains the world's most efficient single runway.

Gatwick airport, the second-busiest in Britain, said in draft expansion proposals that it wanted to bring its second, emergency runway into routine use from the mid-2020s.

The airport also claimed that their plan would meet safety rules, reduce delays, and would have no impact on noise footprint.

Sally Pavey, chair of Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, known as CAGNE, said: "This is totally underhand, a stab in the heart for residents that thought they could get on with their lives after the runway debate was won by Heathrow Airport".

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The Chief Executive Officer at London Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, said in a statement Thursday that with the United Kingdom set to leave the European Union, global connections are "needed more than ever", before adding that bringing the standby runway into routine use would unlock "much-needed new capacity".

He said: "Utilising the stand-by runway for routine departures is one of three scenarios we have put forward in our master plan. We also believe that they will not add to noise pollution for people living near to the airport, but in fact would help reduce noise from planes at night".

The masterplan also outlines alternative proposals that could see the use of new technology being used to increase capacity on the existing main runway, as well as proposals to safeguard land to the south of the airport for a possible new runway in the future - although airport bosses stress that option is not now being pursued. He said: "I have always supported the airport growing within its existing boundaries and welcome their exciting new vision for incremental growth that will support more jobs and opportunity in Crawley".

The airport is now keen to encourage responses to a 12-week public consultation it has launched today to gather feedback and views on the draft master plan.

There will now be a 12-week public consultation before a final plan is agreed early next year, Gatwick said, which it will then submit to planning authorities.

"Gatwick's growth has been built through partnership so as we look ahead at our future development, we want to shape these plans together with our local communities, our passengers, our airlines and partners".

As the United Kingdom enters a new chapter, Gatwick's development will help meet future aviation demand with sustainable growth and ensure strong connections between Britain and global markets.