20-Jul-2012 12:39 PM

London Gatwick outlines vision for growth in master plan

UK's London Gatwick International Airport published (19-Jul-2012) its finalised master plan, which outlines its development plans to 2020 and looks onwards to 2030 when it expects to reach full capacity with around 45 million passengers p/a. The publication takes place against the backdrop of an ongoing debate around what a future airports policy could look like. A new draft aviation policy is currently out for consultation and the ‘call for evidence’ on maintaining the UK’s international air connectivity is expected to be published in the near future. Key master plan points:

  • Gatwick currently handles around 34 million passengers a year, contributes around GBP2 billion to the economy and provides on-airport jobs for 21,000 people and a further 20,000 jobs indirectly;
  • In the two and a half years under new ownership, Gatwick has delivered large parts of its GBP1.2 billion investment programme;
  • Gatwick has proposals to invest a further GBP1 billion in the airport from 2014;
  • Gatwick has no current plans for a second runway and is focused on making the best use of its single runway and two terminals;
  • Gatwick can grow to handle 40 million passengers p/a by 2021/22 and create an extra 1200 on-airport jobs and contribute around GBP2.1 billion to the regional economy each year;
  • Gatwick could, by 2030, handle around 45 million passengers p/a at which point the airport would be full;
  • In moving towards this level of growth, Gatwick will make every effort to maintain and, where possible, improve the sustainability and environmental performance of the airport operations. To that end Gatwick will work with key stakeholders to ensure:
    • the airport remains affordable to airlines and their passengers;
    • service levels remain high;
    • the number of people affected by aircraft noise, as assessed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is kept as low as possible and Gatwick’s performance in this area remains one of the best in Europe;
    • operations are resilient to the effects of disruption, and that;
    • adequate airspace and surface access infrastructure is in place.

Gatwick noted that making further improvements to its surface access is essential to achieving sustainable growth and one of its stated targets is to encourage 40% of non-transfer passengers to use public transport by the time it is handling 40 million passengers p/a, with the airport to help fund improvements for rail, coach and local bus services. Gatwick also acknowledged communities can be affected by aircraft noise and the master plan details the range of noise management and mitigation measures in place. A noise insulation scheme already exists but with the development plans outlined in the master plan the airport is looking to deliver a better scheme for the local communities. A new scheme will be rolled out in 2013 following a public consultation. [more - original PR]

London Gatwick International Airport: “Gatwick plays an important role in supporting growth in the local and wider UK economy. We are responsible for providing jobs to 21,000 people today and enabling the tourism industry to flourish and businesses to prosper. Our finalised master plan sets out how we will achieve sustainable growth on our single runway in order that we can continue to support economic recovery and growth and open up further routes to emerging economies. We remain committed to honouring the 2019 agreement which prohibits the building of any second runway before that time. At the same time, and like any other business, our plans need to cater for all eventualities. We need to anticipate that, in the long term, a second runway at Gatwick may be needed. This means we will continue to work in partnership with our local authorities to safeguard land for future expansion because we believe it to be sensible business practice and it supports current Government policy," Stewart Wingate, CEO. Source: Company statement, 20-Jul-2012.

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