Gatwick Airport opens talks on second runway and £2.5Bn investment programme to cope with passenger demand.
Gatwick Airport has announced that discussions have begun regarding a second runway, although no decisions will be made on winning bidders unless it secures government backing for the project.
The announcement follows the confirmation that Gatwick has expanded and accelerated its £2.5Bn investment programme, with a decision expected in the summer following the government’s delay last year.
Speaking at an event in London, Gatwick’s development director, Raymond Melee said the airport was approaching full capacity and will soon hit 41 million passengers- a record for a single runway.
He said: “It is important that Gatwick is ready to start work as soon as we get government approval to deliver the increased capacity Britain desperately needs.
“Opening discussions with contractors now means we will be well placed to take forward our plans for a second runway, on time and on budget.
“Gatwick remains the cheaper, faster, and more sustainable scheme. Legally, politically and environmentally, we are the only deliverable option that can actually deliver the jobs, growth and additional capacity that airport expansion would bring,” he said.
Additional new projects being brought forward include the expansion of the north terminal departure lounge, a north terminal short-stay car park, border force expansion in both terminals and additional pier served stands.
There will also be improvements made to existing facilities including pier and gate room refurbishments, food and beverages enhancements, additional remote aircraft parking stands and changes to taxiways and stands to optimise the airfield operations. There will also be improvements to roads and bus and coach facilities.
Gatwick has already invested £1.3Bn since becoming independent from BAA ownership.
Over the next five years, a total of £1.2Bn will be invested to accelerate passenger growth and bring forward major infrastructure projects.