Gatwick Eyes Up Expansion Through Repurposing Taxiway

Today Gatwick announced it’s growth strategy which includes using it’s current taxiway (Which doubles up as an emergency runway) as a permanent runway to add more slots into the airports daily schedule.

Gatwick was recently overlooked for expansion when the UK’s government decided to back a third runway at rival airport, Heathrow. Campaigners have now accused Gatwick’s New York-based owners of expansion “by the backdoor.” At present, the second runway at Gatwick is currently only allowed to be used for emergencies or when the main runway is closed for maintenance. However, with that 40-year restriction is set to expire at the end of 2019, Gatwick is eyeing up growth through better utilising this space.

Gatwick said on Thursday that it believed it could bring the standby runway into routine use for departing flights by the mid 2020’s, potentially years before additional capacity is available at Heathrow. The Chief Executive Officer at London Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, said in a statement Thursday that with the U.K. 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.”

At present, the main runway and standby runway are just 198 metres apart, 12 metres too close to satisfy official guidelines set down by The International Civil Aviation Organization. However, Gatwick believe they can lay additional asphalt, repaint markings, and move landing lights to satisfy the legal requirements and utilise the runway full-time.

What are your thoughts on the current London Airport Strategies and in particular Gatwick’s Growth Strategy? Get in touch and let us know!

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