London Gatwick plans to respond to being shortlisted for possible expansion by preparing detailed plans for a new south runway by April 2014 and presenting them to the Airports Commission the following month.
Kyran Hanks, Gatwick's director of strategy and regulation, says the airport has already begun work on detailed proposals for three possible options for a new runway to the south of the existing airport, and expects to have an initial impact assessment completed as early as January. The proposals will then be presented to the public for consultation before a final submission is made to the Airports Commission on 9 May.
"We need to decide what kind of runway we want, whether it will be a short or long runway, what kind of terminal will be needed... There is a lot more detail we can give to people," says Hanks, adding that a detailed study of the impact of the new runway on noise levels, housing blight , the environment and flora and fauna will need to be carried out.
The commission has shortlisted the options of expanding London Heathrow with a new runway to the northwest of the facility or extension of the existing northern runway to 6,000m (19,700ft), or building a second runway at Gatwick. A final decision will be made in 2015.