London Gatwick’s operator has formally applied for routine operations on its northern parallel runway, designated 08L/26R, in order to increase the airport’s capacity.
The northern runway is spaced just 200m from the main southern runway, 08R/26L, which restricts dual operations.
But the Gatwick planning submission proposes a realignment of the northern centreline 12m further north.
The repositioned runway – currently used as a taxiway – would only be used for departing flights.
If the £2.2 billion ($2.8 billion) privately-financed development proposal is accepted construction could begin in 2025 and the runway introduced to operations by 2030.
“The proposals are low impact, with most construction taking place within the current airport boundary,” says the operator.
It adds that the capacity unlocked would help Gatwick to serve 75 million annual passengers by the late 2030s.
“If approved, our plan will also improve airport resilience, meet future passenger demand, and increase competition in the London airport market,” says chief executive Stewart Wingate.
“We are confident that our plans are both economically and environmentally robust.”
Gatwick’s operator has put forward legally-binding commitments to ensure noise levels and carbon emissions under the airport’s control are reduced.
There will be a 7h night curfew on routine use of the northern runway, and an increased number of residences will be eligible for noise insulation.
These commitments mean that, within nine years of the northern runway’s opening, the airport’s operations will generate less noise than in 2019, when Gatwick was last running at full capacity, the operator claims.