London Gatwick Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate has reaffirmed that the airport is not seeking the development of a new runway for the next number of decades.
Wingate’s comments on a failed new runway proposal were spoken on at the Airport Operators Association’s annual conference in Westminster, London today, October 29.
Instead of developing a full second runway, Wingate stated that the focus is now on Gatwick’s newly announced ‘master plan’ which will see the airport make routine use of the standby runway in order to boost passenger numbers to 70m per year in the foreseeable future.
Over the next fifteen years, Wingate remarked, Gatwick will deliver on three major points: maximising the use of the existing runway to boost passenger numbers from 47m to 60m per year; making routine use of the secondary runway for departures only which will add 10m in passenger numbers and safeguard land beyond the fence for when a new runway is considered ‘decades’ from now.
When pressed on why Gatwick did not announce the master plan, including making routine use of the standby runway, in lieu of challenging the development at Heathrow, Wingate explained that there is a legal restriction in place that limits the use of the standby runway for routine use which expires next year in 2019.
Wingate remarked that when the legal restriction ‘falls away’, Gatwick can get to work on developing operations with the secondary runway.