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London Gatwick Airport to start the tendering process for a second runway

London Gatwick Airport to start the tendering process for a second runway

London Gatwick Airport has recently opened up discussions with contractors about building a second runway, potentially worth as much as £200m.  However, the airport will not select winning bidders for the work contracts unless it secures Government backing for the project.

This announcement was made after Gatwick confirmed it has accelerated and expanded its £2.5 billion investment programme to cope with the growth of passenger traffic.  The airport is currently running close to full capacity, and will soon hit approximately 41 million annual passengers, which is a record for a single runways airport.  The limit is 45 million, which would explain why Gatwick are keen to push forward with their expansion plans.

At a recent event in London, Raymond Melee (Gatwick’s development director) stated, “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.”

Due to the airport growing faster than expected, the airport is bringing forward some investment projects to cope with the passenger demand. 

The projects being accelerated include:

  • North Terminal international departure lounge expansion
  • North Terminal short-stay carpark
  • Border Force expansion in both terminals
  • Additional pier served stands

Existing facilities to be improved include:

  • Pier and gate room refurbishments
  • Food and beverage enhancements
  • Additional remote aircraft parking stands and changes to taxiways and stands to optimise the airfield operations
  • Improvement to roads and bus and coach facilities

Gatwick has already invested £1.3 billion since becoming independent from BAA ownership (the British Airports Authority), and these plans will require a further £1.2 billion investment over the next 5 years.