Gatwick Airport has formally initiated the planning process to use the facility’s existing northern (standby) runway for regular operations. Management at the London hub have proposed bringing it into routine use by submitting a notice to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) of its “intention to prepare an application for development consent”.
This action will create the Gatwick Airport Northern Runway project on the PINS website and is the initial stage of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application process. According to the airport, next month it will submit a scoping request to PINS, which “sets out the proposed approach and key issues to be included within the process”.
The news following the publication of a master plan in July, when Gatwick announced it would prepare a planning application for the development. If successful, it would see smaller, departing aircraft use the northern runway alongside the main strip by the mid-2020s.
Tim Norwood, Gatwick’s chief planning officer commented: “As the biggest private investments in our region for many years, the start of the process to use our existing northern runway is a significant milestone. This project has the capacity to offer significant local economic benefits, new jobs and an exciting future for the region. As we take our plans forward, we are committed to working in partnership with our local communities, councils and partners to ensure we grow sustainably and present information in a clear and transparent way, including a more detailed stage of public consultation on the project next year.”
A wide-reaching public consultation is scheduled to be held next year, after which additional updates to the proposals will be incorporated. An application for development consent will then be made to PINS, who will examine Gatwick’s application and provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will then make the ultimate decision.