Sunday, 1 September 2019

London Gatwick Airport starts the planning process to allow simultaneous operations for its main and emergency runways

Gatwick confirms its intent to start preparing a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS)
The airport will follow the planning process to prepare a Development Consent Order (DCO)
Documents will be made publicly available on the PINS website
London Gatwick Airport has formally started the process to bring its existing emergency / northern runway into routine use by submitting a notice to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) of its intention to prepare an application for development consent. 

This action establishes the ‘Gatwick Airport Northern Runway’ project on the PINS website and is the first step in the Development Consent Order (DCO) application process. Next month, the airport will submit a ‘Scoping Request’ to PINS, which sets out the proposed approach and key issues to be included within the process.

Following the publication of its master plan in July, Gatwick announced it would prepare a planning application known as a DCO – through a rigorous statutory process. The application is to bring the airport’s existing Northern Runway (also known as the standby runway) into routine use for smaller, departing aircraft alongside the main runway by the mid-2020s. 

Tim Norwood, Gatwick’s Chief Planning Officer, said: “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.”

The first stages in the DCO process involve Gatwick carrying out surveys and preparing detailed environmental information on the Northern Runway plans later this year. A public consultation will be held next year, after which further updates to the plans will be incorporated. An application for development consent will then be made to PINS, who will examine the application and provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then make a decision.

Many local people are opposed to the change of use of taxiway 1, the emergency runway, now being called the Northern Runway fearing it will mean more flights, more noise, more disruption and more pollution. Others are concerned that operating flights from both runways is a major safety concern,  an accident waiting to happen, with little room for manoeuvre if an accident happens. The two runways are far closer together than the more usual minimum 3400feet for simultaneous parallel runway operations.

(Images Gatwick Airport)

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