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Gatwick reveals five-year £1.1bn investment plan

After looking like losing the debate to Heathrow on plans for a new runway, Gatwick Airport has unveiled a £1.11bn investment plan to “make best use of all its existing infrastructure” as it continues to operate near capacity.

Bosses at the airport say “improving resilience and harnessing technology” are central to Gatwick’s five-year plan with £266m of investment planned for 2018/19 alone. As the UK’s second largest airport, those responsible for improving capacity claim expected passenger numbers could reach 53 million by 2023. The latest injection of cash means Gatwick will have spent a total of £3.14bn since the airport changed ownership in December 2009.

The 1.11bn will support airline growth and improving experience for passengers up to 2023, while the airport says it will focus on accommodating larger aircraft and rising passenger numbers.

A whole host of projects have been announced across the airport with a significant number said to be getting underway this year.

Projects planned to improve capacity include: 

  • Pier 6 Western Extension – Phase 1 works start with enabling Pier 5 to handle the A380 aircraft, so that it can move from its current home on Pier 6. This work will also involve the widening and reconfiguration of a taxiway to accommodate the 80-metre wingspan of the A380.
  • A new domestic arrivals facility, including a new baggage reclaim in South Terminal.  
  • A new mezzanine level extension in the North Terminal departure lounge to accommodate new restaurants.
  • Completion of the road system and taxiway entrance to the new Boeing aircraft hangar to connect the airfield with the new facility.  The new hangar opens next year and will service the growing number of long-haul aircraft operating from Gatwick.
  • Completion of the South Terminal long stay car park decking project, providing an additional 1,200 car parking spaces for summer 2018.

Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Gatwick is a major piece of national infrastructure, and our continued growth and ability to attract long-haul airlines is vital for the health of the UK economy, particularly in a post-Brexit world. We are exploring ways to grow our capacity, including developing new systems and processes to handle more passengers, and considering how we use all our existing infrastructure in the future. By committing to spend another £1.11 billion, Gatwick can continue to grow sustainably, attract new airlines and offer more global connections, while providing an excellent service to passengers.”

Ensuring Gatwick is committed to exploring how to grow sustainably is also identified as key to any expansion. Projects to support greater use of electric vehicles, continuing to reduce the airport’s environmental impact will support ambitions to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. This year, the airport’s runway will also welcome a new quieter aircraft with the introduction of A321s by easyJet.