Gatwick full of fighting talk on runway

As Gatwick talks up runway victory Jon Masters speaks to airport’s development director Raymond Melee amid fresh lobbying efforts

Gatwick’s investment programme up to 2021 has increased to £2.5bn since entering private ownership in 2009. How much of this is dependent on a second runway?

 Our £2.5bn transformation programme is to meet existing demand and does not include the second runway. However, our airport planning services framework may also be used for preparatory work associated with a second runway. 

Assuming you got the nod to build a second runway, when would you expect to start? 

The frameworks last for five years, and given that we expect a government decision by summer we need to be ready to start work as soon as we receive government approval. Once we get the approval to build a second runway, there will be significant additional funding for projects that will need to be scoped and progressed within these five-year frameworks. 

What other work is in the offing for improvements at Gatwick? All of the works detailed in our three recently published frameworks are for open competition. This work is part of our existing programme of investment. However, when we get the green light to build another runway, our budgets will be increased and the works will start to incorporate scope more specific to the building of the second runway. 

It has been reported that Gatwick Airport has not been entirely satisfied with the supply chain management performance of its principal contractors. What are you looking for from framework bidders for a step change in delivery? 

Gatwick enjoys excellent working relationships with all of its contractors and we constantly look for ways to build on this, while at the same time keeping an open mind for new ways of working. The airport transformation programme is quite advanced now and we constantly take lessons from each project we manage. In the future we will be aiming to have more control over our supply chain, so we can manage programmes effectively and ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. Through the creation of new contracting frameworks, Gatwick will be able to match the variety and diversity of its build programme with a more flexible, reliable, and responsive supply chain. 

What will Gatwick bring to the contract procurement and delivery processes as an intelligent client? Gatwick is aiming for shorter procurement cycle periods, helped by market-reflective terms being agreed at a framework level. Pre-agreed purchase order terms will also be used for lowervalue works. In addition, frameworks will be managed proactively, with dedicated people on both sides to ensure consistency and efficiency. 

What evidence is there that Gatwick can deliver its ambitious proposals? Gatwick is no stranger to delivering difficult projects. We are successfully managing 24/7 construction sites alongside our operation. Our focus is to create cross-functional teams working together for a common goal.