Gatwick suggests standby runway conversion

19 October 2018
A still from the video released by Gatwick on 18 October to accompany its Master Plan. Source: Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport could convert its existing standby runway to full use in one of three scenarios in its new draft Master Plan released on 18 October.

The document outlines options for future growth at Gatwick, despite the preference of the UK government for a third runway at Heathrow.

One eye-catching proposal is to convert the existing 2,500 m standby runway to handle narrowbody departures. This runway is currently used only during emergencies or when the main runway is shut for maintenance, with 3,722 aircraft movements in 2017.

Gatwick argues that widening the emergency runway by 12 m would meet ICAO requirements to separate runway centrelines by at least 210 m, allowing the new runway to operate 10–15 aircraft departures per hour during peak times. An airport spokesman told Jane’s that inbound flights would be diverted to another airport in the event of an emergency.

Gatwick planners hope that its conversion to routine use would enable the airport to handle 80,000–100,000 more flights per year. Operating both runways simultaneously is forbidden by the 1979 Section 52 Agreement with West Sussex County Council, which is set to expire in 2019. If the plan is approved by the government, Gatwick officials claim that it could complete the project by the mid-2020s, stealing a five-year march on the third runway at Heathrow.

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    PIS/LFBI AIRFIELD REF PT.: N46 35.15 E000 18.24 ELEVATION : 423' 129m CFR : 5 MAX RWY LENGTH : 7,710' 2,350 m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 03/21, 7,710' 2,350 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 44 F/C/W/T. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 03R/21L, 2,297' 700 m, width 148' 60 m, grass, Rwy 03L/21R,


    HOR/LPHR AIRFIELD REF PT.: N38 31.19 W028 42.95 ELEVATION : 118' 36m CFR : 6 MAX RWY LENGTH : 5,233' 1,595m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 10/28, 5,233' 1,595 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : None. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 10: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2, PAPI.Rwy 28: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2,

  • PICO

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    SMA/LPAZ AIRFIELD REF PT.: N36 58.28 W025 10.24 ELEVATION : 308' 94m CFR : 7 MAX RWY LENGTH : 10,000' 3,048m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 18/36, 10,000' 3,048 m, width 197' 60 m, concrete. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 15/33, 6,004' 1,830 m; Rwy 04/22, 4,345' 1,324 m; both asphalt; both closed.