25 MARCH 2019
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Stewart Wingate, Gatwick boss for ten years, was in fine fettle as he explained to BTN last week both the airport’s short- and long-term plans.
In August, the 40-year agreement made with the local councils for no runway development comes to an end. Wingate was cautious regarding turning the current emergency strip into a licensed runway and pointed out that planning approval will be required and taxiing requirements dealt with. The year 2025 could be a target date.
In the short term, steps will be taken to safeguard land for a future expansion. Work is progressing fast on the area known as Pier 5 which will allow the Emirates A380 operation to move from its current Pier 6 site, across the bridge, to gates much nearer the airline’s lounge and the main airside concourse.
“We can grow the airport from around 47m passengers this year to something in the order of around 70m passengers by 2032," Wingate said.
Work is progressing quickly turning the M23 into a “Smart” motorway, adding an additional lane and sorting out the actual access to the airport.
At the moment, 34% of passengers use the railway station and Wingate is keen to increase this number. “We are only 90min by through train from Cambridge”, he pointed out.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Robert Shaw, Burgess Hill
I think Gatwick is a very good airport, however there are two areas which need attention. Until the airport insists easyJet uses air bridges then the North Terminal will continue to be third world. Also needs to be a distinct improvement in the serviceability of the lifts.