23 JULY 2012
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Published last Thursday was a strategy plan from Gatwick Airport saying that it might need to look at a second runway to cope with the expected growth in air travel. This would be parallel with the existing runway and to the south with the minimum separation.
The UK’s second largest airport is barred from building another runway until 2019 under a planning agreement with local authorities, but Gatwick is interested in considering the case for expanding in the next decade.
Gatwick's current throughput is about 34m passengers annually and says that the present operation could handle 45m. This figure could be reached by 2030, when the airport would be operating at full capacity. Unlike Heathrow, which is a hub with around 30% of passengers transferring, Gatwick operates mostly on a point-to-point basis.
The statement indicates that Gatwick is in no rush to expand at the present time but is keeping its options open. It further muddies the waters regarding south east England’s airport capacity requirements. www.gatwickairport.com
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