Gatwick Airport position statement

Gatwick Airport Limited submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for their Northern Runway Project to the Planning Inspectorate on 6 July 2023.

The application seeks approval for “alterations to the existing northern runway at London Gatwick Airport, which, along with lifting the current restrictions on its use, would enable dual runway operations. Together with the alterations to the northern runway, the Project would include the development of a range of infrastructure and facilities to allow increased airport passenger numbers and aircraft operations.”

A 6-month examination of the application will take place between 27 February 2024 and 27 August 2024. The examination is being led by a panel of inspectors (called the Examining Authority) appointed by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Following the close of the examination, the Examining Authority has 3 months to produce a recommendation report to the Secretary of State for Transport on whether development consent should be granted.

The Secretary of State for Transport then has a further 3 months to consider the recommendation and make a decision.

Based on these timescales, an announcement on the outcome of Gatwick Airport Limited’s Development Consent Order application can be expected to be made by March 2025.

If consent is granted then a phased period of construction could start in 2025, with the main airfield construction works lasting a total of 5 years. The northern runway is expected to be fully operational from 2030.

Full details of the application along with further information on the DCO process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Our position

Our position on the project remains in line with our existing Policy on Gatwick Airport, which was adopted by Cabinet in December 2014. The policy explicitly states that we oppose a second runway at Gatwick. Whilst at the time, this was in response to the Airports Commission and the proposals for a newly constructed and independently operated second runway, we consider these latest proposals to routinely use the northern runway as a way for Gatwick to become a two-runway airport by another means.

Therefore, we continue to strongly oppose the proposals to bring the existing northern runway into routine use. Our concerns focus mainly on the:

  • intensification of the main runway
  • noise of overflying aircraft
  • carbon emissions
  • lack of efficient rail and public transport connections to Kent.

Read our response

Read our response to Gatwick Airport's northern runway statutory consultation (PDF, 163.8 KB).

All our responses to the DCO process can be found on the National Infrastructure Planning website.