In a bid to cater for a 20 percent passenger increase by 2020, Gatwick airport is to revamp its infrastructure to cope with the projected swell in traffic. A development masterplan issued by the airport’s management said it could accommodate an increase from last year’s 33.8m passengers to 40m by 2020 – and even 45m by 2030 – without needing a second runway. It will though set aside land for a second runway should the need arise in future; a planning restriction prevents one from opening until at least 2019. Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “We need to anticipate that, in the long term, a second runway at Gatwick may be needed. This means we will continue to work in partnership with our local authorities to safeguard land for future expansion because we believe it to be sensible business practice and it supports current Government policy.”
The plan shows that Gatwick expects to invest £1bn in infrastructure by 2020, but not on any major new building. It proposes to create a single security area for the North Terminal, similar to that in the South Terminal, to offer more seats and circulation space in both departure and to improve both arrivals halls. There will also be various minor infrastructure works to improve parts of the runway and taxiways, including to enable regular operation of the A380 aircraft. Gatwick claims to be the world’s busiest single-runway airport and Europe’s busiest point-to-point airport. It expects to continue to be dominated by leisure flights, but to see a steady expansion of business travel.