Our Draft Master plan | Future Plans | Gatwick Airport LGW

Long-term plans

By using new technologies on Gatwick’s Main Runway and innovative proposals to bring the existing Northern Runway into routine use, Gatwick’s Master Plan offers an agile and low-impact way of unlocking new capacity and increased resilience from within the airport’s existing infrastructure.

Read our summary document below or download it as a PDF

Gatwick master plan

As part of the airport planning process - and reflecting industry best practice - Gatwick creates and regularly publishes a ‘master plan’ to show how the airport intends to develop and grow in the longer term. The master plan also helps to inform the wider regional and local planning process.

In October 2018, we published our latest draft master plan and consulted publicly on it. In line with Government policy our draft master plan looked at how Gatwick could ‘make best use of the existing runways’. We set out three scenarios for future growth and asked for views on each of the different scenarios.

The consultation responses showed broad support for growth at Gatwick in line with Government policy, both through making more efficient use of the existing runway and by the introduction of a dual runway operation using the existing Northern Runway.

Following the consultation, we published a full consultation report document which describes the consultation process, the key themes raised and Gatwick’s initial response to the feedback received. We also published the final version of our Master Plan 2019.* 

Some of the issues raised in the masterplan consultation were:

Creating the opportunity for resilience and growth 

As described in Scenario 1 of our masterplan, we will continue to secure Gatwick’s longer term future through the use of technology to increase the capacity on our existing runway.

We will simultaneously develop Scenario 2, an innovative dual runway operation using the existing Northern Runway, which will also deliver greater operational resilience as well as allowing sustainable growth in the capacity of the airport.

As one of the biggest private investments in the region, the dual runway scheme will deliver greater connectivity, a better passenger experience through greater competition, and an economic boost that secures jobs and opportunities for generations to come. These benefits can all be delivered while keeping the airport’s noise footprint broadly similar to today’s levels, and with minimal disruption to our neighbours and the environment.

The planning application process

The potential for Scenario 2 to enable the airport to grow by more than 10 million passengers per year means that the development will need to go through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) process, defined by the Planning Act 2008. This means that we will need to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to get planning permission. NSIP applications are examined by the Planning Inspectorate and finally decided by the Secretary of State.

The flow diagram below shows the process set out by the Planning Inspectorate: 


We are currently in the process of preparing for Step 1 “Pre-application Consultation”. This means conducting studies into the likely environmental effects of our proposals on noise, air quality and habitats (amongst other things), as well as assessing the economic benefits that would be delivered by the development.

In August 2019 we submitted our Scoping Report to the Planning Inspectorate, a document that explains the proposed range of these assessments and how we intend to carry them out.

Read the Scoping Report and the examining authorities response, the Scoping Opinion

You can also follow the progress of the application on the same website.

Next steps

Once the detailed environmental assessment work is complete we will hold a public consultation to seek peoples’ views on the predicted benefits and impacts, as well as our proposed mitigation strategies.

During the consultation we will be contacting anyone with an interest in any land that may be affected and we will also hold conversations with key stakeholders and regulators, as well as engaging with local community members and their representatives and local businesses. There will be opportunities to give your views on our proposals.

Once the consultation is complete, we will consider carefully all the feedback we have received before finalising the scheme to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. This is not likely to happen before 2022.

The Planning Inspectorate will then consider whether our submission is complete and of the required standard for them to examine (this is Step 2).

If it is, they will initiate Step 3 and invite any interested parties to register to become part of the evidence gathering and examination process. This will then be followed by the Examination itself (Step 4) and then the Secretary of State’s decision (Step 5).

In all, it is usual for the process from submission of the application to the Secretary of State’s decision to take about 18 months. We will keep you updated of the progress of this process by regular updates to this page. You may also follow the process yourself on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

* All our documents are available to read and download from this page. If you would like a printed copy by post of either the Consultation Report or the Master Plan document, please email masterplandocument@gatwickairport.com with your details. There is a charge of £84 for the Consultation Report and £93 for the Master Plan.