Long-term plans

Draft master plan 2018

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.

Draft master planOur 2018 draft master plan sets out proposals for the airport’s ongoing development and sustainable growth. In it we explain our latest thinking on how the airport can meet the increasing demand for air travel and provide Britain with enhanced global connectivity. 

We also demonstrate how we can create new opportunities for the region and continue to bolster the local economy for future generations, while doing everything possible to develop and grow in a sustainable way - striking the right balance between economic growth and environmental impact.

This draft master plan is also a direct response to the Government’s recent call for UK airports to look at ‘making best use of their existing runways’ and we explore how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios:

  1.  Main runway: using new technologies to increase capacity

    In the near term, the airport has explored how deploying new technology could increase the capacity of the main runway, offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.

  2. Standby runway: innovative plan to bring existing standby runway into use

    Under its current planning agreement, Gatwick’s existing standby runway is only used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. However, the 40-year planning agreement will come to an end in 2019. The draft master plan sets out for the first time how we could potentially bring our existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside the main runway, by the mid-2020s.

    This innovative development, which would meet all international safety requirements, would be delivered without increasing the airport’s noise footprint and provide greater operational resilience.

  3. Additional runway: safeguarding for the future

    While we are not actively pursuing the option of a building a brand new runway to the south of the airport - as we did through the Airports Commission process - we believe it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future as part of our master plan.

You can view the full draft master plan and also an aerial film highlighting the location of the three scenarios outlined in the draft master plan.

We have also published a consultation summary document.

Public consultation

We believe the plans offer safe, agile, low-impact ways of unlocking much-needed new runway capacity from within our existing infrastructure - however, it is important that everyone has their say so we look forward to hearing the views of our local communities, partners and stakeholders.

A 12-week public consultation is now live and includes five public exhibitions in our local area, which will help inform the publication of the final master plan early next year. We would welcome your views and encourage you to respond before it closes at 5pm on 10 January 2019.

Public exhibitions

Please come along to one of our public exhibitions, where you'll have the opportunity to review our plans and talk to us about the future of Gatwick Airport. Exhibitions will be held at the following dates and locations:


Date: Saturday 3 November
Time: 15:30-19:30
Location: The Barn, Causeway, Horsham, RH12 1HE


Date: Thursday 8 November
Time: 15:30-19:30
Location: Centrale Shopping Centre, Croydon, CR0 1TY

Tunbridge Wells

Date: Saturday 10 November
Time: 11:00-17:00
Location: Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2SS


Date: Monday 12 November
Time: 15:30-19:30
Location: Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2RG


Date: Saturday 17 November
Time: 11:00-17:00
Location: County Mall Shopping Centre, Crawley, RH10 1FG

We would welcome your thoughts on our draft master plan.

Respond to our consultation

Your views are important to us as we consider how best to grow Gatwick Airport sustainably, including making best use of the existing runways in line with Government policy.

In 2019, we will publish a final master plan document which will consider the feedback received during the consultation period.

If you would like more information, our details are:

Tel: 0808 168 7925
Email: gatwickdraftmasterplan@ipsos-mori.com

*If you need a printed copy of the master plan, please email purchase@gatwickdraftmasterplan.com. There is a cost of £48 for this service.

If you would like a copy in large print or another language please email us at gatwickdraftmasterplan@ipsos-mori.com with your request.

Master plan 2012

Our current master plan was published in 2012 and will be replaced in 2019, once our draft master plan is finalised.

Gatwick master plan 2012 
Gatwick master plan appendices 2012