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Aerodrome safeguarding

Our aerodrome safeguarding policy keeps the operation of the UK's second busiest airport safe and secure

Our policies on safeguarding

We’re legally obliged to have an active policy on aerodrome safeguarding. This helps keep the operation of the UK's second busiest airport safe and secure.  

Aerodrome safeguarding is the process used to ensure the safety of aircraft while manoeuvring on the ground, taking off, landing or flying in the vicinity of aerodromes. It is a requirement under both the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Regulations and the requirements are incorporated into UK legislation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The process is managed by our aerodrome safeguarding team. They make sure that no developments within the 15km safeguarding zone (30km for wind turbines) have an adverse effect on the airport's operation. When assessing new developments, they consider:  

  • Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) 
  • Cranes and construction issues - to apply for a permit, click here
  • Technical safeguarding including Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) equipment and Instrument Flight Procedures (IFPs)
  • Renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar
  • Managing wildlife hazards 
  • Lighting schemes 
  • Public Safety Zones (PSZ) 
  • Building-induced turbulence

To learn more about this, please see the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) website.

Planning consultations

Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) is a statutory consultee through the Town and Country Planning process. It is consulted by the county and local planning authorities (LPAs) about certain developments within the safeguarding zones. The process is described further in DfT/ODPM Circular 01/2003. 

We get hundreds of consultations per year, ranging from domestic extensions to new housing estates, industrial buildings and renewable energy schemes. We also receive pre-planning application queries and respond to Local Planning Policy and Government Policy consultations.

Gatwick lodges a consultation map with each LPA within the 15km safeguarding zone. These are: 

  • Crawley Borough Council 
  • Horsham District Council 
  • West Sussex County Council 
  • Tandridge District Council 
  • Mole Valley District Council 
  • Wealden District Council 
  • Surrey County Council 
  • Reigate & Banstead Borough Council 
  • East Sussex County Council 
  • Mid Sussex District Council

GAL also lodges a ‘wind turbine safeguarding map’. This covers an area out to 30km from the airport, within which we ask to see all applications that involve wind turbines. 

GAL welcomes pre-application enquiries from developers and other third parties. Sometimes we may ask for changes to schemes to ensure that there will be no impact on aerodrome safety. 

We will always look to work with both LPAs and developers to find suitable solutions.

Contact us

If you'd like more details about this process or are proposing development within the safeguarding zone and would like aerodrome safeguarding advice, please email us.