Gatwick Airport will bring forward new projects worth £1.2bn to cope with passenger demand as it opens talks with contractors and consultants over a second runway.
The airport’s development director Raymond Melee told the Construction News CN100 Breakfast Club at Claridge’s this morning that Gatwick is set to start talks with contractors and consultants over its second runway proposals.
Gatwick and Heathrow are currently locked in a battle to secure a new runway in London, with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin saying this week that he “hopes” a decision would be made by July.
This week also saw contractors and developers including Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Mace come out in favour of Heathrow expansion in a letter to chancellor George Osborne.
In July 2015 the Airports Commission recommended Heathrow as the location for a new London runway.
However, expansion at Heathrow is opposed by both Sadiq Khan and Zack Goldsmith, the Labour and Conservative frontrunners in the London mayoral election race.
Gatwick’s announcement this morning included details of construction projects to be brought forward, with a new framework expected to be tendered shortly.
Mr Melee told the Construction News Breakfast Club audience: “Gatwick has already invested £1.3bn since becoming independent from BAA ownership, transforming the way we operate to deliver a world-class experience for our passengers.
“Over the next five years we will be investing £1.2bn to meet accelerated passenger growth and bringing forward crucial infrastructure projects. Gatwick will, in the very near future, also be seeking expressions of interest from consultants to tender for work on our second runway building programme.
“It is important that Gatwick is ready to start work as soon as we get government approval to deliver the increased capacity the South-east desperately needs. Opening discussions with contractors now means we will be well placed to take forward our plans for a second runway, on time and on budget.”
Mr Melee said a second runway at Gatwick remained the “more sustainable scheme” and the only deliverable option legally, politically and environmentally.
The projects Gatwick has identified to bring forward for construction are:
- The North Terminal International Departure Lounge expansion;
- The North Terminal short-stay car park;
- Border Force expansions in both terminals;
- Additional pier served stands.
In addition, as part of its £1.2bn spending over the next five years, Gatwick will improve current facilities by carrying out work such as pier and gate room refurbishments and food and beverage retail enhancements.
It will add remote aircraft parking stands and changes to taxiways and stands; improve road and bus and coach facilities; and continue to focus on ‘operational resilience and maintenance’ of airport assets.
See www.constructionnews.co.uk tomorrow for a full interview with Mr Melee