Project Description

Gatwick Airport

Client: Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL)

Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in the UK, the busiest point-to-point airport in Europe and the busiest single runway airport in the world.

Following the purchase of the airport by Global Infrastructure Partners, L&B was contracted to update the public Airport Master Plan and provide on-site planning assistance in developing the Airport Development Strategy.

The purpose of the Master Plan was to define the strategic direction for Gatwick Airport till 2020 within the single runway context and to explain the prospects for traffic growth, how this growth will affect the way the airport interacts with the surrounding communities through the generation of employment opportunities and the environmental impacts of the airport operation.

The traffic expected to be handled in 2020 is around 40 million passengers annually. This growth represents a 19% increase compared to 2011 traffic volumes. The Master Plan also provided a longer term perspective of how Gatwick might be in 2030, which included safeguarding for a second runway.

Both the Master Plan Update and the Airport Development Strategy focused heavily on providing additional capacity at a constrained airport to meet unmet regional demand. Central to this goal was maximizing the efficiency of the airfield from both the process standpoint and infrastructure. In addition to the airfield, key terminal processes were evaluated and alternatives were developed on how best to meet the additional demand.

L&B’s final result of the two projects was a Master Plan that was put out for public comment and meets government requirements with a Development Strategy to guide the development discussion with the airlines at the airport for years to come.

A detailed capacity assessment of the airfield and terminal facilities was conducted for the Development Strategy. Sophisticated simulation modelling was conducted to optimize the location of the runway exit taxiways to increase the runway capacity.

There are two passenger terminals at Gatwick – North and South. Detailed capacity analysis was conducted, using in house L&B programs, to calibrate and alleviate capacity bottlenecks in the terminal. Different airline allocation scenarios were evaluated to optimize the daily and peak hour infrastructure utilization of both terminals.

Photography: Google Earth