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GATWICK's New Owners Reject Second Runway  
User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 812 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7285 times:

The BBC web site is reporting that the new owners of Gatwick are not interested in a second runway due to the financial implications of public inquiries and building costs.

Wonder if this makes a third runway at Heathrow more likely?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7188 times:

You would think having a second runway would increase their revenues.

Maybe the new owners are not thinking of hanging around too long. How very short-sighted.


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7639 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

IIRC there is a restriction until 2019, but I not sure if that would prevent planning.

User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 812 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7049 times:

Quoting Babybus (Reply 1):
Maybe the new owners are not thinking of hanging around too long. How very short-sighted.

Interestingly, in the last week they have sold large shares of the airport to outside investors!


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Quoting Babybus (Reply 1):
You would think having a second runway would increase their revenues.

Yes, but

Quoting fcogafa (Thread starter):
due to the financial implications of public inquiries and building costs.

The cost of all the lawyers and public 'inquiries' and the cost of building another runway are obviously higher than the extra revenue.

Businesses have to make those decisions all the time. If we spend X pounds for improvements, we can expect Y pounds of additonal income. When X is larger than Y, you don't spend the money if you want to stay in business.

I'm sure their accountants have gone over this in much more detail than we can obtain.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6855 times:
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Does it actually need another runway?

The airport seems pretty quiet for large parts of the day, or at least thats how it looks when I travel through.



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User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7575 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6611 times:

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Does it actually need another runway?

The airport seems pretty quiet for large parts of the day, or at least thats how it looks when I travel through.

Really up to date figures are not yet available. And their is no doubt that there was a decline in LGW's business in 2009, although a decline was also experienced by most other airports.

However in 2008 LGW was, in terms of passenger numbers:

The world's 28th bsiest airport
The world's 8th busiest international airport
Europe's 8th busiest airport
Europe's busiesty airport for point-to-point traffic

Yet it only has one operational runway!


User currently offlineevomutant From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 499 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6575 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
Yet it only has one operational runway!



Which is does just fine with (outside the snow). It needs a new runway if it wants to expand to any great degree. And therein lies the rub, do the new owners think that they will attract enough new traffic to make the infrastructure and legal costs worth it? Or will they be left with a shiny new runway that while nice to have, they didn't really need.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6552 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
Yet it only has one operational runway!

Being an American, of course I don't understand all the complexities involved in UK airport politics, but..

It seems to me that if Gatwick or Stanstead could add a second runway, it could increase the trans-Atlantic international traffic, and possibly Asia and Africa traffic.

The London area appears to suffer by having only one airport with multiple runways. That forces concentration of the majority of the long distance international traffic at Heathrow. The other airports, Gatwick, Stanstead, Luton and London City all have plenty of international traffic - but most appears to be under 1,750 nm in range.

That invites a comparison to the New York City area. Heathrow is JFK, but with less short range flights/ connections. London City is Weschester County - HPN with some specialization and significant restrictions which will not change.

Gatwick or Stanstead could become Newark with heavy local/ short range international traffic - under 2,000nm, and a solid base of good long range international flights. Enough to help relieve some of the pressure on Heathrow.

That's just my overview of the situation.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6494 times:
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Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
It seems to me that if Gatwick or Stanstead could add a second runway, it could increase the trans-Atlantic international traffic, and possibly Asia and Africa traffic.

- I don't think adding another runway will add trans atlantic traffic, the airlines want to be at Heathrow, end of story. The only way I see Gatwick growing traffic and in particular long haul traffic is to cut the charges to bare bones, that might entice new services.



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User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4021 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6452 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
London City is Weschester County - HPN with some specialization and significant restrictions which will not change.

I can't help tagging onto your comparison -

Does this mean that Canary Wharf is the equivalent of Greenwich, CT?  



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User currently offlinevctony From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6418 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
Being an American, of course I don't understand all the complexities involved in UK airport politics, but..

I think that the biggest complexity in UK airport politics is that the major airports in the UK: LHR and LGW, are both owned and operated by private entities (BAA and Global Infrastructure Partners respectively). In the US, all of the major airports are owned by a city, county, state, regional, or federal governmental organization. Governmental organizations typically are able to force their will more easily than private organizations (they're also able to pay for things more easily than private organizations as there are several FAA airport expansion grants and other grants on which US airports can rely on). The UK, as I understand it, doesn't have this.


User currently offlineLHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6277 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
Europe's busiesty airport for point-to-point traffic

Are you sure? It would imply, for example, that at least 49% of LHR's traffic was connecting.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
It seems to me that if Gatwick or Stanstead could add a second runway, it could increase the trans-Atlantic international traffic, and possibly Asia and Africa traffic.

The London area appears to suffer by having only one airport with multiple runways. That forces concentration of the majority of the long distance international traffic at Heathrow

Well... yes and no. There's no doubt historically that LHR has benefited from having the available capacity that two runways provide to offer a very strong route network and enabled it to become a powerful global hub, to the possible detriment of LGW not being able to provide that sort of capacity. However it isn't just the issue of capacity - in terms of location for a hub airport LHR is pretty much ideally placed to the west of London and has very good transport links.

But whatever the historical context, the situation now is what it is and frankly if new runway capacity opened tomorrow at LGW and STN it would be very underused. At STN probably not at all, at LGW it would help at peak congestion times but is certainly not essential. AA have on a number of occasions tried operating transatlantic from STN but there just isn't the demand and in the case of LGW witness the US carriers all heading up the road to LHR as soon as Bermuda II ended. Opening a new runway isn't going to stimulate demand that isn't there.



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User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6146 times:

Could somebody please fill me in... what is wrong with the decomissioned runway?

AAMDanny


User currently onlineblooBirdie From Lesotho, joined Sep 2003, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 13):
Could somebody please fill me in... what is wrong with the decomissioned runway?

I believe it's far too close to the existing runway.


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2643 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

I don't blame them. Given the nightmare it is in the UK, in terms of time, manpower, money, PR, politics, etc (even before factoring in the overblown construction costs) to even propose a new runway, let alone try to build one, I wouldn't build one either. For a private investor, attempting that could be suicide. Only a government-financed project, with virtually unlimited capacity to take upon debt and and risk, able to cover the huge expenses during the years of planning, debate, re-planning, re-debate, etc, until the runway is maybe approved could ever manage such a thing. A private investor would be betting his airport on it. It's not worth the risk.

BAA correctly realized that the only viable way to increase revenue at LGW was to build more retail shops. Looks like the new owners are slowly coming to the same conclusion...

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Does it actually need another runway?

Well, southeast England needs not one, but 2 more runways. What the best place to build them is, can be debated.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):

Being an American, of course I don't understand all the complexities involved in UK airport politics, but..

No need to excuse yourself upfront, IMO you summed it up quite well.

Quoting blooBirdie (Reply 14):
Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 13):
Could somebody please fill me in... what is wrong with the decomissioned runway?

I believe it's far too close to the existing runway.

Correct. It only acts as a taxiway, I believe it is too close to even allow dependent parallel approaches.


User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5091 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 2):
IIRC there is a restriction until 2019, but I not sure if that would prevent planning.

Yes, this agreement is still in place. And reading the reports it would seem the new owners have alluded to a lack of political backing for a new runway at Gatwick. The Department for Transport under Labour has backed a third runway at Heathrow, and a second runway at Stansted, but nothing at Gatwick. We also are still likely to see a Conservative Government after the election in a few months, and they are less pro aviation than Labour.

In short, the new owners have said they don't want to throw millions away on a protracted public enquiry when the outcome is so uncertain - and that's because there is no Central Government backing (or even ethusiasm) for a second Gatwick runway. It seems better to improve the facilities at Gatwick and try to attract some new airlines (particularly longhaul) before they think about adding a second runway.



Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3921 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4923 times:

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 16):
It seems better to improve the facilities at Gatwick and try to attract some new airlines (particularly longhaul) before they think about adding a second runway.

Definitely seems that way - And I'm guessing that right now LGW isn't too close to being full-to-capacity.


User currently offlinedavehammer From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 472 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Any new runway in the South East would be welcome. Had BAA not built on the best site for a second runway at LGW in the 80s and signed that planning restriction we may have had a realistic EWR type operation at LGW (and we may still have had BCal with us) but that's another story.

Despite the current downturn LGW is still operating close to the line and there wouldn't be a shortage of takers if the new capacity was to come online. Easyjet has been all over new slots like a rat up a drainpipe, and as the recovery continues I'd expect to see pax numbers head back up to near 35 million again.

All in all though it's a shame that the planning process in this country destroys so many crucial projects as well as the narrow minded Nimbys that have been increasing in numbers in recent years.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

Quoting blooBirdie (Reply 14):
Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 13):
Could somebody please fill me in... what is wrong with the decomissioned runway?

I believe it's far too close to the existing runway.

Measuring on Google Eath the distance between the two runway centerlines is about 650 feet. Yes, that is too close for operating both runways at the same time.

The north runway is also very close to aircraft parking areas and operations on that runway would put aircraft over the terminal.

Here is a question - why are their displaced thresholds of 1,000 ft and 1,200 ft on the west end of the runway. I don't see any obstructions to the west for landing on Google Earth. Yes, I understand the terrain rises west of the airport, but not that much. Are they for NIMBY noise abatement?


User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3921 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4747 times:

The problem is that in this country we DON'T have NIMBYs... we have BANANAs ("Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody")...

... at least when it comes to Airports  


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8903 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Measuring on Google Eath the distance between the two runway centerlines is about 650 feet. Yes, that is too close for operating both runways at the same time.

It appears to me to be roughly the same distance between the parallels at SFO.

The big issue for 8L/26R would be the parking areas/constructed areas on the eastern side of the field.


User currently offlineevomutant From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 499 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4529 times:

The charts still list 8L/26R as active, and the departure procedures for Gatwick continue to show that runway also. Does it get any use at all? If not, why don't they just shut it down officially?

User currently offlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8572 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4530 times:
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Quoting evomutant (Reply 22):
The charts still list 8L/26R as active, and the departure procedures for Gatwick continue to show that runway also. Does it get any use at all? If not, why don't they just shut it down officially?

I could be wrong but isnt it still used as a temporary runway if something takes the main runway out of action ?



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User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4485 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 15):
Correct. It only acts as a taxiway, I believe it is too close to even allow dependent parallel approaches.

To clarify, it is often used as the standby runway.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
The north runway is also very close to aircraft parking areas and operations on that runway would put aircraft over the terminal.

Correct (its used in both directions), and its quite a novelty to fly so close to the south terminal!

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
why are their displaced thresholds of 1,000 ft and 1,200 ft on the west end of the runway. I don't see any obstructions to the west for landing on Google Earth. Yes, I understand the terrain rises west of the airport, but not that much. Are they for NIMBY noise abatement?

Probably the huge earth bank built around the west end holding point area, for noise and jet blast protection. If there were shadows on google earth you'd see it. Its 'L' shaped, around the north and west sides of the holding point. I guess the Landing Distance Available is judged sufficient for the heaviest landers even with the displaced threshold.

Regards - musang


25 Post contains images mandala499 : You forgot the "Z number of years"... as in... if we spend X pounds for improvements, we can expect Y pounds of additional income for Z number of yea
26 AirNZ : A fair enough point......but LGW is actually better placed, and has much better transport links to get into central London both easier and faster tha
27 Aeolus : Am I missing something here? Isn't there a 8L/26R & 8R/26L anymore??? Since when???!!! -Aeolus
28 AirbusA6 : It would possibly be more correct to call LGW a 2 runway airport, where only one can be used at a time! Isn't the problem for LGW that the major airli
29 thegreatRDU : To me.....that constitutes a second runway
30 PPVRA : To think you can just "build and they will come" is silly. If you want to help Gatwick expand, you should ask your politicians to eliminate the econo
31 Viscount724 : See earlier replies. The 2nd "runway" is designed for use as a runway when the primary runway is closed for repairs, repaving etc. Otherwise it's onl
32 Post contains links eljonno : http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchi...earch=gatwick%20emergency%20runway 8L/27R was commissioned as an emergency runway and was never intended to add
33 Post contains images mandala499 : Eljonno, thanks for the links... Funny that the BAA file's new runway is located at... Gatwick's original location... where the "Beehive" terminal is.
34 Glom : Tragically spot on. You can't be flatulent in this country without causing a controversy. I think BAA are doing a rather good job with the revamp of
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