It may have missed out on getting the go-ahead for a second runway back in October, but Gatwick Airport is pushing ahead with its growth plans and has £240m investment set for the year ahead.
The London airport has announced the award of its airport planning services framework with Arup, Atkins and Jacobs on board to help with capacity assessments, as Gatwick looks at future growth from existing infrastructure. It said this marks an initial step in the airport's "biggest year of investment".
Gatwick is currently halfway through a £2.5bn transformation programme, which it says will improve passenger experience as well as bolster growth for its airline partners.
As the government gave the green light to Heathrow's expansion in October, for the time being Gatwick says it has to plan growth from "clever use of infrastructure, technology and efficient processes".
Gatwick’s chief planning officer, Tim Norwood, said:
The award of this framework sends a clear message that Gatwick is committed to continued growth, despite the constraints of the single runway and our existing infrastructure.
We will always look for clever ways to improve passenger processes while being focused on what people want, and it’s important to work with specialists in this field to understand some of the critical flows of the airport.
Arup, Atkins and Jacobs are expected to be called upon to provide simulation modelling such as analysis of passenger and vehicle flows, and facility requirements, during the five-year framework. They will also be asked to carry out capacity assessments, including analysis of the processing capacity of the airport's existing infrastructure.
The framework covers the entire scope of airport infrastructure, spanning terminals, airfield and all commercial functions.
The efforts to boost growth at the airport, even while it waits to get the go-ahead for a second runway, comes after Gatwick's boss Stewart Wingate reiterated his call for the airport to be expanded.
Last month, Gatwick announced its best year on record, with 44m passengers at the airport.
"At this crucial time for the country and the economy, Gatwick continues to stand ready and offers the UK government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion," Wingate said.