Gatwick today added pressure on the government to make a decision on airport expansion by confirming a firm to deliver a second runway by 2025.
The announcement, coinciding with the start of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, came days after rival Heathrow outlined how it could raise capacity by 5% before any third runway is built.
Gatwick revealed a strategic partnership with global construction business Bechtel – the firm that project managed the Channel Tunnel, the HS1 high speed rail link and which is currently providing programme management services for completion of the Crossrail project in London.
Bechtel has been working with Gatwick for two years on developing a “robust delivery programme, execution plan and logistics strategy” to support the on-time delivery of a second runway and midfield terminal.
The new partnership will see Bechtel project manage Gatwick’s second runway should the government give it the green light, with a decision expected this month.
As part of this planning work, Bechtel has confirmed that expansion at Gatwick is “low risk” and benefits from “minimal critical interfaces” with existing infrastructure – making it deliverable by 2025.
Bechtel has delivered nearly 100 major airport projects over the last 50 years.
Renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell, who has been working on shaping Gatwick’s vision of a new runway and terminal for a number of years, will work with Bechtel to bring the project to fruition. He led the design team for Incheon airport in Seoul.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate, who is leading lobbying activity at the Tory conference, said: “Bechtel is a global leader with a strong track record in delivering significant infrastructure projects and we look forward to working together to deliver the UK’s next runway.
“Gatwick expansion can happen quickly because it is simple and low risk with a dramatically lower environmental impact.
“A bigger Gatwick would generate the new long haul routes and the economic boost that Britain needs. It’s time for Gatwick to deliver the certainty and growth the UK needs.”
Bechtel regional infrastructure general manager, Amjad Bangash, said: “We have provided Gatwick with robust plans for a second runway and are confident that this low risk project can be built to the highest quality, safely and sustainably – and that it can be operational by 2025.”
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