Gatwick cargo volumes could more than double

Gatwick cargo volumes could more than double

The volume of cargo handled by Gatwick is forecast to increase to around 350,000 tonnes per year by the middle of the century (2047) – up from 150,000 tonnes in 2019/20 – if the airport’s plan to bring its Northern Runway into routine use is realised.  

Cargo volumes would increase to over 200,000 tonnes as the Northern Runway potentially enters service in 2029, growing steadily to over 320,000 tonnes by 2038, before hitting 350,000 by around 2047.

The increase in cargo is primarily driven by the expected growth in long-haul connectivity offered by the additional runway, with widebody aircraft to destinations in Asia and the Middle East seen as providing significant growth in cargo in the years ahead. 

Gatwick’s existing cargo facility occupies an area of approximately 10 hectares, including 23,000 sq m of cargo sheds, and will be able to accommodate the increase in cargo that the Northern Runway project is forecast to generate. 

Gatwick has started a public consultation on plans to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use alongside its Main Runway.  Full consultation materials are available on the web pages along with a virtual exhibition and an option to book a telephone surgery with project experts or to request a virtual briefing for local stakeholder groups.   

Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “If we realise our plans and the Northern Runway is brought into routine use it will bring significant benefits for the local area, including new jobs and opportunities for business.  I would encourage anyone who wants to see these benefits delivered to let us know what they think by responding to our public consultation before it closes on the December 1 this year.”  

Dee Mathieson, managing director, Elekta Ltd – a Crawley-based company that makes medical devices – said: “Around 90% of the vital spare parts that go into ensuring the maintenance and repair of our customers’ medical devices is by air transport.  It would really help our business by being quicker and more efficient if we were more able to transit these parts through Gatwick, so we would welcome greater capacity and improved facilities for air freight at airport.”