Gatwick Airport sets eyes on dual-runway operation by 2030 despite environmental concerns.

Moving with firm resolve to emerge as a dual-runway airport by the end of the current decade, London Gatwick, UK's second-most crowded air terminus, is unbowed by potential environmental repercussions.

The scheme envisages the activation of the standby runway for simultaneous operations with the primary runway, presently the globe's most active for take-offs and touchdowns. The operational expansion would swell the annual capacity from the present 281,000 movements to 386,000, marking a surge of 37%, a figure just shy of 20% of Heathrow's current air traffic.

The Sussex-based aerodrome has officially dispatched an application, styled as a Development Consent Order (DCO), to the Planning Inspectorate, seeking approval to reposition the existing standby runway 12 meters northward.

The modification is aimed to facilitate sufficient distancing from the primary runway to enable ascents of medium-range passenger aircraft, such as Airbus A320s flown by easyJet and Wizz Air, as well as Ryanair's Boeing 737s. The blueprint also includes the expansion of the South and North Terminals, in addition to enhancing ground connectivity.

Speaking in favour of the proposal, Gatwick's CEO, Stewart Wingate, affirmed that the initiative would "cement the airport's long-term viability," and spur a yearly economic acceleration worth £1bn for the South East England region.

"Subject to approval, our blueprint will enhance airport robustness, cater to future passenger growth, and bolster competition in London's airport industry, by establishing critical new international links to buttress 'Global Britain'," Wingate articulated.

He added, "Our consultation and stakeholder engagement over the last two years have been instrumental in fine-tuning our blueprint to best serve the needs and demands of local communities, airlines, passengers, and other stakeholders. We stand assured that our blueprint stands up to both economic and environmental scrutiny."

The undertaking carries a price tag of around £500m, significantly less than the contentious proposal for Heathrow's third runway, which would necessitate the acquisition of a substantial amount of residential property—a requirement not applicable to the Gatwick project.