Terry Farrell and Partners has been appointed to mastermind runway expansion plans for Gatwick Airport
More from: Farrell bags Gatwick expansion role
The high-profile architect is to investigate the potential for a second runway at the West Sussex airport.
The appointment, announced weeks before the Airports Commission’s call for evidence closes, is part of the airport’s ‘constellation vision’ for solving South East England’s perceived air capacity shortage.
Despite high-profile cases for a four-runway hub at Stansted or the Thames Estuary, Gatwick believes the capital could be best served by its existing airports – Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted – competing against each other.
Farrell said the project would shift the debate away from ‘the over-engineered and unnecessary idea of a mega hub at Heathrow or to the East of London.’
He said: ‘The concept of building a single mega-hub airport is at significant odds with what London needs. There is a reason a city the size of London doesn’t have one mega-railway station but has major stations at Victoria, Waterloo, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Euston – the same principle applies to airports.’
London Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: ‘Having designed major transport infrastructure around the world, including the hub airport in South Korea, [Farrell] will bring to the airport a track record of delivering major transport projects whilst ensuring London and the UK gets the right solution.’
The AJ100 company will provide strategic advice on Gatwick’s multi-airport model and undertake a series of assessments comparing the relative impact of a dominant mega hub against competing airports of equal size.
The studies will focus on passenger experience, economic growth and environmental impacts.