Why exactly does Gatwick only use the one runway

Hello IFC!

So, I know Gatwick dossn’t use 26R/08L because of it’s close proximity to the other runway, 26L/08R. But, why did they build it like that? Was it human error or was it intentional? I know they have it as a backup in case,
I guess, something causes the other unway to close. Please can someone explain?

Thank you!

Gatwick used to have one main runway, which allowed the airport to begin commercial operations in 1936. In 1979, they just “upgraded” a taxiway and turned that into a runway as well, so it can be used in case of emergencies when the other one is down or in maintenance.

It is used as a taxiway but the intent was to keep an extra runway around in case of emergencies. It was intentional from what I know, since it was just never meant to be a runway.


Ah, okay, thanks!

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It’s just a backup incase something goes wrong.


The runways are too close to be used simultaneously, that’s why only one can be used at a time.

That’s what I’m saying, the second runway was never supposed to be one that they use…


A lot of information and answers to your question can be can be found below. 🙂

Why does London Gatwick use only one runway?