The upgrade project, which was budgeted at £40m, will see 3.3km of main runway resurfaced when work gets underway in March.
The main runway is resurfaced every 11 years to ensure it remains in the best possible condition.
Gatwick will also take the opportunity to carry out additional works at the same time, such as, replacing the airfield lighting and improving the drainage system.
The project will involve resurfacing an area of 400,000 sq m – equivalent of 100 football pitches – with approximately 65,000 tonnes of asphalt.
Around 1,900 runway and taxiway lights, fed by 530 kilometres of electrical cabling, will also be replaced.
Carrying out work on Gatwick’s main runway is a major challenge with up to 53 aircraft landing and taking off every hour. However, the project will be delivered during the quieter night period to ensure passenger flights are not disrupted.
David Wilson, Head of Airfield Capital Projects, said: “With just seven working hours each night, we will remove and replace about 130mof runway at a time.
“The work will be planned and executed with military precision to ensure it is completed and inspected before the first flight is due to take off. I’m confident our team working in partnership with VolkerFitzpatrick, will rise to the challenge.”
Alistair Thompson, Director of Major Projects (Civils) at VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “We will be working in collaboration with the Gatwick team on the detailed design of the works until the end of the year, with a construction start date of March 2012.”