The proposed plans costed at around £500m would see the airport’s emergency northern runway moved sideways by 12m and upgraded for routine short-haul use.
This would enable dual runway operations with the airport’s main runway while meeting all international safety standards.
Other elements of the proposals include improved airport access, highway improvements, as well as additional environmental mitigation.
The airport operator, which is putting the plan to public consultation in early September, said the project proposals were low impact and in line with Government policy of making the best use of existing runways.
The project will be delivered in a sustainable way which helps to achieve the Government’s overall goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
As the proposed northern runway plan is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the airport plans to apply for a development consent order once consultation is complete.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer of Vinci-controlled Gatwick Airport, said: “While we are currently experiencing low passenger and air traffic volumes due to the global pandemic, we are confident that Gatwick will not only fully recover to previous passenger levels, but has the potential to continue to grow back into one of Europe’s premier airports.
“Our plans to bring our existing Northern Runway into routine use will not only help to secure that growth but will also ensure many thousands of additional jobs and a vital boost to the economy for our local region.
“Aside from the economic benefits our plans will have, we remain committed to our sustainability goals, and our Northern Runway plans are designed to be a low impact way of unlocking new capacity from our existing infrastructure, much of which is already in place.”