Gatwick will operate 100,000 additional flights as part of a £2.1bn expansion project

Gatwick Airport wants to add almost 300 flights per day as part of a PS2.1bn plan to expand. It is aiming to compete with Heathrow.

The second busiest airport in Britain wants to use its northern runway full-time , as part of a planned expansion to increase the number of passengers from 46 to 75 millions by 2030.

The number of flights per year will increase from 285,000 up to 386,000, which is equivalent to about 275 extra services each day.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive of the airport, has promised that the proposals for a second airport runway will not “cost British taxpayers any penny”, as they have been submitted to the planning officials.

He said that despite the complaints of environmental and noise reduction activists, the expansion plans were aligned with those asked by the Conservative and Labour Parties.

When the main runway south of the airport is being maintained, the northern runway can be used to taxi or for maintenance.

After decades of opposition to the expansion of, Gatwick has been branded as the busiest airport in the world with a single runway.

Mr Wingate said that unlike Heathrow, the proposed expansion plans would not affect transport links such as the nearby M23 and rail link into central London.

Heathrow has resubmitted plans for its third runway, after legal challenges have slowed down the process since Parliament gave formal approval to it in 2018. After being bogged down in legal challenges since parliament gave it formal approval in 2018, Heathrow is preparing to resubmit plans for its third runway.

The campaigners claim that more flights will lead to increased noise pollution in rural Sussex and Surrey.

The UK pledged to become net zero by the year 2050. Around 2.5pc or global carbon emissions are attributed to aviation.

Climate Change Committee of the Government has said that airport expansions should not be allowed and a UK wide plan to control emissions is in place.

Mr Wingate, however, said he is confident that Gatwick will be granted permission to expand. This approval, though, must ultimately come from the ministers.

Tim Norwood, chief planner at the airport, said: “Planning application must align with government policies. The government’s policy is to make the best use of resources, so this is in complete accordance with that.

“Labour must pass four tests.” We’ve talked to them about it. We told them, “Look, we can show you how we meet your four criteria.” They said, “As long as you demonstrate [that] [they will be supportive]”.