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29 JULY 2020
We recognise the importance of keeping local residents and stakeholders updated on any significant milestones or changes to our operations, and so the following briefing aims to give you an update on the current situation and our future expectations as the airport begins to recover from these unprecedented times.

Southern runway works

Earlier this month we announced that we would be closing the southern runway to carry out repairs to it, and that this would be done in two phases. Phase 1 would see the full closure of the southern runway and Phase 2 would see the closure of the southern runway overnight. Our plans for Phase 2 have changed slightly, so the southern runway will now only be closed from Monday to Friday between 8pm - 7am (not Monday to Sunday 7pm - 7am as previously announced), providing more respite to those overflown by flights using the northern runway than originally planned.

Phase 1 of the works started on 13 July and I can confirm that we’ll be moving to Phase 2 from Sunday 2 August and so this will mean we will follow our usual runway alternation schedule, with runway alternation taking place at its usual time at 3pm when we are on westerly operations. From Monday to Friday at 8pm each evening, the southern runway will close until 7am the following morning - meaning the northern will be the only runway in use during that time. For communities this means that those overflown by flights using the northern runway will experience more aircraft noise than usual, whilst those communities usually overflown by flights using the southern runway will experience less aircraft noise.

We still anticipate that these works will continue into September and possibly through to October. However, we will need to review this nearer the time as this will depend on the operational situation such as the number of flight movements. We will of course continue to provide regular updates as this evolves.

More information about the works including maps showing areas most likely to be affected along with FAQs can be found here.

Flight movements

At the beginning of this month, we explained that we expected to see an increase in flight movements in July. This was following the announcement from the Government that they were relaxing quarantine measures from lower risk countries, and because other countries were also beginning to ease their travel restrictions. We said we expected to see between 300-450 flight movements a day during July based on the information available to us at the time, but that this may vary as airline schedules are continuously being revised. As of today (29 July 2020), the lowest number of flights in the month so far has been 294 (7 July) and the highest has been 491 (26 July) - so the range has been slightly wider than our original forecast.

Based on our latest forecast and the information we currently have available to us - we are expecting to see between 450-650 flight movements a day during August - although as mentioned above this may vary, as airline schedules are continually being revised due to the current circumstances and are therefore much more unpredictable the further ahead you look.

We will continue to provide updates on both areas as they progress.