Work is expected to begin at the airport also known as London Ashford Airport sometime this year, that will also see a new terminal being built, with capacity to handle 500,000 passengers a year.
The £25 million (€31.8 million) development will enable the airport to handle aircraft up to the size of Boeing 737s or Airbus A319s.
At present, the runway is only long enough to cope with smaller aircraft on short flights, but as part of the development it will be extended by 294 metres.
The airport opened in 1954 and in 1958 it handled more than 230,000 passengers, which at the time was 37,000 more than nearby Gatwick Airport, situated to the west, and was the first airport to be built in the UK following the end of the Second World War.
Chief executive, Charles Buchanan, says: "The airport is the perfect base for airline operators. Our runway extension will enable regional jet aircraft to fly a full payload of passengers to a wider range of destinations across Europe.
"We are also providing much-needed additional airport capacity in the south east of England."