- £186 million facility houses state-of-the-art baggage and early bag store systems
- Development improves efficiency and reduces delays both on and off the airfield
- Passengers to long haul flights up in May, with numbers to North America up over 40%
Gatwick marked its busiest-ever May today (+5.8%) by launching its new Pier 1 facility – one of largest projects the airport has ever undertaken (£186million) – which houses an entirely new baggage system for the South Terminal and state-of-the-art passenger gate rooms with views across the runway.
The new ‘operationally excellent’ facility replaces the old Pier 1 – which was originally opened by the Queen in 1958 – now also contains the airport’s first early bag store. The bag store allows up to 2600 bags to be checked up to 18 hours before departure – an initiative that improves convenience for passengers and also reduces queues by spreading out check-in times.
Four new taxiways have also been constructed – reducing delays on the airfield – with new dual boarding facilities reducing queues at the passenger gates. A new lounge for premium passengers sits on top of the new Pier and boasts panoramic views across the airfield.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:
“Our new Pier 1 supports Gatwick’s mission to become London’s airport of choice and helps the airport on its journey to become one of the most efficient in the world.
“These new state-of-the-art facilities make it easy for airlines to choose Gatwick as an operating base and means our passengers will enjoy even better customer service.
“It is just this kind of efficiency that Gatwick would roll out en masse if we get the green light to expand. The UK must realise the potential of expansion and choose a second runway at Gatwick because it is the only option that can actually be delivered.”
Croydon MP, Steve Reed, officially launched the new pier today and said:
“I’m delighted to open this fantastic new facility and celebrate the hard work and dedication that has gone into making it a reality.
“Gatwick plays a vital role across the region and expansion would help accelerate Croydon’s potential as the growth engine of South London. I look forward to hearing a decision soon in favour of building a new runway.”
More than a quarter of a million passengers flew from Gatwick to destinations in North America in May – with a significant number taking advantage of the new 28 weekly flight schedule Westjet launched at the start of the month. The month’s figures took Gatwick’s moving annual total passenger numbers to 41,123,000 – a new world record for a single runway airport.
For images of the new pier click here.
For time lapse video footage of the construction project, click here.
New Pier 1
Passengers – will benefit from five brand new passenger gate rooms, located a short distance from the departure lounge. Each gate includes a family area and interactive spaces to keep children entertained and a “Touchdown” business area. Each passenger gate room also has a ‘London Square’ design theme – highlighting Gatwick as London’s Airport of Choice – with iconic London imagery such as Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace etc.
The new baggage system – can accommodate over 4,250 bags per hour and will service the whole of the South Terminal. The new baggage hall has also been built with staff in mind, with better consideration to manual handling benefitting the health and safety of those working in the baggage hall.
The airfield – all stands have a choice of an airbridge or walk-in, walk-out with possibility to use both to speed up the boarding/ disembarking – helping eliminate queue’s and ensure more on time departures. This also allows airlines to run their operation how they choose.
Four new taxiways provide nine extra holding points for aircraft – also reducing delays by improving the efficiency of aircraft movements to and off the stands.
Facts and figures
- In 2012-13, Pier 1 handled 1.86 million passengers, over 5% of Gatwick’s total
- Due to its location next to the runway, the roof is maintenance-free so no one needs to access the roof
- The identity and position of each item of baggage can be tracked at all times virtually eliminating lost baggage within the Early Bag Store system
- The taxiways and aprons were replaced over an area of 40,000m2 (approx. size of 4 football pitches)
- All the concrete that was broken out has been crushed and recycled
- The gross floor area of the new building is 25,000m2 with five new aircraft stands
- There are seven new lifts installed to carry a total of 214 people at any one time
- Each of the passenger gate-rooms have seating for over a hundred people