Astronaut launches Gatwick Shuttle

Astronaut launches Gatwick Shuttle

  *  From TODAY, passengers flying through Gatwick can travel on the new state-of-the-art inter-terminal shuttle, two months ahead of schedule in time for our busy summer period when four million people are expected to travel through the airport

  * FIRST major milestone in Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme to modernise the airport, providing a better experience for passengers as we aim to become London’s ‘airport of choice’ for passengers and airlines

Gatwick’s new inter-terminal shuttle opened today (Thursday 1st July), signalling the first major milestone in a long line of investments that will modernise the airport and provide a better experience for passengers at every step of their journey.

The new state-of-the-art inter-terminal shuttle will provide Gatwick passengers with a fast and comfortable journey between the North and South Terminals.

Former NASA astronaut and member of Gatwick’s Board, James van Hoften, joined passengers and staff for the launch of the shuttle.

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With an investment of £43 million, the project included the installation of a completely new shuttle system, new shuttle cars, refurbishment of the track and transformation of the two terminal stations.

Further benefits include: the use of sensory technology, which counts the number of passengers waiting at the station triggering the operation of the shuttle; extra seating; live journey information; high levels of security with monitored onboard CCTV cameras and full accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.

The new stations at the North and South Terminals provide a lighter, brighter and more welcoming environment when passengers arrive at each terminal.

James van Hoften said, “The original inter-terminal shuttle made the equivalent of five return trips to the moon during its 20-year lifetime - something I’ve done a couple of times during mine!

“The new facilities are excellent but its one small step in our plan to make Gatwick a great airport that passengers love to use.”

Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme will be rolled out over the next three years, delivering new, modern facilities at every step of the journey through the UK’s second largest airport.  Passengers will see improvements to almost every part of the airport, including the South Terminal departure lounge, security areas, immigration halls and baggage systems.

Global Infrastructure Partners completed its purchase of Gatwick from BAA in December 2009 and as an independent airport, the investment programme is an opportunity for Gatwick to bring real competition to the London airports market. With a focus on quality of service and investment in world-class facilities, the new Gatwick will present a unique offer to passengers and airlines.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said: “Today is an important milestone as we compete to make Gatwick, London’s airport of choice for passengers and airlines.  It is a testament to the hard work and skill of the teams involved that our new shuttle is up and running for our passengers ahead of the busy summer period.”

“The completion of this project is an important part of Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme and it’s by investing in new these facilities that Gatwick will go from strength to strength,” added Stewart Wingate.