London Gatwick today marks a key milestone in its £1.2 billion transformation as demolition commences on the airport’s second oldest pier, Pier 1.
In partnership with Vinci Construction UK, the new and innovative design will deliver easier access from the departure lounge and spacious departure gates where passengers can enjoy panoramic views of the airfield. It will also have dedicated areas for both families and the business traveller.
Gatwick is proving to be a pioneer when it comes to improving passenger facilities, with the new pier and baggage system complementing the already completed South Terminal security area, the North Terminal extension and the new A380 stand which opened in March.
This single construction project requires co-ordination of three very different elements - passenger facilities, airline facilities and a new baggage system. The project uniquely combines two key aspects with the design allowing a single building which provides a high-end experience for passengers, as well as incorporating a new baggage system hidden at its heart.
Hand-in-hand with the new pier, the project will deliver a completely new baggage system for the South Terminal, designed to be more flexible and efficient, bringing benefits to both airlines and passengers. The baggage project has already upgraded hold baggage screening facilities and transformed the flexibility of the current system, enabling initiatives such as self-service bag-drop.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive at London Gatwick, said: “Pier 1 has been in service since 1962, so the commencement of demolition works is a significant milestone in Gatwick’s on-going transformation. The new pier and baggage project will provide passengers with a new and much-improved experience from check-in, right through to the panoramic views down the runway that can be enjoyed while waiting for a flight.”
The next stage of the project will deliver a fast, modern system with passenger friendly loading points making the whole process safer and more efficient.
A key feature will be a new automated baggage storage facility, which will allow passengers to drop their bags as soon as they arrive at the airport without being limited by traditional check-in desk opening times. This also gives passengers the opportunity to check their bag in the day before their flight.