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.”