North Terminal improvements
It's fair to say that a lot of the North Terminal is simply unrecognisable from a year ago. Here's some of the key improvements that we've delivered and some that are still underway:
In 2010 we replaced our old transit with bright modern shuttle cars and introduced better access and on-board information. Combined with a new operating system, and new stations passengers can now enjoy a quick, convenient and reliable connection between terminals.
This has transformed passengers' first experience of North Terminal. We've built a large new entrance and clear routes into the terminal with moving walkways, lifts and escalators as well as direct walkways to the Sofitel and short stay car parks.
We completed the extension of the building in November 2011, providing a fantastic new space for departing and arriving passengers, including new check-in zones and a new baggage reclaim area.
We're building a new departures baggage system that’s more flexible, reliable and efficient and will support the future growth of North Terminal. Due for completion by December 2012.
With more passengers travelling through North Terminal, we need to maintain our high standards of security while improving our service. Since 2011, we've opened six new security lanes, including dedicated family and assistance lanes.
Multi-storey car park 6
Our new car park opened in April 2011. Providing 1,177 new short stay parking spaces, car rental facilities and a premium parking area, all with easy, direct access to the terminal.
To give our airlines more flexibility and our passengers a better service, we're making changes to the aircraft stands on Pier 5, and to the layout inside the pier. When we've finished, passengers will be able to walk from the departure lounge along a new corridor without having to change levels, and then use new escalators and lifts to reach their boarding gate.
The gates will be refreshed too, to make them brighter and more modern. We are doing the work in two big chunks to keep disruption to a minimum and everything will be complete by March 2014.
The Airbus A380 is the world's largest passenger plane. Gatwick’s airfield has already been modified so that A380s can land and park if they are diverted from another airport. However we don’t currently have suitable facilities to allow passengers to disembark from the double deck aircraft using a jetty. We know that passengers love travelling on the A380, and we want to make sure we provide the facilities to make this possible.
In the short term we are building a temporary solution that allows us to welcome scheduled A380 services from summer 2013. In the longer term, we are planning to include facilities for A380 passenger in our proposal to extend Pier 6, which is contained in our initial business plan document 2014-2020, currently the subject of consultation with our airlines and the CAA.