James - IT Innovation
"I’m James and I work as an Innovation Lead at Gatwick. ‘What on earth is an Innovation Lead?’ I hear you ask! Well, it’s my job to work out how emerging technology trends – such as robotics, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence – can be maximised at Gatwick to make sure we continue to be one of the most innovative airports in Europe.
"One project we’ve been working on is the use of data from the bag drop to improve departure times. Aside from baggage codes, airlines have no way of distinguishing different passengers’ luggage. It’s difficult to locate the bags that need to be unloaded the quickest and this can lead to late departures – which, of course, no one wants to experience!
We announced earlier this year, for example, that Gatwick is going to be the first UK airport to trial robots that valet park passengers’ cars. We expect it to be pretty revolutionary.
"Thanks to our new tech, we’re able to take images at the bag drop to speed up the process. It’s been a great success, cutting time for baggage handlers and improving on-time departures.
"There’s also major changes to come in terms of how our passengers interact with the airport through automation and robots. We announced earlier this year, for example, that Gatwick is going to be the first UK airport to trial robots that valet park passengers’ cars. We expect it to be pretty revolutionary.
"The most interesting thing about working in innovation, particularly at an airport, is that everything moves so fast. You’re never quite sure what’s going to be round the corner, but one thing’s for certain: the future is massively exciting."
Unsurprisingly, James’ passion for technology doesn’t relent when he heads home from work at the end of the day – he has all of the latest gadgets and gizmos installed in his home!