Gatwick Airport has released its first passenger app as part of its “digital transformation programme”.

The new app intends to offer a more efficient airport experience for holidaymakers and business travellers alike, through real-time updates about flight status, gate information, real-time queue updates to aid in passengers’ time management while at the airport, maps which use the airport’s 2,000 navigation beacons to help guide passengers, and terminal-specific shopping and eating offers that are instantly redeemable through a mobile phone.

Its features also extend outside the terminals, with road and rail travel information, the ability to book airport parking, passenger pick-up and drop-off information, a “Where’s my car?” feature for passengers to store their parking location, and information on facilities for the disabled.

The release of the app, which is free from the Apple App Store and Google Play, comes on the back of Gatwick’s announcement that it achieved its busiest November on record, with 2.9 million passengers travelling through the airport last month, bringing its annual total to 45.5 million.

Additional technological innovations to come include planning to connect passengers to advanced chatbots on social media to help with pre-flight queries, and augmented reality to help passengers find their way around the airport. Gatwick is the first airport to deploy augmented reality technology.

In other news, Gatwick announced a £180 million investment in infrastructure in partnership with construction company Bechtel. The investment is aimed at more than doubling the size of the North Terminal’s Pier 6 terminal building, increasing the number of gates and space for passengers to wait before departure.

Jasper Hart