Gatwick unveils North Terminal departures level

1 Oct 2015 by GrahamSmith

London Gatwick will open its new North Terminal departures level this month.

The 8,000 sqm area includes the world's largest self-service bag drop zone - operational testing will start on October 6 for two weeks before gradually opening from October 20 with a one-month trial period ending on November 18.

The check-in hall will open in two phases between this month and April.

North Terminal departures level

North Terminal departures level

LGW said the hall will have "a better layout and more space, increasing peak check-in capacity from 3,000 to 4,350 passengers per hour".

There will be 60 check-in points, 48 of which will be self-service bag drop units that can complete the check-in process "in less than two minutes". Twenty-eight self-service units will be available for use when the level opens this month.

Elsewhere, features include a new staircase linking the ground floor arrivals with the first floor transit shuttle to/from the train station, a new escalator, new flooring, 400 metres of new baggage belts, and new shops.

Next summer will see a new security area that Gatwick claims will halve passenger transit times and enable it to process 5,000 people each hour and a fully-refurbished arrival area.

Other works in progress include a new departure lounge, more retail and restaurant space, 15 new e-gates, a reconfigured Pier 5 facility and a new Pier 1.

Self-service bag drop zone

Self-service bag drop zone

Entrance from shuttle to check-in hall

Entrance from shuttle to check-in hall

The overhaul is part of Gatwick's £1 billion investment programme to update the airport.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick has added eight million passengers since we came into private ownership in 2009, and we are about to reach the 40 million mark. This is a decade ahead of industry predictions and we will continue to grow.

"While we wait for a decision on building a new runway, we are investing billions to ensure we can grow from our existing infrastructure."

Rail capacity at London Gatwick will "double" in the next five years with a train departing the airport every three minutes (see news, April 22).

Graham Smith

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