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Gatwick announces £1 billion investment plan

Gatwick airport's plans for a Pier 6 extension

Gatwick airport CEO Stewart Wingate has announced a new five-year capital investment plan worth £1.11 billion.

The airport says it predicts passenger numbers to grow to nearly 53 million by 2023 and needs to “grow sustainably” and improve its facilities to support increased traffic.

Since the airport changed ownership in 2009, it will have invested £3.14 billion in its facilities by 2023.

One project set for completion this summer is the South Terminal long stay car park decking, which will provide an additional 1,200 spaces.

Future projects involved in the new five-year plan include a Pier 6 Western Extension (pictured), which will start with enabling Pier 5 to handle the A380 aircraft. The work will involve the widening and reconfiguration of a taxiway to accommodate the wingspan of the A380.

Other projects include a new domestic arrivals facility with a new baggage claim in the South Terminal, a mezzanine level extension in the North Terminal departure lounge to accommodate new restaurants, trialling biometric self-boarding technology in the North Terminal and extending the roll-out of self-service bag drops across both terminals and redevelopment of the South Terminal’s hotel capacity.

The airport will also develop a new road system and taxiway entrance to the new Boeing aircraft hangar to connect the airfield with the facility. The hangar opens in 2019 and Gatwick says it will service the growing number of long-haul aircraft operating from the airport.

Gatwick will also increase the use of electric vehicles in an effort to reduce its environmental impact and support its sustainability goals.

The investment is also set to enable Network Rail’s planned upgrade to the Gatwick rail station, as well as joint equipment for ground handlers, which Gatwick says will drive efficiency to the airfield and baggage operations.

Finally, Gatwick is planning a new reception centre for passengers with reduced mobility in the North Terminal.

CEO Wingate commented: “Gatwick is a major piece of national infrastructure, and our continued growth and ability to attract long-haul airlines is vital for the health of the UK economy, particularly in a post-Brexit world. We are exploring ways to grow our capacity, including developing new systems and processes to handle more passengers, and considering how we use all our existing infrastructure in the future.

“By committing to spend another £1.11 billion, Gatwick can continue to grow sustainably, attract new airlines and offer more global connections, while providing an excellent service to passengers.

“This year we will welcome new, quieter aircraft with the introduction of A321s by Easyjet and we are developing our infrastructure now by reconfiguring airfield stands and planning for the construction of a major extension to our Pier 6 facility. These initiatives will support this next phase of growth.

“Looking beyond this capital investment programme, we welcome the government’s support for airports making best use of their existing runways and we will plan for our longer term future by developing a masterplan later this year.”

gatwickairport.com

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