CEO, Stewart Wingate, and local MP, Caroline Ansell, were on hand yesterday to offically open the new £80 million facility in Gatwick's North Terminal.
The unique design of the pier allowed Gatwick to build a second level and the airport is now able to offer vertically separated arrival and departure routes for passengers. This smooths passenger journeys and creates a more flexible and efficient operation for passengers and airlines.
Pier 5 has a new look called ‘London Square’ which draws on Gatwick’s heritage as a major London airport, incorporating London-themed design into all its gate rooms.
Gatwick's CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: “Since coming into private ownership six years ago, we have invested more than £1 billion in transforming and growing Gatwick and, to accommodate our growth, we are set to invest another billion.
“Total passenger numbers have grown by nine million over this time – today, 40 million people choose Gatwick each year and we have achieved 34 successive months of growth. To keep pace with this unprecedented growth, we need to be smart about how we work with our existing infrastructure while we wait for a Government decision on airport expansion.
“Our investment programme is all about driving that growth, and Pier 5 will be a significant contributor, allowing us to handle greater volumes of aircraft and passengers.”
While Caroline Ansell said: “It is a privilege to open Pier 5 and have the chance to see this substantial investment that will improve the passenger experience and help Gatwick become one of the world’s best airports.
“The airport is vital for the economy of south east England and I have made it very clear on a number of occasions I want to see its continued success.”
One of the key objectives of the build was the redesign and modernisation of the stands, allowing Gatwick the flexibility to handle new and changing types of aircraft. It has the ability to accommodate seven large aircraft and 12 smaller aircraft, or a combination of both.
According to the airport, this increased efficiency will continue to support Gatwick Airport’s growth, while helping to improve the performance of our airlines by further driving efficiency and on-time performance.
Pier 5 will have a significant impact on the number of passengers Gatwick can handle.
From this pier alone, it is estimated that Gatwick can handle an additional 30 flights per day, which equates to approximately 4,200 passengers per day, compared to the old Pier 5 facility.
You will be able to read more about Gatwick's plans for the future in our exclusive interview with CEO, Stewart Wingate, in the February/March issue of Airport World.