London Gatwick Airport has opened a world-leading new security area as a part of its North Terminal transformation, following successful implementation of the technology in the South Terminal.
The £36 million (€42m) project is a major part of the airport’s growth strategy, as investment in the state-of-the-art facility will halve the time it takes passengers to go through security, while maintaining the strict security measures. The airport is now able to screen 5,000 passengers per hour in its North Terminal.
“This state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of several years of planning and development and provides us with some of the most sophisticated airport security measures in the world,” enthuses Peter Lederer, Head of Security, Gatwick Airport. “Direct feedback from both staff and passengers was taken on board when designing the technology to ensure it provides the safest and most efficient experience possible. This facility will ensure we are able to screen 95% of our passengers through security within five minutes.”
Phase One of the project was completed in February this year and includes five new security lanes. The final phase is now complete with a further five lanes open for passengers. Each lane has seven ‘loading points’, reducing queues and increasing the number of passengers able to prepare their belongings for the screening process. There are also dedicated lanes for premium travellers, families and passengers with reduced mobility.
Furthermore, in a UK Department for Transport Survey, published earlier this year, of more than 20,000 passengers travelling through five UK airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and Manchester) Gatwick came out on top across all four questions concerning the security process.
Of the 4,000 Gatwick passengers surveyed, 96% said they were very or fairly satisfied with security screening at the airport, while 82% said there was no aspect of the security screening process they were dissatisfied with. Gatwick also had the shortest average perceived queue time of any other airport with just five minutes.
Meanwhile, Gatwick recently surpassed the 40 million passengers per year milestone, over 10 years earlier than forecast. With this type of growth, the investment in the airport’s transformation is more important than ever, allowing continued growth while it awaits the final decision on a second runway.