London Gatwick Airport has opened a new arrivals facility for domestic travelers from other parts of the UK and Republic of Ireland, providing a faster and more convenient exit from the aircraft through a new dedicated arrivals route.
The £24m (US$29m) investment means that passengers arriving from the UK and Republic of Ireland will now be able to disembark their aircraft from a jetty, or via aircraft steps, and go straight into the terminal building. A new dedicated baggage reclaim belt has also been installed providing fast and convenient collection of luggage on the arrivals journey and freeing up capacity for international passengers. The investment is part of Gatwick’s £1.1bn (US$1.3bn) Capital Investment Program.
Previously, arrivals from parts of the UK (including the Channel Islands) and the Republic of Ireland had to be coached from their aircraft to a special baggage reclaim area to ensure segregation from international passengers, in line with immigration policies. While a small number of flights might occasionally be coached during peak periods, 95% will now be able to disembark via a jetty or steps.
For departing UK and Republic of Ireland passengers, additional investment in e-gates and biometric technology has transformed the gate room process by using more efficient self-service. Iris recognition and reconciliation ensures the airport distinguishes UK and Republic of Ireland passengers from international travelers on the departure journey.
Andy Pule, Gatwick’s head of terminal operations, said, “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience of passengers who travel through Gatwick, and this is a great example of how we invest in existing infrastructure to facilitate growth, while also improving service for all. UK and Republic of Ireland passengers are frequent visitors to Gatwick and use the airport as a transit point into London, or to connect with the rest of the world.”