Gatwick Airport has achieved a milestone in its £2bn transformation programme with the opening of Pier 5, in which the airport had invested £80m for redevelopment.
The new facility has been inaugurated by Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate and Member of Parliament Caroline Ansell.
The redeveloped pier comes with a unique design that enables Gatwick to develop a second level. The airport can now offer vertically separated arrival and departure routes for passengers, thereby easing passenger journeys and creating a flexible and efficient operation for passengers and airlines.
It features a new look, called 'London Square', which draws on Gatwick's heritage as a major airport in London. All its gate rooms feature London-themed design.
A primary aim of this redevelopment was the redesign and modernisation of the stands, which enables Gatwick the flexibility to handle new and changing types of aircraft.
It will also have the ability to accommodate seven large aircraft and 12 smaller aircraft, or even a combination of the two. This is expected to boost efficiency and support Gatwick Airport's growth.
As a result of this pier, the airport can estimatedly handle an additional 30 flights every day, which translates into approximately 4,200 passengers per day, when compared to the old Pier 5 facility.
Wingate said: "Since coming into private ownership six years ago, we have invested more than £1bn 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."
Image: Gatwick Airport's new Pier 5 is a part of its transformation programme. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick.