GAtwik Airport

London Gatwick Airport has proposed to invest of an additional £1bn between 2014 and 2019 to develop passenger facilities.

The development, which is subject to clearance from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, is part of the airport’s plan to improve services to compete with other airports.

The new investment would be used to transform check-in areas to reduce queuing times, as well as to construct a new security area in the North Terminal and expand Pier 1 into a two-storey building.

Gatwick chief executive officer Stewart Wingate said that competition is by far the best mechanism for promoting the interests of passengers.

"It is the very reason why the Competition Commission took the decision to break up the BAA monopoly and why Gatwick is now thriving under separate ownership," Wingate said.

The airport would also install a new baggage system that allows passengers to use automated fast-bag drops and new gate rooms connected to five new aircraft stands by air bridges.

The airport is also planning to begin work on a £175m plan to extend Pier 6 as early as by 2014 to put in additional A380 stands.

Gatwick Airport has also proposed a new deal that would allow the airport and its airlines to develop bilateral, tailored contracts via a legally-binding contracts and commitments framework.

The deal sets out a new framework of charges to airlines that would replace the existing fees regulatory system, which is currently controlled by the UK CAA.

"Competition is by far the best mechanism for promoting the interests of passengers."

According to the airport, the removal of wasted regulation costs, enhancing incentives and accelerating investment would offer airlines a lower price path over a longer period of time.

"Our proposed new deal for Gatwick moves that competition judgement on further and is a better deal for airlines and their passengers than a regulatory outcome," Wingate said.

"Free from regulation, we would be able to respond more quickly to the changing needs of airlines and their passengers and we would be able to step up the pace of improvement in the passenger experience.

"The deal means airlines and passengers win on price, service and the quality of facilities."

A preliminary decision on Gatwick’s pricing proposals is expected to be made by the CAA on 30 April 2013, with the final decision expected in January 2014.

Image: Gatwick Airport, which is currently investing around £20m per month in its facilities, is planning to boost its passenger capacity to 37 million by 2020.