Gatwick unveils £186m state-of-the-art baggage facility

Gatwick launching its new Pier 1 facility which houses an entirely new baggage system for the South Terminal and state-of-the-art passenger gate rooms with views across the runway.     


  • • £186 million facility houses state-of-the-art baggage and early bag store systems
  • • Development improves efficiency and reduces delays both on and off the airfield
  • • Passengers to long haul flights up in May, with numbers to North America up over 40%

Gatwick marked its busiest-ever May today (+5.8%) by launching its new Pier 1 facility – one of largest projects the airport has ever undertaken (£186million) – which houses an entirely new baggage system for the South Terminal and state-of-the-art passenger gate rooms with views across the runway.

The new ‘operationally excellent’ facility replaces the old Pier 1 - which was originally opened by the Queen in 1958 - now also contains the airport’s first early bag store. The bag store allows up to 2600 bags to be checked up to 18 hours before departure – an initiative that improves convenience for passengers and also reduces queues by spreading out check-in times.
Four new taxiways have also been constructed – reducing delays on the airfield – with new dual boarding facilities reducing queues at the passenger gates. A new lounge for premium passengers sits on top of the new Pier and boasts panoramic views across the airfield.

More than a quarter of a million passengers flew from Gatwick to destinations in North America in May – with a significant number taking advantage of the new 28 weekly flight schedule Westjet launched at the start of the month. The month’s figures took Gatwick’s moving annual total passenger numbers to 41,123,000 – a new world record for a single runway airport.


New Pier 1
Passengers - will benefit from five brand new passenger gate rooms, located a short distance from the departure lounge. Each gate includes a family area and interactive spaces to keep children entertained and a “Touchdown” business area. Each passenger gate room also has a ‘London Square’ design theme – highlighting Gatwick as London’s Airport of Choice – with iconic London imagery such as Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace etc.

The new baggage system - can accommodate over 4,250 bags per hour and will service the whole of the South Terminal. The new baggage hall has also been built with staff in mind, with better consideration to manual handling benefitting the health and safety of those working in the baggage hall.

The airfield - all stands have a choice of an airbridge or walk-in, walk-out with possibility to use both to speed up the boarding/ disembarking - helping eliminate queue’s and ensure more on time departures. This also allows airlines to run their operation how they choose.

Four new taxiways provide nine extra holding points for aircraft – also reducing delays by improving the efficiency of aircraft movements to and off the stands.

Facts and figures

  • • In 2012-13, Pier 1 handled 1.86 million passengers, over 5% of Gatwick's total
  • • Due to its location next to the runway, the roof is maintenance-free so no one needs to access the roof
  • • The identity and position of each item of baggage can be tracked at all times virtually eliminating lost baggage within the Early Bag Store system
  • • The taxiways and aprons were replaced over an area of 40,000m2 (approx. size of 4 football pitches)
  • • All the concrete that was broken out has been crushed and recycled
  • • The gross floor area of the new building is 25,000m2 with five new aircraft stands
  • • There are seven new lifts installed to carry a total of 214 people at any one time
  • • Each of the passenger gate-rooms have seating for over a hundred people

For more information contact:
Gatwick Airport press office
t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 40 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

The Government has indicated it will make a decision this year on whether Gatwick airport should be expanded. Gatwick’s second runway will deliver the UK the same number of passengers, the same number of long haul routes, better UK and regional connections, and the economic boost the UK needs, all at a dramatically lower environmental impact, at less than half the cost of Heathrow, and with no public subsidy.