Gatwick airport begins demolition phase of new development

Gatwick airport has begun demolition work in preparation for its latest development.

Work has commenced on demolishing the airport’s second oldest pier, Pier 1. The work is being carried out by Vinci Construction UK, and the replacement facility promises to offer easier access from the departure lounge, greater capacity and airfield views at the departure gates, and designated areas for families and business passengers.

The replacement of Pier 1 is the latest stage in the airport’s £1.2 billion redevelopment, following the completion of work to improve the security area in the South Terminal, an extension to the North Terminal and the opening last month of a stand built specifically to accommodate the new Airbus A380 aircraft.

The new facility is intended to offer passengers an improved experience while transiting the airport, as well as providing a new baggage handling system that is concealed within the structure. The baggage system is part of an overall improvement to the airport’s baggage handling that offers benefits to both passengers and airlines. Facilities to improve the screening of hold baggage have already been introduced, along with greater overall flexibility, including an automated baggage storage service that enables passengers to deposit their bags on arrival at the airport, irrespective of check-in desk opening times, or even the day before their flight if doing so is more convenient for them.

London Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, commented, ‘Pier 1 has been in service since 1962, so the commencement of demolition works is a significant milestone in Gatwick’s on-going transformation. The new pier and baggage project will provide passengers with a new and much-improved experience from check-in, right through to the panoramic views down the runway that can be enjoyed while waiting for a flight.’