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£3.8 million bus and rail hub upgrade at Gatwick is completed

A transport hub – used by 3 million people each year – that links the local bus network with Gatwick Airport and its train station received a boost today after the completion of a £3.8 million upgrade – marked in a launch ceremony attended by Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council.



Improvements include two new lifts from the southbound road-level bus stops on the A23 into the South Terminal – and Gatwick’s train station – for people travelling with luggage, parents with pushchairs and passengers with reduced mobility.

Further improvements have been made to the bus stop areas on both the northbound and southbound A23, including new pedestrian and wheelchair accessible routes, new seating and improved lighting and signage in and out of the terminal.  New help points have also been installed with the live information screens also updated.

The new infrastructure improves an important transport hub for local passengers who arrive by bus and for workers employed at the airport and the nearby Manor Royal Business District and Crawley town centre.  Over 650 bus departures currently operate from the hub, each week including high frequency, 24-hour services connecting the airport to Horley, Redhill and Horsham, with other services linking to East Grinstead and Reigate.

Over 30% of airport staff who live locally get the bus to work. The improved access will also benefit some of the 1 million regular commuters who live locally and use Gatwick’s train station every year to get to work – many of whom arrive at Gatwick by bus.

The improvements are designed to offer more sustainable public transport options and were funded as part of the airport’s £1.1 billion capital investment programme, with future investment assigned to improvements in rail services, walking routes and bus facilities in the North Terminal.  The investment will help the airport achieve its target of getting nearly half of passengers (48%) to the airport by public transport and 42% of staff by sustainable methods, including public transport, car share and zero emission vehicles.

This project also acts as a key investment within the Crawley Growth Programme – a £60m investment package of infrastructure improvements and regeneration for Crawley – which includes significant investment from strategic partners including West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and Coast to Capital LEP.   

Gatwick contributed this project as match funding to the overall Growth Programme as it delivers enhanced access to sustainable transport modes, linking Gatwick Airport Rail station with local bus networks connecting the Airport with Manor Royal and Crawley Town Centre.

The improved bus infrastructure comes just days after the redevelopment of Gatwick’s train station was also announced – with a £148 million improvement programme that will see the size of the concourse double in area to reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience, with more escalators and lifts also installed to improve access to the platforms.

Emma Rees, Head of Real Estate, Gatwick Airport, said: “Together we wanted to improve the overall quality of experience for local people including passengers and staff who arrive at the airport by bus.  The improvements provide a new level of accessibility for all local bus users and will also help to encourage the increased use of sustainable forms of public transport such as the bus and train.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners who together helped to deliver this important new piece of local infrastructure.”

West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said:The completion of this project by Gatwick will make a real difference to airport station users and improve accessibility for all users. It promotes the use of sustainable transport methods for commuters, tourists and Gatwick’s own members of staff. This project was key within the wider Crawley Growth Programme, which is spearheading regeneration in the Crawley area. Gatwick’s support for the wider Growth Programme has been a tremendous boost.”

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, said: “We very much welcome this upgrade, which provides significant benefits for passengers and workers arriving and departing the airport by bus and is the latest Crawley Growth Programme scheme to promote more sustainable travel.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said: “Gatwick Airport is the single biggest driver of economic growth in the Coast to Capital area and is at the heart of future growth for the region.  Gatwick is vital not only to our economy but that of the wider South East and the UK as a whole. We are delighted that the Crawley Growth Programme is helping to improve access to the area in a sustainable way and we look forward to working with partners to deliver our shared vision for the airport.”

Hill Metrobus Commercial Director, Metrobus said:This is great news for millions of bus users each year as it makes the interchange with the terminal concourse and railway station so accessible, simple and quick, making it much more attractive for people to travel to the airport sustainably.”

The overall project has delivered direct routes suitable for passengers with reduced mobility between northbound and southbound A23 bus stops and Gatwick’s South Terminal including:

  • Two new passenger lifts on southbound side of A23 allowing direct access into south transit station including a link lobby and an external canopy connecting to existing bus stop
  • Bus stop improvements (north and southbound on A23)
  • New pedestrian route from northbound bus stops to south terminal (via Costa stairwell and/or Yotel/Regis lifts)
  • Cosmetic improvement to Costa Stairwell including stair nosing
  • Improved associated wayfinding


Gatwick publishes its £1.11 billion investment for the next 5 years

Gatwick is today publishing its new five-year Capital Investment Programme (CIP) which highlights more investment in automation and technology as an enabler of sustainable growth.



New initiatives include robotic parking and automated boarding technology, which will speed up boarding and give passengers more choice about how they spend their time.

Gatwick’s total investment since 2009, combined with this new five-year plan rises to £3.21 billion. Gatwick now serves 46 million passengers a year, and the airport is committed to exploring how to continue growing sustainably, providing jobs and boosting the local economy.

While setting out an exciting long-term future vision is part of Gatwick’s recently published master plan, at the same time the CIP provides a strong focus on improving facilities for passengers and airlines, as well as continuing to enhance operational performance.

The single biggest project to be delivered within the next five years is the Pier 6 western extension which will offer over half a million more North Terminal passengers the opportunity to embark and disembark their aircraft via a jetty-served stand, as well as improved gate waiting areas. The design incorporates automated boarding technology which uses biometrics to process passengers through e-gates straight onto the aircraft. Similar projects successfully run by other VINCI Airports will provide inspiration for the Pier 6 extension’s coffee shops and retail, which will ensure passengers can enjoy these facilities right up to the point of boarding.

Several new projects are identified within this CIP, and some exciting emerging projects that will be explored this year are also highlighted:

New Projects include:

  • Check-in automation – on-going investment in self-service bag drop technology for our airline customers.
  • Significant expansion of both the international departure lounges in both North and South Terminals to create additional space for seating, retail and catering units, toilets and other passenger facilities. 
  • Biometric auto-boarding technology development and next phase of testing.
  • Main runway technology optimisation – new technology such as Time-Based Flow Management, which is already deployed at other UK airports offers the potential to increase the capability of the main runway, creating opportunities for resilience and growth.
  • Rapid Exit Taxiway –a new taxiway which allows aircraft to vacate the runway at the optimum location, enabling the best usage and operational performance. 
  • Baggage auto re-flighting – on rare occasions when bags don’t make a flight connection, the re-flighting process will be automated, allowing it to be sent on without being first retrieved from the system.
  • New car park in the North Terminal to provide 3,250 additional spaces from summer 2021.
  • Robotic car parking – a trial will begin this autumn in South Terminal offering passengers all the benefits of valet parking, without the need to surrender their keys, and making more efficient use of existing car park space. Robotic car parking is already in place at VINCI Airports’ Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport – the experience of which will aid the introduction of this new service at Gatwick.
  • Railway station development – Gatwick will invest £37 million to complement the £150 million that the Department for Transport has committed to upgrade the station. Work starts in spring 2020 and is expected to take two years.
  • Infrastructure to support greater use of electric and hybrid vehicles by passengers and staff, in particular on the airfield.
  • Continued investment in security processing and technology to ensure the airport meets DfT standards, maintains a great passenger experience and operates as efficiently as possible. 

Emerging Projects include:

  • Autonomous vehicles and Mototok – provision of electric and computer driven airside vehicles, including tugs which tow aircraft to stands. 
  • Auto-dock airbridges – exploring jetties or airbridges which do not require an operator to attach them to the aircraft. 
  • Automation of baggage handling – opportunities to utilise new technology in the baggage hall to reduce manual handling of luggage which supports staff wellbeing.
  • A new special assistance airside lounge for the South Terminal, similar to the popular North Terminal facility which opened in 2018.
  • More water fountains and recycling facilities – passengers have told us how important environmental issues are to them and that they value these facilities and would like more of them.

The CIP also continues Gatwick’s strong environmental commitment. By joining VINCI Airports’ global AirPact policy – the first-ever integrated environmental programme in the airport industry – Gatwick will share best practice with the rest of the network on a number of projects in the CIP, notably electric and hybrid vehicles and recycling facilities. 

Gatwick’s Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:

“We always put passengers at the heart of our investment plans and it’s great to see how automation and technology can further enhance the passenger experience. The plans explore ways we can grow capacity sustainably, including providing more space in our departure lounges. This investment will support our existing airlines, help attract new airlines and provide an enhanced service for the millions of people who choose to fly from Gatwick.

“We have outlined our long-term growth strategy in our final master plan and the Capital Investment Programme we are sharing today, gives a more detailed view of our short-term plans which will continue to improve our service proposition and lay foundations for the future.”

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports, said:

Belonging to the world’s most extensive and diversified network of airports is a unique opportunity for each one to get inspiration and capture the best airport management worldwide. As such, Gatwick’s Capital Investment Programme will benefit from sharing best practice through the VINCI Airports’ network and tap into the extensive expertise in programme management, customer experience and innovative new services such as robotic parking.

“We look forward to participating in delivering this great project at Gatwick over the coming years, which is consistent with our global vision of contributing to a more accessible sustainable and passenger-focused experience.”

The Capital Investment Programme is a rolling five-year plan which is published annually. This allows the CIP to be refreshed regularly as market conditions and operational needs change. It is published on the Gatwick website and can be found here. Last month, Gatwick also published its final master plan setting out how the airport could develop in the most sustainable way over the next 15 years. The master plan sets out three key areas to help deliver additional capacity, resilience and improved operational performance at the airport: 1) using new technology to make best use of the main runway; 2) the preparation of a planning application to bring the existing standby runway into routine use; and 3) the continued safeguarding of land should a new runway be required in the longer-term, although Gatwick is no longer actively pursuing plans for an additional runway. The final master plan follows a 12-week consultation period that saw over 5,000 responses from the local community, businesses and other key parties, with two-thirds (66%) of respondents supporting Gatwick ‘making best use of its existing runways’ in line with Government policy.

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