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Gatwick launches car-pooling service for airport staff

Staff who give lifts to colleagues are allocated preferential airport parking via an innovative smartphone app.

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Gatwick announced it’s the first airport in the world to launch an innovative car-pooling service. It offers staff preferential parking spaces and tracks their associated reduction in vehicle miles and emissions in real time.

The service, in partnership with journey sharing platform Faxi, collects data from each shared journey – via a smartphone app – and uses it to incentivise drivers with access to preferential parking bays in their existing car park.

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Over time those drivers who regularly transport the most passengers to and from work will be given the opportunity to upgrade to a staff car park of their choice. These car parks are located up to one mile closer to the terminal buildings, so the scheme could significantly reduce commuting time by up to 40 minutes each day.

The Faxi app provides drivers with information showing other staff on their route and the potential diversion from their normal route (in minutes) for pick-up. This allows drivers to fill their vehicle with passengers, minimise their environmental impact and gives the best chance of being upgraded to their choice of car park.

According to research, only around 10% of people in UK regularly share their journeys with another traveller while the average UK worker will spend 400 days of their life commuting. However, research also suggests that nearly half of all people in the UK would share a journey with someone they know.

The new scheme’s environmental benefit supports the airport’s commitment to operate and developing in a sustainable way in order to achieve its ambition to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick has also recently launched a new 100% electric car sharing service, in partnership with Bluecity cars, giving people a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport.

Gatwick Airport and other businesses on the Gatwick campus directly generate 24,000 jobs in the region.

For more information about Faxi, visit: www.faxi.co.uk.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, said:

 I am pleased to announce Gatwick is partnering with Faxi as the airport continues to expand its portfolio of sustainable travel and parking schemes for both passengers and staff at the airport.

“Faxi allows our staff to not only save money and share travel costs but also reduce their car emissions and traffic on local roads at the same time, which once again demonstrates Gatwick’s commitment to being the UK’s most environmentally friendly airport.”

 Faxi CEO and Founder, Tony Lynch, said:

 “It’s fantastic to be operating incentivised car-pooling at the massive Gatwick Airport campus. Via the unique Faxi smart phone app, Gatwick commuters can now verify they are car-pooling and be upgraded to better parking, reducing their commute by up to an hour a day. Our technology, combined with Gatwick’s commitment to car-pooling, could result in the world’s largest verified carpool network saving millions of driven miles.”

 Robin Kirk, Security Officer at Gatwick, said:

 “I’ve been participating in the Faxi trial over the past few months and carpool with 3 others – we’re all on the same team so we work and travel together. We share the driving, taking it in turns. It’s been working quite nicely, sharing the petrol costs has been notable, so much so that I’ve been able to afford a new car with a lower insurance premium. We’re happy that we’re able to use the preferential parking spots. Especially where we parked today, nearer the terminal building, makes a big difference.”

Gatwick

Gatwick launches schools programme to engage pupils with engineering

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Picture caption (left to right): Douglas McCartney, one of the winners of the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do’ competition with a prototype of his invention, a Flat Pack Wind Turbine, Maisie Crook, with the Bicycle Sucker prototype to suck water up from a well using the mechanics of the bike as power, Savannagh, who designed a self-adjusting sink to automatically rise or lower dependent on the users height, and Krystyna Marshall, with her prototype Spinal Muscular Atrophy jacket enabling greater mobility and physical support.

The programme will involve 15 primary schools and five local secondary schools near to Gatwick and – as part of their continued professional development – the teachers will be offered opportunities to learn new techniques that bring engineering-related projects to life in the classroom and in the school curriculum.

Engineers from Gatwick will also visit the schools and arrange airport tours to build interest and connections between local young people and engineers in the field. 

To deliver the programme, Gatwick is partnering with Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer – a not for profit educational organisation that aims to improve primary and secondary school pupils’ skills, awareness of engineering and potential career pathways through teacher training, whole class projects and provides a mechanism for close collaboration with pupils, educators, industry and parents.

Gatwick’s Head Engineer, Antony Yates, said:

Inspiring the next generation of engineers is vital for Gatwick Airport and thousands of other businesses up and down the country. 

“Our aim is to make engineering interesting to all, irrespective of gender or socio-economic background. Ultimately we want to make sure that we have a pipeline of young local engineering talent that can come and keep the airport, our partners and our supply chains running in the years ahead”

The UK Government says that over 200,000 new engineers are required per year to meet the demands of modern society.

To launch the programme – and inspire young people – Gatwick has joined with Facebook and Network Rail as national partners in the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do’ competition.  Primary Engineer runs the competition which encourages pupils to design engineering solutions to problems they have identified.

Over 49,000 children from across the UK entered the competition in 2018/19 – 50% of them female. A giant advertising hoarding called “The Wall of Fame” will showcase designs from around the UK which have been brought to life by engineers at supporting universities.

The exhibition will be on display in the South Terminal for three weeks from 13th August enabling Gatwick’s 125,000 plus daily visitors to vote for their favourite creation.

On display will be two winners from the South East including Maisie, from Rowan Preparatory School, Claygate, Surrey, who designed The Bicycle Sucker to suck water up from a well in water-deprived areas using the mechanics of the bike as power.  Isabelle from Wonersh and Shamley Green C of E Primary School in Guildford will also show her design for a The Super Hearing Set, a hearing device which allows the user to hear certain sources of sound.

Other prototypes that will be at the airport include a Flat pack wind Turbine’ to be used in refugee camps and disaster situations.  The Turbine was designed by Doulas from Edinburgh when he was 15 years old.  A prototype of a Jacket to support sufferers of Spinal Muscular Atrophy enabling greater mobility and physical support will also be on display. Krystyna from Burnely was 14 when she designed the jacket.

Dr. Susan Scurlock, MBE, founder of Primary Engineer said:

This exhibition at one of the most important travel hubs in the UK is testament to the commitment of our partner organisations who rely on a variety of engineering professionals to keep ahead of the game. Each year I am astounded by the designs by pupils, some as young as three as they realise that they can be part of a career that can literally shape the future of the world.”

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