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Gatwick plans to reduce airside road accidents by 25%

Gatwick has a strong safety record, but plans to reduce accidents on its airfield by 25% by requiring telematic devices – that can record a vehicle’s location, speed and even when the brakes are applied – to be installed in 2600 key vehicles on its airfield, the airport announced today.

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Gatwick is looking to use the technology to encourage improved driver behaviour and accountability. The results – in terms of compliance with speed limits and parking regulations – will be presented in league tables highlighting the best and worst performing companies. 

The airport already uses league tables to improve performance in a range of other areas – including to compare airlines’ and ground handlers’ on time performance – and the measure has been proven to instil a sense of competition and a motivation for individuals and organisations “to be number one”.

Gatwick is also not being prescriptive and under the new system – provided by Ortus Group – the 24 companies with key airside vehicles can install any telematic technology they wish, as long as it is compatible with Gatwick’s new unified reporting system.

The system will be operational at Gatwick by May this year, when all third parties who already have telematics systems fitted will be required to report into the system, with remaining third parties required to fit telematics systems and report in by September.

In addition to the provision of the unified reporting system, Gatwick has selected Ortus Group to provide the telematics technology that will be installed in its own fleet vehicles.

With space being limited on Gatwick’s airfield, illegal parking can be a cause of accidents so the new system will automatically monitor compliance with parking regulations to ensure that the right vehicles are parked in the right place. 

Similarly, driving too fast can cause accidents and the new system is expected to improve speed limit compliance – while also removing the need for the costly speed trap exercises and equipment that have formed part of the airport’s speeding enforcement programme to date.

Other cost savings are expected as vehicle movement data will reduce the need for lengthy accident investigations and assist with cheaper insurance costs.  Fleet managers across the airport can also save money through insights into vehicle usage by, for example, sizing their fleets more efficiently based on accurate utilisation data from the telematics technology installed, which in turn saves on fuel and reduces maintenance costs.

By sizing fleets more efficiently, the new system may also help to reduce emissions on the airfield – something Gatwick has also done by providing fixed electrical ground power on its aircraft stands with 40% of airfield ground support equipment also electric powered.

Gatwick itself operates just over 200 vehicles on the airfield but in total 2600 vehicles use the airfield.  Around 400 – primarily those operated by the airport’s ground handlers – already have telematics systems installed.

Chris Woodroofe, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

Safety is always a top priority at Gatwick and by deploying new telematics technology we expect to take our strong safety record to the next level. 

A key component of our strategy is to be fully transparent and make the new driving data available for everyone on the airport to see.  We know from our experience in other areas that this drives a strong sense of competition and helps to deliver improvements, which in this case means fewer vehicles accidents on our airfield.”

Gatwick

Recording-breaking start to 2019 for Gatwick

London Gatwick has achieved its busiest-ever start to a year, as passenger numbers grew by +4.0% in Q4, compared to 2018, as 9.7 million passengers travelled through in the first three months of 2019.

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Long-haul growth was also strong in Q4, up +7.5%. This contributed to another month of healthy cargo growth, +7.2% quarter on quarter.

North Atlantic routes drove this busiest-ever start to a calendar year +15.3% on Q4 2018. Responding to this transatlantic demand, Virgin Atlantic and Delta have announced plans to grow at Gatwick –  with new routes to Boston Logan and New York JFK from summer 2020 – adding to Gatwick’s over 250 flights each week to the USA.

It comes as Gatwick welcomed more passengers than ever during February half-term. 1.2 million passengers travelled through the airport between 15th and 24th February and an increase of +7% on the equivalent week last year.

Gatwick passengers are increasingly looking to go further afield at half-term with long-haul destinations up nearly 20% for the holiday period, as 1 in 6 Gatwick passengers are currently travelling to long-haul destinations. Popular long-haul half-term destinations include Dubai and Bridgetown joining short haul favourites Dublin, Barcelona and Geneva.

February also saw the start of easyJet’s new Dusseldorf service, which operates 11 times per week to the business and leisure destination, and is the fifth new route from the airline at Gatwick in recent months, joining Aqaba, Rovaniemi, Warsaw and Aarhus. This follows the addition of a new service to the Turkish capital, Ankara, from Turkish Airlines in January as the number of capital cities served by Gatwick now stands at 50.

In the three month period, domestic routes to Isle of Man and Glasgow saw growth of +9.0% and +5.0%, respectively. Meanwhile passengers using GatwickConnects, the airport’s service which enables passengers to book connecting flights via Gatwick, increased +80% from Edinburgh, +58% from Jersey and +50% from Belfast in Q4.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:

“Gatwick’s year has started as we mean the rest of 2019 to go on. Our pioneering spirit at the airport is driving for success in both the short and long term.

“In the immediate period, we continue to innovate, enabling new and established airlines to grow to all parts of the world – including most recently a new service to Rio de Janeiro.

“Looking ahead to further opportunities, we will publish the final version of Gatwick’s masterplan later this year, outlining potential options for future growth.’

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