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Gatwick’s new passenger app wins awards

Awards herald start of Gatwick’s ‘digital transformation’ with wide range of passenger-facing digital innovations coming on stream soon.

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Gatwick’s new passenger app won Mobile Innovation of the Year at the National Technology awards last night, and also picked up Mobile App of the Year at the Real IT awards.

The airport also won Cloud Project of the Year at the Real IT awards after becoming the world’s first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information System (FIDS).

The App and FIDS are the first of several passenger-facing digital innovations coming on stream, with Gatwick’s ‘digital transformation’ programme looking to roll out advanced chat bots, augmented reality wayfinding and the airport-wide use of the Internet of Things in coming months.

Under the slogan App App and Away, Gatwick’s first passenger app launched at the start of the year and provides personalised, real-time flight updates, gate information and check-in and security queue times straight to your phone.

The new app means that holidaymakers and business travellers can enjoy a more seamless experience when travelling through Gatwick as it boasts a range of features including intuitive maps that guide passengers through the airport using 2,000 navigation beacons located throughout terminal buildings

The new cloud-based FIDS are an innovative, cost effective system that are easily scalable, more flexible and resilient, and require considerably less infrastructure and maintenance.

Legacy FID systems require software to be loaded on a separate PC behind the screen to run them – whereas the airport’s 1,200 cloud-based screens now connect via a web browser from any operating system. This takes up only 3Mbps of bandwidth – so the new real-time system is extremely fast and responsive to updates – which is key in times of disruption.

Cathal Corcoran, Chief Information Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“I would like to congratulate Gatwick’s IT team for their hard work and effort getting these innovations over the line and also our partners Mobile 5, who designed the app, and AirportLabs who built VisionAirVisionnair.

“These awards come at an exciting time for IT innovation at Gatwick as we are transforming the way that airport information is communicated. We will soon connect passengers to intelligent chat bots using Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other popular apps and our 2000 wayfinding beacons have the capability to enable augmented reality wayfinding for passengers, making it easier to navigate the airport’s two terminal buildings.

“We have also just future proofed our entire IT network for the next decade so that we can take advantage of the latest technologies, while also making the network more resilient and tolerant to disruption.”

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The Harry Potter Shop™ lands at Gatwick North Terminal

London Gatwick has welcomed The Harry Potter Shop™ to its North Terminal.

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As the UK enjoys the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the new 614 sq ft store offers a fantastic selection of items from across the Wizarding World.

From gifts to clothing, souvenirs to collectibles, Gatwick’s latest addition will offer a unique experience for the airport’s global passenger mix. Over 46 million passengers travel through Gatwick each year, with the airport offering connections to over 220 destinations, including more than 60 long-haul routes.

Tyler Miles, 10, visits The Harry Potter Shop before heading off on holiday from Gatwick.

Amongst the great winter gifts that can be purchased are Harry Potter Christmas jumpers and a winter accessories set including hat, scarf and gloves. Wizarding World fans can even bag a personalised Hogwarts acceptance letter, mystery flying Snitch or – the ultimate must-have for any aspiring wizard or witch – their favourite character’s wand.

Jonathan Sands of The Harry Potter Shop™ said:

“We are so proud to open the newest of our official Harry Potter Shops at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Our aim is to create a unique shopping experience, offering the best of what the Wizarding World has to offer.”

Rachel Bulford, Head of Retail, London Gatwick said:

“I am thrilled to welcome such a popular and iconic brand to Gatwick. The Harry Potter Shop™ is a fantastic addition to the retailers at Gatwick as we continue to focus on providing great choice and value for our passengers through our mix of shops and restaurants.”

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