Connect with us

Gatwick

More tech upgrades for Gatwick

Gatwick’s already seen some upgrades so far this year. Its also had its busiest March on record. So what are the newest changes at the UK’s second largest Airport?

Published

on

Gatwick Airport has taken a critical step towards digital transformation by completely updating its campus network with HPE and Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Like us, you may be wondering exactly what this all means and how it might benefit you when you check-in. Don’t worry we’ll do our best to break it all down.

More news: Peter Lamb – Boosting Crawley’s reputation

Secure, high-speed networks are essential to the smooth running of modern airports. Gatwick’s network needs to support more than 250 onsite businesses, 30,000 staff and 45 million annual passengers.

The upgrade is designed to not only improve delivery of Gatwick’s existing data needs, but to allow it to implement new technologies.

Part of this upgrade involves deploying sensors that will measure numerous variables such as waste bin levels, occupancy of check-in desks, and even restaurant seating availability within the airport!

An upgrade to the Wi-Fi provided for passengers will mean they can expect more than 30mbps download speed. And how much will this cost the passenger? Absolutely nothing.

Passenger flow analytics based on smart phone locations as well as heat maps will identify queueing and performance improvement opportunities.  Machine learning and facial recognition will also be implemented to improve security and develop ‘Passenger Journey Mapping’ so gate staff can track late running passengers and send notifications via apps.

“Transitioning from old to new networks while keeping the world’s most efficient runway operating is like performing open heart surgery on a patient while he is running.”

This isn’t the first time Gatwick has been a step ahead of others with its technology. Back in March it was announced that Gatwick was going to trial electric-powered autonomous vehicles to shuttle staff around popular locations on the airfield. The trial was thought to be the first of its kind for any airport in the world.

Not long before this, in February, Gatwick became the world’s first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information Display System (FIDS) – an innovative, cost effective system that is easily scalable, more flexible and resilient, and requires considerably less infrastructure and maintenance.

A spokesperson from the International Data Corporation (IDC) said:

“Gatwick Airport has made a bold move, choosing to completely overhaul its network and enable new technologies, therefore enabling new operational and business models.

“An airport is a complicated environment with multiple end-users, including businesses and private individuals, who have different data needs. In many ways, an airport can be seen as a microcosm of a city. Therefore, not only similar enterprises, but city governments should be following Gatwick’s digital transformation journey with interest.”

Completed in just 18 months while the airport remained 100% operational, the project had to be completed without any downtime or instability. Similar transitions typically take up to four years, but Gatwick and HPE absorbed the challenges of completing the massive project in less than half the normal time, to ensure Gatwick had the resilience necessary for a critical national infrastructure site and the world’s most efficient single-runway airport.

Marc Waters, Managing Director for UK & Ireland, HPE, said:

“Transitioning from old to new networks while keeping the world’s most efficient runway operating is like performing open heart surgery on a patient while he is running. We’re delighted with how smoothly the project has run – the world’s most efficient single runway now has an equally powerful and productive IT network to match it.

“All parties have worked seamlessly, while the airport remains fully functioning, to avoid any impact to the day-to-day running of the airport and its millions of passengers. This transition will be one of the most impressive to have taken place in recent years – we’re very proud to have led it.”

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

“We’ve seen record breaking passenger growth since 2010 and to make sure our passengers have the best experience possible, we needed a new network that could handle our expected future growth numbers.

“The network’s capability has been uplifted by such a scale that it now matches that of an Internet Service Provider and allows the airport to provide the latest technologies across a campus that serves over 250 onsite businesses, 30,000 staff and 45 million annual passengers.

“We also needed a much more resilient, self-healing and fault tolerant network and one that is capable of handling future technologies that process considerably more data. HPE’s combined network offering provides this and more as it ultimately supports our vision of an IT infrastructure for a decade.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

Follow us on:

Twitter: @crawleynews24

Facebook: Crawleynews24

listen live

Business

Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

Published

on

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

Continue Reading

Trending