Skip to comments.£100m Gatwick project opens gates
Posted on 05/17/2005 12:53:35 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
Gatwick Airport passengers are to be served by 11 extra boarding gates.
Transport secretary Alistair Darling opened the Pier 6 development on Monday, describing it as "a terrific new facility".
It is connected to Gatwick's North Terminal by a 32m high footbridge and will be in use by the end of the week.
Work on the £100m building began in 2003 and it offers 11 new pier-served aircraft stands so travellers need not go outside to reach their plane.
It is estimated that 92% of North Terminal passengers will have access to this pier stand boarding, saving around 55,000 transfer-bus journeys a year.
British Airways is the first airline that will use the stands.
Mr Darling said: "This bridge will make it easier for passengers to pass through the airport while reducing the airport's impact on the environment."
Mike Clasper, chief executive of airport operator BAA, said: "This major new landmark for Gatwick sets the stage for a positive future for the airport at a time when passenger numbers are booming."
The new building will also provide shops, cafes and other amenities.
This bridge will make it easier for passengers to pass through the airport while reducing the airport's impact on the environment Transport secretary Alistair Darling
Pier 6 and its pedestrian link have constituted the biggest development at Gatwick since the opening of the North Terminal itself in 1988.
The bridge, which is 197m long, was lifted into place in May 2004 over the course of 10 days.
Three million passengers are expected to use its travelators and walkways every year.
It is also high enough to accommodate taxiing Boeing 747 jumbo jets passing underneath.
The footbridge was the first of its kind built in the UK and larger than the only other one in the world, at Denver International Airport in the US.
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No beautiful airport scenery to observe, but then again, the best scenery in any airport is people watching.
Why didn't they just go underground? Half of Frankfurt Int'l is underground.
Lots of people like to look at the planes. The air bridge looks like a great place to see them. Considering the money they spent on the facility, I can't figure out why they didn't build it high enough to let an A380 pass under it. Considering the British are part of the Airbus consortium, I'm surprised they would build a new facility at their second buisiest international airport that is incompatible with A380 operations.
Hmm, not big enough for an A380. Other airports don't want to build to support the A380.
I love it, when a plan comes together (evil grin)
Yeah, but are there any plans for Gatwick to support A380s at all, or will they all be over at Heathrow?
Nice-looking structure, if a bit impractical. An underground tunnel would've made more sense, but then you can't show it off to the public and the government and use it to try and get MORE money!
Considering the terminal will be around 50-100 years, who knows what aircraft will be operating at which airports. Even if none are planned yet, that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.
Thanks for the ping.
Building a bridge instead of a tunnel probably isn't the best idea. The bridge in Denver was built too low so that even a 757 couldn't fit under it. And Denver already has a tunnel between the terminals.
That's why most major airports use tunnels instead of bridges.
LOL, you could say that about a lot of airport...I have flown in and out of Atlanta Hartsfield many times to know this.
"Mr Darling said: "This bridge will make it easier for passengers to pass through the airport while reducing the airport's impact on the environment." "
How does this reduce environmental impact?
I guess they don't want 380s there at Gatwick. To be honest, most of what flies in and out of there is non jumbo. The exception being the odd 747 or 777 flying to MSP or Dallas.
That may be true now and for the next ten or twenty years, but considering how expensive the terminal is and that it will be around for 50-100 years, isn't a bit short sighted not to build the bridge high enough to accomodate an A380?