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London Gatwick has opened a new arrivals facility for domestic travellers from other parts of the UK and Republic of Ireland.
It is hoped the facility will provide a faster and more convenient exit from the aircraft through a new dedicated arrivals route.
The £24 million investment means that passengers arriving from the UK and Republic of Ireland, will now be able to disembark their aircraft from a jetty, or via aircraft steps and straight into the terminal building.
A new dedicated baggage reclaim belt has also been installed providing fast and convenient collection of luggage on the arrivals journey and freeing up capacity for international passengers.
The investment is part of Gatwick’s £1.11 billion Capital Investment Programme and Vinci Airports’ global commitment to seek out the most innovative ways to optimise the infrastructure of airports, as well as how passengers move through them, to ensure the best experience.
Previously, arrivals from parts of the UK (including the Channel Islands) and the Republic of Ireland, had to be coached from their aircraft to a special baggage reclaim area to ensure segregation from international passengers, in line with immigration policies.
While a small number of flights might occasionally be coached during peak periods, 95 per cent will now be able to disembark via a jetty or steps.
For departing UK and Republic of Ireland passengers, additional investment in e-gates and biometric technology has transformed the gate room process by using more efficient self-service.
Iris recognition and reconciliation ensures the airport distinguishes UK and Republic of Ireland passengers from international travellers on the departure journey.
Gatwick head of terminal operations, Andy Pule, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience of passengers who travel through Gatwick, and this is a great example of how we invest in existing infrastructure to facilitate growth while also improving service for all.
“UK and Republic of Ireland passengers are frequent visitors to Gatwick and use the airport as a transit point into London, or to connect with the rest of the world.”
This investment is set to benefit passengers arriving with Aurigny from Guernsey; British Airways from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Jersey; Aer Lingus from Dublin and Knock and Ryanair from Cork, Shannon and Dublin.