A £186 million development at Gatwick has opened including the airport’s first early bag drop store.
The new Pier 1 at the South Terminal incorporates a facility allowing up to 2,600 bags to be checked up to 18 hours before flights depart.
The airport claims the initiative will improve convenience for passengers and reduce queues by spreading out check-in times.
The new Pier 1, one of largest projects the airport has ever undertaken, houses an new baggage system for the South Terminal and passenger gate rooms with views across the runway.
Four new taxiways have also been constructed – reducing delays on the airfield – with new dual boarding facilities reducing queues at passenger gates.
A new lounge offering panoramic views for premium passengers sits on top of the new Pier.
The opening came on the back of the airport’s busiest May, with long haul numbers helping 5.8% year-on-year growth in passenger numbers.
More than 250,000 people flew from Gatwick to destinations in North America in May, boosted by new Westjet flights to Canada.
Last month’s figures took Gatwick’s moving annual total passenger numbers to 41,123,000 – claimed as a new world record for a single runway airport.
Cheif executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “These new state-of-the-art facilities make it easy for airlines to choose Gatwick as an operating base and means our passengers will enjoy even better customer service.
“It is just this kind of efficiency that Gatwick would roll out en masse if we get the green light to expand.
“The UK must realise the potential of expansion and choose a second runway at Gatwick because it is the only option that can actually be delivered.”
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