Gatwick opens state-of-the-art security search area in the North Terminal

Gatwick has opened its 36-million-pound, state-of-the-art security search area in the North Terminal.

The ‘next generation’ security lanes will halve the time it takes passengers to pass through security and enable the airport to screen up to 5,000 passengers per hour.

The new technology has already been installed in the South Terminal.

Each new security lane has seven ‘loading point’ allowing more passengers to prepare their belongings for screening and 17 new e-gates to speed up entry and reduce queuing times.

Peter Lederer, Head of Security at Gatwick, said: “This state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of several years of planning and development and provides us with some of the most sophisticated airport security measures in the world.

“Direct feedback from both security staff and passengers was taken on board when designing the technology to ensure it provides the safest and most efficient experience possible. This facility will ensure we are able to screen 95 per cent of our passengers through security within five minutes.”

Mobile devices face extra checks on US-bound flights

New security checks on all electronic devices such as laptops, iPads, mobile phones etc. are now in force on flights to the US.

Portable electronic devices that cannot be switched on will not be allowed on any US-bound flight.

US-bound passengers are advised to keep their mobile devices charged otherwise they could risk having them confiscated at security.

In spite of the new security procedures, Gatwick Airport is operating as normal, although passengers should allow extra time to pass through security.

For updated hand luggage restrictions visit the Government’s website

Smile Please – Airport Queues Shortened With Iris Recognition

We’ve all been stuck at the airport, queuing to get through security, feeling like we’re in a never-ending queue.

However, if the World’s airports follow Gatwick’s lead, those queue times could be seriously slashed!

How? Well, it’s all thanks to the biometric iris recognition. Recently Gatwick’s North Terminal has just finished a trial on such technology.

The World’s first official trial has passed successfully and if rolled out across the Globe it could save travellers a lot of queuing time.

Currently, Gatwick’s trial has saved approximately 2 minutes per traveller. Now whilst that doesn’t sound a lot, it adds up when you consider the airport is processing 55,000 travellers a day. Queues will be shorter and move much quicker. What’s more, iris recognition will save around 15 minutes for airport turn-around teams to board an entire plane, which hugely benefits the passengers too.

How iris recognition works is that the airport takes a photo of the passenger when they are checking in their luggage – self-service bag drop lanes are available for the use of iris recognition travellers and here the photo is taken; without any stress or embarrassment to travellers. This photo is then instantly linked to their boarding pass. Then, when ready to board, travellers who have had their photos taken then use dedicated automatic self service gates to board the plane. Verification is achieved by using both the iris recognition and a valid, corresponding boarding card.

For hand luggage only passengers, their photograph is taken as they pass through security.

The state of the art technology will, as well as speed up boarding, assist Immigration and Border Officials checking for illegal immigrants.

With the UK terror status on high alert, it is highly likely other UK airports will follow Gatwick’s lead by installing iris recognition technologies.


AVPCA anti-terorist training takes place

Gatwick meet and greet staff training

A plan to utilize staff from airport-based companies in the fight against terrorism has seen a group of Gatwick parking employees undertake police training.

Drivers from Gatwick meet and greet parking company, Help Me Park, recently participated in anti-terrorism training with Gatwick police.

The training is just one part of an initiative between Gatwick Police and the Airport Valet Parking Company Association (AVPCA), which has been set up to crackdown on rogue meet and greet parking companies operating at Gatwick airport.

Help Me Park is the first one of AVPCA’s member companies to undertake the training. Drivers from other member companies are set to follow shortly.

Gatwick Community Engagement Day takes place 27 September 2011

Next Tuesday, 27 September 2011, is Gatwick Community Engagement Day – an annual event hosted by Sussex Police in which they highlight the work carried out to protect Gatwick Airport.

The event takes place between 8am and 1pm in The Goldfish Bowl on the ground floor of Jubilee House.

There will be presentations, display stands and experts will be able to brief staff, give advice and answer any questions. Gatwick Police Counter Terrorism Unit and Gatwick Police Dog Unit will also be attending.

Sergeant Simon Luck said; “The first two events were really successful, with several hundred people attending each time, so we have made this an annual occasion.

“Staff at the airport play a vital role in security, acting as additional ears and eyes whether in relation to crime or terrorism. This day is very much aimed at helping staff keep up to date with what we in the emergency services and partner agencies are doing.”

Geoff Williams, Head of Security at Gatwick Airport said, “The continued safety and security of our passengers, airlines and staff is Gatwick Airport’s number one priority and events like this remind us of the importance of working together to deliver an even better, safer airport for all.”