In March of this year, Gatwick Airport unveiled plans to introduce an Approved Operator Scheme for meet and greet parking companies operating at Gatwick.
Hailed as a way to reduce forecourt congestion, banish rogue operators and ensure that customers of Gatwick meet and greet parking services received a good level of service, the initial consultation period ran until 12 April 2013.
The results of the consultation have been assessed and, as of 1 July 2013, Gatwick Airport will introduce its Approved Operator Scheme.
From 1 July, all only meet and greet operators will gain either Approved or Non-Approved status. Only Approved operators – companies that have met the required criteria – will be entitled to sign up to the Approved Operator Scheme and be permitted to operate on the airport’s terminal forecourts or within dedicated valet-drop-off areas of the multi storey car park.
The introduction of the scheme is seen as a way to ensure that only reputable, reliable meet and greet parking companies operate at Gatwick – all Approved meet and greet parking companies must:
- Only use car parks that hold the ParkMark award – that is they have been approved by The Association of Chief Police Officers
- All meet and greet staff must be CRB checked
- All meet and greet valet parking companies must hold full insurance
- All staff must be uniformed
- All drivers must carry photo ID
- All company vehicles must be liveried
- All meet and greet operators must achieve and maintain the Buy with Confidence Accreditation.
The downside of the approved operator scheme is, that in order for the airport to police the dedicated areas, the airport has added a surface access fee to each pick-up and drop-off made by an Approved parking contractor.
The following charges will be payable by Approved operators and depend on where the meet and greet parking takes place:
£3 per movement, i.e. £6 for a meet and greet
- Multi-storey car park
£1.30 per movement (up to 10 mins)
£2.00 per movement (10 – 20 mins)
Longer than 20 minutes and regular tariff will apply
From 1 July 2013, Gatwick is also introducing a ‘no pick up’ policy at the airport, which will force all cars in to the multi-storey car parks. While the assumption will be that, after 1 July 2013, all meet and greet parking companies operating at Gatwick will be members of the Approved Operator Scheme, it’s worth pointing out that there will be companies operating at Gatwick who aren’t members.
If you book with a non-member they won’t be able to collect or return your vehicle to the terminal forecourt, or pick up and drop off your vehicle in the dedicated meet and greet zones of the multi-storey car park. All non-approved operators will be forced to use other areas in the multi-storey car park.