Kaba flying high at Gatwick Airport

ST Security gates July 11
ST Security gates July 11

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 32 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities.  Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

Security requirements at airports have continued to increase in recent years with access control and individual access checks being a central concern.  Gatwick Airport were looking for an automated unit to support airport staff in checking boarding cards of passengers passing from the public areas (land side) to the secure areas (air side) more efficiently.

After thirty years, Kaba continue to provide innovative solutions for the controlled entry of visitors and staff at airports.  Kaba has installed automatic security gates and one-way corridor systems in numerous airports around the world and was subsequently awarded the contract to provide a solution.

On Tuesday 11th October 2011, Gatwick Airport announced the launch of its new South Terminal Security area.

Opened by Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Minister of State for Transport, the state-of-the-art facilities will see passengers benefitting from a fast, smart and efficient security experience.

Kaba Argus HSB-M03 self boarding gates consist of a sensor barrier with automatic swing panels.  The unit features an integrated boarding card reader and a display for passenger information.  The sensor system ensures single-file access and operators are provided detailed reports on passages, tailgating incidents or any attempt of passage in the wrong direction.

Processing every passenger in under five seconds, 19 Kaba Argus HSB-M03 self boarding gates will allow almost 5,000 people per hour to pass straight through into the departure lounge.

The result of a £45 million investment, this large, high-tech security area for the South Terminal will include 15 standard lanes for passengers, two dedicated lanes for families with young children and passengers with reduced mobility, and two lanes for premium travellers.

MacDonald Humfrey Ltd installed 2D barcode readers to each of the Kaba Argus HSB-M03 self boarding gates which connect to the host system and authenticate the passenger boarding passes.

The new self boarding gates and scanning technology will speed up travel through the security area by 25% - increasing the passenger capacity for each of the 19 new lanes to 250 passengers per hour.

Passengers travelling through the new security area in the South Terminal will simply swipe their boarding card, home print ticket or smartphone displaying their boarding card*. The process takes only a few seconds and the passenger flow remains constant enabling passengers to pass quickly and comfortably.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport commented: “We’re committed to making the airport experience an easier, speedier and less stressful experience for our passengers. The opening of the new South Terminal security area is just part of a £1.2 billion investment in Gatwick Airport, as we continually look to innovate and deliver solutions that will provide real benefit for passengers.

“We have improved every aspect of security - from the preparation area right through to the moment passengers hit the lounge - and are confident that the changes we have made will make a huge difference to all those travelling through the airport.”

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers said:For many people, going through airport security can be their least favourite part of flying. That’s why this Government is committed to reforming the way these necessary checks are regulated, enabling airports to come up with more passenger-friendly processes while still maintaining the same high levels of security.

“I am delighted, therefore, to be able to open this impressive new facility.   The team at Gatwick have clearly put a great deal of thought into how best to combine new technology, information and increased space to improve the passenger experience.”

A spacious preparation area has been positioned ahead of the main security area specifically designed to help passengers get themselves ready to go through security. Large plasma screens giving information in five different languages also help passengers understand exactly what they can and can’t take through security.

The opening of the new security area is part of Gatwick’s £1.2 billion investment programme to improve the overall airport experience. Gatwick has already launched a number of initiatives that are close to completion, including the refurbishment of the South Terminal border zone (immigration hall) and a £75 million expansion of the North Terminal creating more space with new check-in desks and baggage facilities.