Gatwick’s new passenger app won Mobile Innovation of the Year at the National Technology awards, and also picked up Mobile App of the Year at the Real IT awards. The airport also won Cloud Project of the Year at the Real IT awards after becoming the world’s first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information System (FIDS).
The App and FIDS are the first of several passenger-facing digital innovations coming on stream, with Gatwick’s ‘digital transformation’ programme looking to roll out advanced chat bots, augmented reality wayfinding and the airport-wide use of the Internet of Things in coming months.
Under the slogan App App and Away, Gatwick’s first passenger app launched at the start of the year and provides personalised, real-time flight updates, gate information and check-in and security queue times straight to your phone.
The new app means that holidaymakers and business travellers can enjoy a more seamless experience when travelling through Gatwick as it boasts a range of features including intuitive maps that guide passengers through the airport using 2,000 navigation beacons located throughout terminal buildings
The new cloud-based FIDS are a cost effective system that are easily scalable, more flexible and resilient, and require considerably less infrastructure and maintenance.
Legacy FID systems require software to be loaded on a separate PC behind the screen to run them – whereas the airport’s 1,200 cloud-based screens now connect via a web browser from any operating system. This takes up only 3Mbps of bandwidth – so the new real-time system is extremely fast and responsive to updates - which is key in times of disruption.
Cathal Corcoran, Chief Information Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “I would like to congratulate Gatwick’s IT team for their hard work and effort getting these innovations over the line and also our partners Mobile 5, who designed the app, and AirportLabs who built VisionAirVisionnair.
“These awards come at an exciting time for IT innovation at Gatwick as we are transforming the way that airport information is communicated. We will soon connect passengers to intelligent chat bots using Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other popular apps and our 2000 wayfinding beacons have the capability to enable augmented reality wayfinding for passengers, making it easier to navigate the airport’s two terminal buildings.
“We have also just future proofed our entire IT network for the next decade so that we can take advantage of the latest technologies, while also making the network more resilient and tolerant to disruption.”