Gatwick Airport ups IT investment as it strives to be ‘world-class’

Gatwick Airport has revealed a nearly seven percent increase in its spend on IT and maintenance in the six months to 30 September, as it undergoes a physical and online makeover.

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Gatwick Airport has revealed a nearly seven percent increase in its spend on IT and maintenance in the six months to 30 September, as it undergoes a physical and online makeover.

Since BAA sold Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009, the airport has been investing in a range of IT projects in a bid to become a “world-class” hub. These include moving major central databases to the cloud, providing cloud data storage and sharing services from Box to increase staff productivity, modernising its 1950s communications infrastructure and redesigning its customer-facing website.

In its latest half-year results, Gatwick revealed it had spent £19.4 million on maintenance and IT, up £1.2 million (or 6.6 percent) from £18.2 million in the same period in 2012. It attributed the increase to “reprioritisation and rephasing of maintenance spend”.

The airport’s chief executive said that it is “turning around decades of underinvestment” to enable Gatwick to become a globally competitive airport.

“Our results show a strong financial performance but we must not become complacent,” said Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick.

“We must continue to invest and ensure we remain competitive.”

Among the projects Gatwick embarked on in the first half of the year included awarding a contract for the reconstruction of the airport’s second oldest passenger facility, Pier 1, which is due to be in operation in 2015.

“The innovative design solution will include an automated baggage storage facility, providing airlines and passengers with greater check-in and baggage processing capacity and flexibility, including enhanced early check-in options,” Gatwick said.

Gatwick Airport’s turnover was up by 10.7 percent to £360.6 million in the six months to the end of September, resulting in a pre-tax profit of £127.3 million.

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