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Security Expansion At Gatwick

24 February 2011

Passengers heading off on holiday through London’s Gatwick Airport North Terminal should find life just a little smoother this summer, as Costain works to expand security facilities there.

Costain, which is classed by Gatwick’s owner Global Infrastructure Partners as one of its ‘complex build integrators’ capable of handling difficult tasks under a framework contract, has to construct two extra security lanes by a strict 1 June deadline, to be ready for the summer peak period.

Once complete, the extra two lanes will allow an extra 400 passengers an hour to pass through security.

The job, which began immediately after the Christmas break, is very challenging both in timescale and location, says Costain’s Head of Airport Relations Kevin Harman. “Being located in the middle of the terminal creates logistical challenges for both staff and materials. The terminal has passengers in it throughout the day and night so it is important to phase the work in order to minimise any noise or dust and thereby maintain the best possible experience for passengers.

“Our aim is to work behind hoarding so the passengers have no idea major construction is underway.”

The second major problem, says Harman, is that the team have to create the lanes by driving a tunnel through a large mechanical riser carrying heating and venting ducts.

Fortunately, the riser is the size of a large domestic lounge, so there is room in which to divert the ducting. As part of the work, an easyJet ticket desk will have to be demolished and several shop units relocated, which requires considerable liaison with the airline and the Gatwick retail team.

“It’s not a massive job, but it’s an important one for the airport,” says Harman. “It must open on time.”