Gatwick airport is the second busiest airport in the UK and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, helping to transport over 46 million passengers to 230 destinations all across the world.

For many years this major International airport located in West Sussex has been dedicated to improving its service for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM). Their service is provided by Wilson James with support from the Disabled Persons Advisory Group and aims to create a pleasant, stress-free experience for all airport visitors. Gatwick Airport assists approximately 47,000 passengers each month and up to 40 passengers per flight. As Andy Pule, Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations puts it: “Gatwick is committed to providing passengers who have a disability or reduced mobility of any kind with the support and services required to ensure their time at the airport is as comfortable as possible, and this remains a key area of focus for the airport.”

With such dedication placed on ensuring the airport is accessible to all, it came as little surprise when earlier this year, Gatwick Airport announced their plans to open a new £2 million airport lounge for passengers with reduced mobility. The new 400m2 PRM airport lounge is one of the largest of its kind in any European airport, seating up to 90 people, and is designed to accommodate all passengers with special assistance needs. The new lounge would have a premium feel, featuring bespoke furnishings and fittings with easy access, a bright reception area complete with hearing induction loops for passengers with impaired hearing, toilet facilities, charging points, and a water fountain. Such a design would create a calm, peaceful environment for all passengers to relax comfortably before their flight.

In addition to improving its services, Gatwick Airport has also achieved remarkable success in their mission to save energy. In June 2008, the airport was re-certified as a Carbon Neutral airport and was also the first airport to receive the Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation from the Carbon Trust. This success is due to the airport’s ongoing commitment to reducing waste, increasing recycling, converting waste into usable energy and installing sustainable innovations, such as LED lighting on the runway and throughout the building.

In-line with the airport’s commitment to sustainable growth, the new PRM airport lounge needed a design that would keep energy savings in mind. Dextra Lighting is committed to providing energy efficient lighting solutions and previously undertook the challenge to establish a bespoke solution for Gatwick Airport’s £19.2m upgrade of its North Terminal baggage reclaim and check-in areas. This project saw great success, and Dextra was delighted to assist with the airport’s latest new development.

THE SOLUTION

Gatwick Airport Limited’s Project Manager Simon Burchell was responsible for the project, Marco were appointed as the installing contractor.

Dextra’s challenge was to construct a precision-engineered LED system, ensuring that all lighting met or exceeded the performance and aesthetic required while also maintaining compliance with Gatwick’s strict energy management KPIs. All products installed were needed to be a minimum of 90 luminaire lumens per circuit watt. Dextra Lighting was involved from concept through to completion and carried out a full design working with consultant WSP, to see how best we could synergise the technology, infrastructure, and logistics to maximise energy savings and sustainability.

All products installed were selected as part of a complete Design and Build project by Dextra Lighting. Bespoke solutions were provided throughout, including ‘special’ Beta Calco pendants using recessed tape and LED RGB lighting provided by Dextra Group subsidiary, LEDextra.

Dextra chose to implement their Protec LED in a variety of areas. This premium LED variant features a lumen output of up to 3000Im, making it highly suitable as a primary light source for high-end specifications such as airports. The Protec LED offers impressive energy cost savings compared to fluorescent equivalents, staying in line with Gatwick airport’s sustainable aim. The Protec LED also comes with an extensive range of optional attachments such as bezels, reflectors, beam angles and colour options which can be removed or replaced, allowing for easy lighting updates should changes ever need to be made to the branding colour schemes, display arrangements or room layout. A range of emergency and dimming options are also available, and the Protec LED is compatible with an array of Dextra sensors which can be used to control both presence and daylight regulation, ensuring optimal lighting for all areas in use at all times of day while effectively increasing energy savings. This particular lighting range is hugely beneficial for Gatwick’s PRM airport lounge, as it enables the lighting to be operated for different levels depending on passengers specific preferences or needs.

In addition to the Protec LED, Dextra also opted to install 38 Comtec Surface LEDs in the lounge. Both the performance and appearance of these luminaires were tailored to blend seamlessly with the design and fit flawlessly with the function of the lounge itself, featuring black housings with a colour 83 output.

For the throughway to the lounge, Dextra chose to install 72 Surface and Suspended Runway lights with colour 84 output. Dextra’s Surface and Suspended Runway lighting features a slimline appearance and an anodised aluminium housing and comes in a range of lengths with lumen output and bidirectional variants which allows them to be tailored to the space at hand to enhance aesthetic appeal and create an attractive environment for both the staff and visitors. This particular lighting also uses the latest mid power LED’s to ensure optimal energy efficiency and ease of maintenance.

Staff frequently move in and out of the offices in the airport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and it was essential to consider this when choosing the best lighting for this environment. Dextra decided to use 14 of our MODLED Office luminaires in this area. Dextra’s MODLED Office lighting is explicitly designed for applications where monitors are often used and is a favourable choice for offices or classrooms. Featuring high output Lumileds LED sources, MODLED Office lighting combines optimum compliance with optimum performance, enabling fewer luminaires to be used to achieve the desired lux and in turn, saving on capital cost and energy consumption. These particular lights also come with a range of dimming, sensor control and emergency options allowing even more significant energy savings to be made.

Security is of utmost importance in any airport, and it is, therefore, crucial to ensure that there is sufficient lighting at all times in the Security Corridor. Dextra’s Ecopak range of LED battens were chosen for this area as they are quick and simple to fit in place of existing luminaires, are easy to maintain and offer increased energy efficiency while ensuring optimal function at all times.

To ensure maximum aftercare and ease of maintenance for this project, Dextra provided an ‘enhanced’ 5-year warranty on all products, comprising all labour and parts.