Gatwick Airport, North Terminal Check-In

Key features




Gatwick Airport Ltd



Main contractor

Balfour Beatty


Integra Contracts Ltd

Completion year


System type

SAS130, SAS200, SAS600

Special requirements

Unique knife-edge bulkhead detail

Area M2



United Kingdom

In 2014, £36 million was invested in the Gatwick North Terminal to create the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone. The client brief was to continue the lillipad theme of the British Airways check-in area on Level 20.

SAS designed a bespoke, hand-formed 45° angle bulkhead to surround the SAS200 islands. Presenting a clean and sharp finish, the 'knife-edge' feature provides a precision-engineered and dramatic aesthetic. This architectural metalwork solution frames the ceiling islands and stands out strikingly against the dark grey ceiling surround.

SAS600 rafts were specified over walkways to guide visitors from the entrance to the main check-in area. This design aesthetic and the ease of integration with signs and screens fulfilled the client brief to improve airport ‘wayfinding’.

SAS130 was used over the entrance and waiting areas to provide acoustic absorption to the spaces where the public gather or stop.

Other unique features of the project included integration with an improved IT infrastructure, new lighting and new M&E systems. In addition, SAS designed uniquely-shaped tiles and apertures to aid integration with plasterboard, walling and essential services. An estimated 5,000 passengers per hour will have their transit halved when using the new e-gates at the self-service bag-drop zone.

Impressively, the terminal remained open during construction allowing 150,000 passengers to pass through the terminal per day. To minimise passenger disruption, it was essential to make the installation quick and easy for contractors on site. The SAS logistics team co-ordinated a precise delivery schedule to minimise storage requirements.

Systems used