Gatwick Airport installs 2,000 Bluetooth beacons to help passengers find their way

The UK's second biggest airport can be tricky to navigate through...

Gatwick Airport has sought to make commuting through its terminals that bit easier for passengers by installing technology that will help. 

Some 2,000 Bluetooth-powered beacons have been installed around the airport. Using Pointr technology, these beacons can pinpoint a passenger's location to within three meters. 

Gatwick intends to integrate this network of devices into its own app, allowing passengers to see where they are on a digital map. It's then possible to navigate through the various terminals. 

 

"The lack of satellite signals makes road-based navigation systems – such as Google or Apple maps – unreliable indoors, so Gatwick has deployed a beacon based positioning system to enable reliable ‘blue dot’ on indoor maps, which in time can be used within a range of mobile airport, airline or third party apps," says Pointr.  

While generic information such as people densities in particular beacon zones may be collected, no personal information is gathered. This technology is part of the airport's stg£2.5bn (€2.86bn) investment programme to transform the airport.

“By providing the infrastructure we’re opening the door for a wide range of tech savvy airport providers, including our airlines and retailers, to launch new real-time services that can help passengers find their way around the airport, avoid missing flights or receive timely offers that might save them money," says Abhi Chacko, Head of IT Commerical & Innovation at Gatwick Airport. 

More than 44 million passengers travel through Gatwick on an annual basis.