* Passengers can track the progress of Gatwick's £1 billion investment programme using their smartphones *

Gatwick Airport (www.gatwickairport.com) today unveiled a novel way of bringing its £1 billion investment programme to life, through a barcode 'Gatwick Discovery Tour.' Becoming the only airport in the world to use standard barcodes as an audio-visual information tool, Gatwick is also the first UK brand to work with stickybits (www.stickybits.com), whose free mobile application is used to scan the codes.

Gatwick is kicking the tour off at the North Terminal inter-terminal shuttle departure point (http://foursquare.com/venue/11815444). A video shows how the new shuttle route between the North and South Terminals was built, and opened a month ahead of schedule.

Over the coming weeks and months, more barcodes will be introduced at check-in and just after security in the North Terminal as well as the forecourt areas and immigration in the South Terminal. Locations will be changed and the content refreshed to keep the tour interesting and up-to-date. The aim is to give passengers an audio visual peek behind the scenes of how their London airport is being transformed.

Samantha Holgate, Gatwick’s Head of Airport Communications said: "The airport is going through a major programme of improvement designed to benefit the passengers but most of this work is hidden behind standard construction hoarding.

"We wanted to find a fun and interactive way to communicate to passengers about how the money is being invested, what work is going on behind the hoarding and how they will eventually benefit. Many of our passengers are social media savvy so introducing stickybits is a great way to interact with them."

The Gatwick Discovery Tour forms part of an overall strategy by the airport to use social media tools to keep passengers up-to-date with what is going on at the airport, give them a mechanism to feedback on their experiences and improve the overall information flow around the airport.

As part of this, operations and customer services staff are undergoing training in the use of Twitter with the aim of making it a 24 hour real-time customer services tool, and Gatwick is planning to unveil further ways in which passengers can interact with the airport over the next two months.

ENDS

For further information, Dirk Singer or Louise Doherty
gatwick@therabbitagency.com
+44 (0) 208 123 9541

For photos please see - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gatwickairport/sets/72157625303496448/

*Using the stickybits app at Gatwick Airport*

StickyBits (www.stickybits.com) is a mobile application which uses barcodes printed on stickers to make every day objects scannable by mobile.

The barcoded stickers placed on hoardings at Gatwick airport will, once scanned by a passenger, show a short video and some photographs detailing the changes taking place at the airport turning the hoardings into a digitally interactive object

The audiovisual tour will also be linked to location-based social networks such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, so passengers can check-in and view the content online via smartphones.

*About Gatwick Airport*

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations (more than any other UK airport) in 90 countries for around 33 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services.

It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities.

The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the award winning Gatwick Express. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the majority shareholder.

Gatwick is committed to transforming the airport by investing £1 billion into providing better facilities and services for its airlines and passengers.

Published on: 12:58PM on 3rd November 2010