Gatwick Airport has signed a multimillion-pound IT contract with SAP and Siemens IT Solutions and is close to severing its IT contact with its previous owner BAA.
The two new contracts enable airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners to take full control of its IT systems. It has previously relied on Heathrow owner BAA for some of its IT support.
Gatwick was sold last year after a Competition Commission inquiry in 2008 ruled that BAA's ownership of seven UK airports was a monopoly. The new owners have worked over the last few months to separate their systems and sign contracts to manage their 140 inherited legacy IT systems.
Today's announcement marks the beginning of the end of Gatwick's IT links with BAA, according to CIO Stuart Birrell. "This contract award is an important milestone for Gatwick on many levels; culturally it is significant because it marks a final release from BAA and will enable us to operate as a fully stand-alone airport. It also means that we can operate an IT system that best meets the needs of our business.
"Gatwick is now competing directly with Heathrow, Stansted and other airports across Europe. We are striving to be more customer-focused and boost annual passenger numbers to at least 40 million over the next decade by delivering great service, attracting new airlines and increasing the efficiency of our operations. Having the right IT system in place is critical to achieving our goals."
The new system will start to be rolled out in December, with completion planned by the summer of 2012.