Topdeck Takes Off at Gatwick

When Gatwick Airport faced a problem meeting the rising demand for parking spaces, they took the vertical solution - with a TopDeck car park.

Leading to: 700 additional parking spaces give Gatwick room to grow.

Meeting the demand for parking represents a problem at many airports, and at Gatwick, BAA was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success by running out of space near to the South Terminal it serves.

The solution? A TopDeck space deck at the BAA Park Plus valet service which would normally accommodate 540 vehicles; but, because they are able to use closer 'block' parking, it can actually accommodate 700 additional vehicles.

The specification for the new deck also had to include a number of corporate requirements - not just good value, but an eco-focus that demanded a long life-span, ultimate recyclability and the facility for some or all of the deck to be demounted and re-sited should corporate planning require it.

The deck also needed to be waterproof to protect the cars below and be able to integrate lighting, CCTV and fire protection systems. The system that ticked all the boxes was TopDeck Parking.

Working through main contractor ROK, TopDeck erected what is thought to be the largest demountable steel structure in Europe; and while it was originally programmed to take 35 days, construction was completed in just 28 days.

The car park is designed for safe, easy use. Each of the 2160 adjustable steel columns was fitted with a padded jacket to protect both cars and pedestrians. The antiskid, grit-coat deck surface also includes a grip enhancing, chevron pattern on the ramps. Pedestrian access is provided by four sets of stairs, all DDA compliant.

In the words of Fraser Brown, Head of Travel Services at BAA: "This innovative scheme at Gatwick Airport is a first for the group and could prove invaluable for BAA's other six UK airports. The TopDeck structure enables the airport to expand and develop, whilst increasing the number of spaces available for our passengers."

Download the casestudy (PDF)