Case Studies

Gatwick Airport

An Audio System for Gatwick’s exclusive Premium Lane

High Fidelity Music and Announcements


Gatwick Airport (LGW). Also known as London Gatwick, is London’s second largest international airport and second busiest by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom after Heathrow. Furthermore, Gatwick is Europe’s leading airport for point-to-point flights and has the world’s busiest single-use runway with up to 53 aircraft movements per hour in late-2012 and a maximum capacity of 55 movements per hour.[Its two terminals – North and South – cover an area of 98,000 m2 (1,050,000 sq ft) and 160,000 m2 (1,700,000 sq ft) respectively.
In 2013, 35.4 million passengers passed through Gatwick.


In November 2011 the new ‘Premium Lane’ was nearing completion. There were 14 days before the official opening by Sir Richard Branson. Gatwick required a High Quality system to play music for the ceremony, and for the customers following the opening. We were asked to provide and commission a Hi fidelity music system in the Premium lane check-in at ST Gatwick ready for the official opening by Sir Richard Branson. This involved working airside & working at night. Always a learning curve at an airport, even after 25 years working with them.

Gatwick’s Premium Lane includes an exclusive passport control lane, a service dedicated to making travel simpler


Microwatt commissioned Whitwam, a top AV (Audio visual company) to provide the speakers and power amplifiers.
It was decided to use Bose speakers because they are very high quality and suited to ceiling mount. Also we could source them in the time scales.
Gatwick wanted to use an iPod as the music source so a rack mount iPod holder was provided.
The music must be muted in the event of a fire so a ‘failsafe’ fire input was required to the power amplifier.
To add to the complications, as with most building projects it was running late. So we had to work nights and also work around the builders final days.
However all was working for the opening. So if you go through Premium Checking you will be regaled with calming music