Airport Case Study

Airside Operatives Get a Stand Out Presence at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world, serving more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Gatwick’s airfield operations and engineering teams are vital to the smooth running of the airport – handling all airside operations, including incident response.

The Challenge

Working on one of the world’s busiest runways, airside operatives need appropriate PPE and workwear to ensure they’re a protected and highly visible presence – especially during emergency response scenarios.

But Gatwick’s airfield teams were clothed in the same outerwear as other airport departments, including security and cleaning. Which made it difficult to identify if they were present at critical events or incidents to provide clear leadership and instructions to other employees.

But that wasn’t all. Staff members were unhappy with their current uniforms, which were unsuitable for the daily tasks they need to perform in all weathers - and at any time of the day or night.

Gatwick Airport approached HeathBrook to create a high performance ‘all weather’ uniform ensemble featuring the right PPE, so its airfield teams could always work as safely and as comfortably as possible.

The Solution

Gatwick Airport PPE

To ensure employees were happy with the type, style and suitability of garments selected, HeathBrook ran on-site wearer trials to give staff an opportunity to try out all potential options – which included garments used by workforces who construct offshore wind farms as well as ski-slope rescue teams.

Utilising feedback from the wearer trials, HeathBrook's highly experienced design and garment technology teams evolved the selected garments to meet specific user needs and applied the airport’s bespoke corporate identity look.

Employees were then given the opportunity to test pre-production models to ensure all clothing items were fit for purpose and performed as required and ensure wearer acceptance of the new uniform was high.

The Results

Gatwick’s new Airfield Waterproof Wet Weather gear was delivered to individual employees in personalised Man Pack packages to make uniform distribution as straightforward as possible. Within 10 days, the outfits were put to the test with the first snowfall of winter – and performed admirably.

Thanks to the new distinctive uniforms, Gatwick’s operational and engineering staff can now be easily identified anywhere on the airfield and are outfitted to face any weather condition with confidence.

The PPE looks fantastic! I’m really pleased with it – thank you.
Airport Control Lead

Uniform Needs Assessment