An aerodynamic pod, air-conditioned in the summer, heated in winter and accommodating up to 200 people at a time, rises up a slender steel spire to a height of 138 metres above sea level, taking around 10 minutes to reach the top. It then travels back down the spire, slowly, steadily and comfortably. Like with the London Eye, damping technology keeps the ride stable and smooth. Visitors return to the ground with changed perceptions and a new perspective on Brighton and Hove.
Anyone who has been on the London Eye remembers it as an incredible experience. The elegant structure has become an icon, instantly recognised not just as a symbol for Lon-don, but arguably for the whole of the UK. Many people enjoy the ride so much that they return to the Eye again and again. Great care was taken to ensure that the infrastructure, from ticket hall to queuing to souvenir facilities, was well thought through and properly managed. The Eye delivers all of that. It has also delivered a great deal to its local environs. The South Bank is now a modern and vibrant place, confident about what it is and its place in London, for both today and tomorrow.
Ever since the project’s completion, people have been asking us whether we intend to replicate it elsewhere. The London Eye has been an extraordinary success — far more so than anyone ever imagined. The question, of course, arises why this should be so and one can only conclude that it is all about the views. It seems people enjoy vantage points that provide unique views, fresh aspects, new horizons, not least from above. Indeed, it seems a universal desire to see the earth and its cities from high places: it is a pleasure to the eyes and the intellect to seek out and find the reference points and recognise the landmarks, to make visual connections, to see wider horizons. British Airways i360 delivers a similar experience — entertaining, informing, exciting and inspiring.British Airways i360 is built on land leased from the West Pier Trust, thus raising funds for this worthy cause, and it is anticipated that it will attract up to 800,000 visitors annually, creating new jobs, boosting tourist revenue and acting as a catalyst for regeneration and development in the area. Energy efficiency has been maximised and emissions limited, and it is expected that some 20 per cent of the power required to run British Airways i360 will be self-generated.
Sustainable tourism will help Brighton & Hove maintain its competitive edge without environmental degradation. Tourists are increasingly interested in the landscape, history and culture of an area, and responsible tourism will only help to sustain and develop an area’s cultural heritage. But sustainable tourism is not just about preserving old cultures; it can also influence modern ones. British Airways i360 helps promote such tourism in a totally responsible and sustainable way, maintaining Brighton & Hove’s historic identity while meeting the expectations of a modern high quality attraction.
For more information on British Airways i360, visit our website.