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baggage-handling-trials-rotterdamIt has been announced that Rotterdam The Hague Airport will soon begin testing a new, automated baggage handling solution that promises to improve baggage processes through the use of automated vehicles.

The new system trials will run over three months and will give a real view of the effectivity of this level of automation in a live airport environment. Most interestingly, the vehicles will carry just a single item of baggage, and will use a system intelligence, or awareness, to determine the best route through the airport. Some industry experts are cautiously hailing the new technology as a solution for the future of airport baggage handling, while expressing an interest in the trials in terms of the cost-efficiency and security aspects of the system.

Another bonus feature of the system is its ability to power itself through the use of stored electricity generated by solar panels, and a further green benefit is that the vehicles are fully recyclable.

All over the world in airports of all sizes, baggage handling processes are being closely examined, particularly with the introduction of the latest mandate for seamless tracking of luggage – IATA’s Resolution 753. Within the mandatory regulations, airlines must now provide tracking information at certain points during the baggage journey.

The aim of the resolution is to significantly reduce instances of lost or mishandled baggage, a problem that costs the industry millions of euros every year. Through automation, and smart technologies, baggage handling systems suppliers across the globe are developing and introducing ever-evolving solutions to tackle these issues and contribute to raising passenger satisfaction.

Although many industry professionals believe that the future of all successful airport operations will lie in the use of biometrics technology, automation of core, critical systems such as baggage handling and reconciliation helps to streamline and increase operational productivity.

We will be following the Rotterdam airport baggage handling trials with interest over the next few months.

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Self Service Bag Drop Trials Bristol Airport | Airports NewsPassengers flying with easyJet from Bristol Airport at the moment, are enjoying the new self-service bag drop kiosks on trial for the summer.

Twelve kiosks and four bag drop stations have been installed during the last month at the easyJet area of the airport, with airport personnel on hand to give assistance during the trial.

Phil Holder, Bristol Airport’s Head of Operations Support, is pleased to see that the trial is already making positive inroads into increasing efficiency and said, ‘The trial is already speeding up the process for passengers and the initial feedback has been very positive. We are always looking for ways to improve the passenger experience and this trial is an example of how the latest technology can enhance the airport journey.

The kiosks have been supplied by Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airports, and form a part of an initiative to improve passenger experience and increase efficiency within the airport. Passengers will scan their boarding passes to initiate baggage weigh facilities, before attaching printed bag tags, and proceeding to the bag drop desks.

EasyJet’s UK Country Manager, Ali Gayward said, ‘We recognise that our customers’ airport experience is a hugely important part of their overall journey and so we are delighted to be part of Bristol Airport’s self-service bag drop trial. As we approach the summer, our busiest time of the year, we want our customers to have a seamless journey through the airport, enabling their summer holidays to get off to the best of starts.

Paul Hickox, Head of Airport Systems Sales at Rockwell Collins recognises that airport experience for passengers is high on the list of requirements for a growing number of airports, regardless of size. He said, ‘There is no ‘one-size fits all’ bag-drop solution because different airlines have different passenger processing models. We were able to create the best solution for Bristol Airport because of our deep understanding of airports and bag drop technology. We look forward to seeing the new self-bag drop solution from Rockwell Collins have a positive impact for passengers as it has done in all other deployments in recent months.’

Bristol Airport passengers travelling with easyJet this summer will be greeted at the arrivals area by members of staff, who will first verify travellers with airline lists, before guiding them to the new self-bag drop kiosks.

Miami International Airport to Upgrade Baggage Handling Systems | Business Aviation BlogMiami International Airport has plans in place to begin an upgrade of its baggage handling systems, replacing a part of its security screening system and automated sortation.

The upgrades will also include modifications to baggage conveyancing, electrical and power distribution systems. The TSA is backing the project with a grant to Miami-Dade County of $101 million to support plans to build a 60,000ft2 extension to the current Central Terminal BHS, which will include a security corridor between Terminals G and H.

As advancing technology continues to offer opportunities for increased efficiency and security, airports around the world are looking to these next-generation baggage handling systems to deliver enhanced passenger experience, whilst making sure than capacity for expansion and adaptability remains at the forefront of all planning.

Ground delays are an expensive issue for both airlines and airports, and as passenger numbers continue to increase, operators must ensure that improvements work to significantly improve operational efficiency and security.

Miami-Dade County look forward to the project, which is hoped will create more than 600 local jobs for both direct and indirect employees.

Baggage Handling in Airports | Business Aviation NewsPhoenix Sky Harbor Airport has announced its frustration with TSA screening processes after a breakdown last week resulted in significant baggage systems delays. The airport joins a queue of other airports in the US, who are growing increasingly concerned with TSA systems.

The delays last week were caused by a technical system breakdown that resulted in delays for 16 airlines, and more than 3,000 checked-in bags being left behind.

Airport staff used their initiative to forward around 1,000 bags to Las Vegas airport for screening, as luggage began piling up.

An increasing number of airports around the world are moving to automated baggage handling systems and employing outside agency help for screening. Common bag drop solutions are growing in popularity with the option for multiple airline bag drop kiosks and off-site passenger check-in.

Other Baggage Handling Systems ProvidersAs demand increases at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, with a record that reached almost 21 million passengers last year, the decision has been taken to upgrade the baggage handling system in terminal 5. The upgrade plan will include the integration of Septembers’ mandatory standard two screening and it is hoped that the current baggage handling system will continue to operate to keep disruption to a minimum while work is being carried out.

Stockholm-Arlanda is managed and operated by Swedavia, who have awarded the upgrade contract to Crisplant, a part of the Beumer Group who provide baggage handling systems and logistics solutions. The company have been selected to extend the tilt-tray sorter in terminal 5 in addition to the upgrade of the control systems within the terminal building.

Baggage handling systems can help to streamline the passenger processing system and therefore, with careful integration, can help to maximise productivity, particularly during peak times and busy periods. With demand expected to continue rising, it makes sense that expediting the check-in and baggage handling process is necessary to avoid costly ground delays for both passenger experience and airport management.

Other Providers of Baggage Handling SystemsIncheon, South Korea’s busiest airport, is to get a 42km, state-of-the-art baggage handling system courtesy of the contract recently awarded to electronics giant Siemens and Posco, the South Korean steel makers.

Capable of handling over 22,000 pieces of luggage per hour, the new system will comprise over 216 check-in counters in departures, 10 carousels in arrivals, 14 make-up carousels and 18 laterals, with an additional storage facility for up to as many as 2,000 pieces of luggage.

Completion is set for September 2017, readying the airport both for the influx of visitors to the 2018 Winter Olympics and the completion of Incheon’s new U.S. $2.5bn (£1.6bn) Terminal 2, which will increase airport’s annual passenger capacity to 62 million. The new infrastructure is planned to seamlessly integrate into the existing, and will be controllable by both IT and automated systems.

Siemans is already familiar with Incheon’s current baggage handling capability. In 2008 the company upgraded systems in the airport’s satellite terminal to handle up to 56,000 items of baggage every hour and has provided ongoing IT support ever since.

Logan Teleflex France has been awarded a contract for the deployment of a new baggage handling system in Warsaw Chopin International Airport.

Superior Baggage Handling System ProvidersIncluding the next generation M700RF Tilt Tray Sorter, the 7.5 million Euro baggage handling system is a part of a development programme for the airport that it expected to be operational by 2015. The baggage handling system will work in conjunction with an adjacent sorter in the Terminal A complex at the airport and should be up and running by summer 2014.

Warsaw Chopin International will benefit from streamlined operations within the baggage handling system in addition to SCADA/PLC controls and the use of a Logan Sort Allocation Computer System.

The fully automated system includes an electric tip action, controlled by a radio signalling system, and will feature handling equipment with conveyors, pushers and ploughs using Logan and Daifuku technology.

An additional 29 destinations can be handled from the 48 check-in desks using the new system.