On Wednesday 19 August 2009 at 3:30am the first passenger to the US dropped his luggage on one of ALSTEF’s conveyors at Montréal Trudeau Airport. He was followed by about 3,000 passengers during the first day of operation. All those passengers did not know that they were using a state-of-the-art baggage handling system integrating more functionalities than ever previously provided for baggage handling in an airport.

At Montréal, as at many other Canadian airports, passengers flying to the US go through US immigration at departure. The great difference now is that Montréal Airport is the first to comply with the latest US administration regulation.

The process starts at the bag drop, where an attendant scans the bar code on the boarding pass and the bag tags. The information is processed by Bagware® (ALSTEF software) which matches each bag tag with the passenger boarding information, thus allowing its tracking through the security controls imposed by the Canadian and US authorities.

After drop off, each bag is loaded on one of the 105 destination coded vehicles (DCV) manufactured by the German company, Beumer. A photograph of the baggage is taken, its radio-activity is measured and it is sent to the explosive detection system (EDS). It is then stored on one of the 500 conveyors installed on two levels until the passenger is allowed to enter the US.

At this stage the customs officer can recall the bag from the storage area, in which case it would be automatically routed via DCV to an inspection area. It is only after the passenger has been cleared that his luggage can be routed to the sortation chutes to be loaded onto the aircraft.

The transfer of operation from the old to the new terminal was carried out overnight as planned with A#233;roport de Montréal (ADM). That was the final stage of a CAN$40m project initiated two years ago. However ALSTEF Canadian experience will continue for the next 20 years with the operations and maintenance contract. ALSTEF will employ a team of 70 engineers, technicians and operators to perform the service at Montréal Trudeau.