In June 2012 AENA Aeropuertos SA (AASA) assigned the new operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for Terminal 1 of Barcelona El Prat Airport to Vanderlande Industries, Spain. The contract consists of all O&M activities for the baggage handling system with a duration of one year and the option to extend to up to three years.

Since the installation of the baggage handling system and the terminal opening in 2009, Vanderlande Industries has operated and maintained the baggage handling system. At the beginning of 2012 a public tender process for the new O&M contract started. Although responsible for O&M over the last three years, Vanderlande were not automatically assigned the new O&M contract for Terminal 1.

Contractual requirements were highly demanding and only two companies reached the end phase, Vanderlande being one of them. After evaluating the technical and economical offers, Vanderlande was assigned the contract.

Freek Wullems, O&M Barcelona director for Vanderlande Industries states: "In the last few years the site-based service team proved that they fully understand the logistics process and offer added value in advising the airport how to make efficient use of the baggage handling system.

"In the new contract we will take this one step further with an important focus on cost reduction for the airport in general and on energy saving in particular. The environment in Spain is changing due to the economic crisis and we need to help our client in facing these new challenges. We will do this while maintaining our best in class performance of the baggage handling system."

The Barcelona T1 baggage handling system consists of 140 check-in desks in the departure hall and 14 located in the parking area. Vanderlande’s tubtrax destination coded vehicles (DCV’s) are used for transportation. It is a totally redundant system that is capable to transport the tubs with speeds of up to six metres per second. The system includes 100% hold baggage screening in all security levels using X-ray and CT machines.

The system also features an automated early baggage storage (EBS) with 14 cranes, which allow individual access to around 1,500 stored baggage items and 22 make-up stations (tilted triplanar carousels). In peak hours the designed system is capable to process over 8,000 bags an hour.