Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA) in the Netherlands has started a three-month trial of FLEET baggage logistics solution provided by Vanderlande.

Instead of using traditional belts and conveyors, the latest baggage handling system uses intelligent autonomous vehicles to carry luggage.

Testing is being performed in collaboration with airport ground handler Aviapartner. It is intended to help Vanderlande enhance the airport’s baggage handling process.

Vanderlande Airports executive vice-president Andrew Manship said: “The programme is a tremendous example of how Vanderlande and its partners can bring cutting-edge innovations to life in a situation where high performance, efficiency and reliability are essential.

“However, it’s not just the technology involved that is important to Vanderlande. With FLEET, we’re also rethinking how to deliver true value and flexibility.

“As part of this joint innovation, we’re discussing exactly how the future delivery of this ‘as a service’ new business model for the airport could be.”

“As part of this joint innovation, we’re discussing exactly how the future delivery of this ‘as a service’ new business model for the airport could be.”

Every FLEET vehicle carries a single bag using the most optimal route through the airport.

FLEET vehicles are said to be sustainable as the energy used by each vehicle is generated by solar panels, helping create a zero-emissions baggage handling solution at RTHA.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport director Ron Louwerse said: “By having FLEET commence live operations, we are taking a major step forward and are confident of realising a number of operational benefits.

“This will help contribute to the airport’s sustainability ambitions in terms of energy usage and will also align with our vision to be more than just an airport, but also a hub for innovation and education.”

The trial follows the signing of a letter of intent between Vanderlande and RTHA in March.