Beumer Group has announced that the first tote-based independent carrier system (ICS) at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has started operations in the US.

The CrisBag ICS was installed at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at SFO.

The ICS baggage handling system is aimed for shared use by airlines. It allows complete track and trace as the bags remain in the same tote during the baggage handling and security screening procedures.

CrisBag, with the integration of an explosives detection system (EDS), is said to be one of the first systems that is Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-certified for in-tote baggage security screening.

This system was installed and tested when the current Terminal 1 was operational and was aided by an interim baggage system, which was installed by Beumer.

In a statement, Beumer said: “The consolidation to a shared use baggage system using CrisBag allows redundant routes to balance the load between the computer tomography X-Ray (CTX).

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“This has reduced the number to only seven security screening machines, which are needed for baggage screening within the terminal. Prior to the redevelopment of Terminal 1, there were fifteen CTX machines serving several independently airline-operated and owned baggage systems.”

The CrisBag ICS layout has also reportedly led to a significant decrease in tug traffic.

The CrisBag system handles the inbound, transfer and outbound processes and is present in the baggage operational areas that are located throughout the terminal boarding area near the aircraft gates.

The baggage that arrives is transported from the flight using tugs to the inbound system infeed. The tug returns for another flight with the outbound baggage.

In April, SFO resumed the opening of the next phase of Harvey Milk Terminal 1.

The airport previously postponed the opening of the terminal due to the Covid-19 pandemic.