London Stansted Airport (STN) in the UK has concluded a $99m (£70m) upgrade to its baggage system beneath the airport’s terminal.
The airport authorities said that it is the largest baggage network upgrade since the terminal’s launch in 1991.
London Stansted Airport Hold Baggage System Programme lead Steve Radford said: “We’re delighted to reach this very important milestone in the hold baggage system project.
“While passengers simply hand their baggage in at check-in for their journey, below the terminal is a highly automated and complex system that seamlessly and safely ensures the right bag reaches the right flight.
“The Beumer autover system uses the latest digital technology, which will future-proof London Stansted’s baggage operation for years to come, improving performance for both our passengers and airlines.”
The baggage system revamp, which took four years to complete, involved the replacement of the ageing set-up of conveyor belts and chutes with 2.4km of track and 180 automated carts.
Beumer Group designed the baggage system, which is claimed to be faster and more efficient than the one it replaces.
The system is the longest of its type in the world, which has been designed to transfer luggage from check-in point to be ready to load onto an aircraft in nearly six minutes.
The project is said to have been completed ahead of schedule.
Beumer Group UK CEO Klaus Schäfer said: “We commend Stansted Airport in following their strategy and identifying the perfect window of opportunity for remodelling their baggage handling system setup.
“This now means the airport has a future proof system and a great deal of built-in flexibility for years to come.
“The integration of an end-to-end baggage handling system not only allows Stansted Airport to grow and service their airline customers and passengers, but it also places Stansted in the league of modern airports known for operating with a very efficient baggage handling design to increase baggage traceability and security at every stage of the handling process.”
Additionally, the project included the integration of the new system with a new check-in area that opened in 2019 and the installation of new hi-tech ‘Standard 3’ baggage scanners.