b'66 INDUSTRY INSIDERInnovative Baggage Handling Solutions to Meet Current and Future Challenges of U.S. Airports, Airlines and Passengers The United States has anAdvanced contactless technologies, extensive air transportationsuch as linear motors for propulsionRavi Singh, North network. However, the averagesystems, inductive power transmissionAmerican sales age of U.S. airports is about 40 years.for on-board power distribution andmanager (Airports) Moreover, the baggage handling systemWi-Fi data transmission, give cross-beltfor Leonardo Group, (BHS) market is still dominated bysortation technology extremely highhas worked in the legacy traditional sorting technologiesreliability, sorting capacity up to 8,400aviation sector for like horizontal and vertical diverters,bags/hour (about four times that ofmore than 15 years. He has extensive pushers, carousels, etc., which are highlyconventional conveyor technologies),experience guiding mechanical in nature. This results in highhigh operational flexibility and very lowairport customers in Asian and European operations and maintenance (O&M) costsnoise levels (less than 65 decibels). Thesemarkets to adopt next-generation and low throughput capacities of aroundtargeted technological design choicesbaggage handling technologies that 2,000 bags/hour. Often, these conventionalassure very low and simple O&M, as theadd value to stakeholders by solving technologies are harsher and result inequipment is not subjected to mechanicalproblems, bottlenecks and operations/damaged, delayed and/or missing bags.wear and tear, thus providing significantmaintenance issues.This not only creates a bad passengersavings to airports and airlines.All critical experience, it also causes financial losscomponents are fully redundant, and and adversely affects the reputation of thethe continuous loop of cells is dividedoffer flexible, fully automatic sortation associated airline or/and airport. into independent trains with individual(each chute alternately dedicated to a communication and control systems. Thesingle flight) with little-to-no maintenance Many of these legacy BHS are atcompared to carousels. the end of their lifecycles. Even beforefailure of a component in one train does the COVID-19 pandemic, several werenot affect the others. Each single cell canWhile conventional technologies in the running at their design capacities andbe pulled out of service in case of failure,U.S. are more prone to bag jams and awaiting much-needed upgrades.without any impact on the functionalitymis-sortation, the innovative features Historically, traffic at U.S. airports isof the train. These intrinsic redundanciesand precise active control for loading/12% international passengers andprovide BHS with the highest reliabilityunloading operations with cross-belt 88% domestic. Because the morein the market. The speed of cross-beltenables optimum and gentle handling for significant portion is domestic, this hassorters can be adjusted dynamicallyall types of baggageincluding fragile facilitated a much faster U.S. recoverybased on changing passenger/baggageitems and those with high-friction or from the pandemic. In fact, many BHSthroughput, enabling significant energysticky surfaces, prominent wheels or upgrade projects have resumed. Somesavings. That combined with frictionlessirregular shapes. Simply put, gentle and of the newer technologies alreadytechnologies make it a truly greenreliable bag handling brings priceless proven internationally could fulfil thesorter. High performance and compactsmiles on the faces of passengers.technological gap that exists in the U.S.designs could replace many conveyors/ Lastly, U.S. is a golf-loving country. market with new systems that offer muchdiverters with simpler systems thatWith conventional systems, large golf higher baggage throughput and loweroccupy smaller footprints, thus makingbags need to be handled manually. O&M costs.them the right fit for brownfield BHSCross-belt sorters can automate the upgrade projects, where space is oftenprocess, with precise loading and One of the most promisingheavily constrained.technologies that can fulfil that gap isunloading in two consecutive sorter cells, innovative cross-belt sortation technology.Baggage handling in the U.S. isthus making golfers happier.Installations consist of a continuous loopstill primarily based on carousels forCross-belt technology has been transport system, with induction linesbaggage sortation. Usually, bags foradopted by some of the most reputable to load baggage automatically onto themultiple flights are loaded into a singleairports: Hong Kong, Paris Charles de transport system and unloading stations.carousel, and then need to be manuallyGaulle, Orly, Frankfurt, Rome-Fiumicino, The transport system includes trains ofsorted before they are delivered toMilan Malpensa, Zurich, Genve and carts, with onboard cross-belt cells thattheir destination flights. The cross-beltLyonSaint Exupry, just to name a move perpendicularly to the directionsorter is able to unload bags on a widefew. Its time now for this well-proven of the carts (hence the name cross- range of outlet types, including beltinnovative technology to enter the belt) and assist baggage loading andconveyors, carousels, chutes and gravityU.S. market and bring value to all of its unloading to the assigned destination.roller conveyors. Passive metal chutesstakeholders.combined with a cross-belt sorter can July | August 2022AirportImprovement.com'