Watch - Take a ride on the new baggage handling system at Stansted Airport
- Credit: London Stansted Airport / Beumer Group
A new £70m baggage handling system has been unveiled at London Stansted Airport.
The project took four years to complete and is the largest upgrade to the airport’s baggage network since the terminal opened in 1991.
It’s the longest system of its type in the world and at speeds of up to five metres per second, bags will take around six minutes to travel from check-in to being ready to load on to an aircraft.
Designed by Beumer Group, it is low energy, fully automated, faster and more efficient than the one it replaces.
Some 2.4km of track and 180 automated carts have replaced ageing conveyor belts and chutes.
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The work was initially carried out in stages to minimise disruption.
However, the coronavirus pandemic meant the airport could speed up the project and complete it ahead of schedule, because of the drop in traffic.
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The new system links with a check-in area that opened in 2019 and the installation of new hi-tech ‘Standard 3’ baggage scanners which are required under new EU regulations.
Steve Radford, Hold Baggage System Programme Lead, who oversaw the project, said: “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."
He added: "It’s been encouraging to work on a project that’s going to have such a positive impact on passengers when they return to the airport."
Klaus Schäfer, CEO of Beumer Group UK, said: “We commend Stansted Airport in following their strategy and identifying the perfect window of opportunity for remodelling their baggage handling system setup.
"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."