Vancouver Airport



8,000 bags per hour
3.5 km's of TUBTRAX to connect existing systems
6 new intelligent bag drops directly connected to the Backbone.


One of the key aspects within Vancouver Airport’s Gateway strategy was the need to link all the separate baggage halls to automate the flow of transfer bags. YVR wanted faster connection times between its existing baggage handling systems and shorter connection times. The controls system at the airport was also in need of modernisation to improve efficiency during daily operations, while supporting future change. Minimal disruptions to live operations during the installation of the system was an additional stipulation.

The solution

Vanderlande proposed a new ‘backbone’ system designed to link all of YVR’s separate baggage halls. Within the backbone system the cost-effective baggage sorting solution BAXORTER was implemented to take baggage from check-in, backbone or transfer drop, and sort it to the make-up carousels. With the TUBTRAX individual carrier system (ICS) each bag is loaded in a carrier, improving tracking. YVR was keen to remove its reliance on manual handling to process oversized bags. Vanderlande worked closely with YVR to implement longer carriers than are typical on TUBTRAX to enable automatic loading, unloading and transport for oversized items on the same infrastructure.
Vanderlande’s VIBES software was installed to control the movement of all baggage. It can automatically switch to alternative routes if required, and it actively monitors and influences every airport process. One of the unique features of VIBES is that it can easily be configured to seamlessly match all types of business processes.
Download the case study
Read more about the challenges and solutions at Vancouver Airport in the case study.

General customer information

Located in Richmond, British Columbia, YVR processed just over a thousand passengers in its first year from a single runway and small, wooden administration building. Today, it is the country’s second-busiest airport and served by nearly 60 airlines. Passenger numbers have also increased significantly, with around 20.3 million travellers passing through YVR in 2015. This equates to around 55,000 bags a day, with over 100,000 processed on the busiest days.
Located on the west coast of North America, YVR has always been a ‘gateway to Asia’. Indeed, its future development strategy still revolves around maintaining a sustainable connecting hub between Asia and the Americas. It now links more than 120 nonstop destinations in Canada, USA, Asia and Europe.

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