New baggage handling system at Qingdao Jiaodong airport goes live

The Qingdao International Airport Group recently celebrated the grand opening of the new Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport in Jiaozhou, Qingdao City, China. The airport’s baggage handling system (BHS) was supplied by Vanderlande, for whom the project started in 2016. Several of its international teams worked together on the project, led by Vanderlande China (Shanghai), which also oversaw the project execution.

Located 40km northwest of downtown Qingdao, the new 500,000m2 terminal is expected to handle over 35 million passengers per year, making it a major regional air hub in northeast Asia. In addition, the new terminal will be recognisable by its unique starfish shape, which represents Qingdao’s coastal character.

Connected by over 16km of conveyors, the colossal BHS stretches from 12m underground to 12.8m above ground at the check-in area. The BHS comprises several check-in islands where bags are screened and transferred to one of three HELIXORTER tilt-tray sorters and on to 19 flight make-up carousels where two STACK@EASE units, Vanderlande’s flexible and ergonomic loading aid solution, have been added to take the heavy lifting out of manual baggage loading.

The system also includes a lane-based BAGSTORE storage facility with a capacity of 1,500 bags, and an inbound system with 18 arrival lines and 14 reclaim carousels. It is capable of handling 15,000 bags per hour – almost three times more than the former terminal at the old Qingdao Liuting Airport, which has now closed.

The transfer of activities from the old to the new airport was executed overnight and the new system went live successfully. To ensure a smooth transfer, Vanderlande trained the customer’s operations team through extensive operational and maintenance training programmes. In addition, it supported a significant number of tests and simulation drills over the past two years.

As a reward for its efforts – and in light of its reliable and high-quality performance – the Vanderlande team was named an ‘outstanding supplier’ by the airport during the project.

“I am incredibly proud of our teams and what they have achieved,” says Vanderlande China’s Executive Managing Director, Doney Xu. “The Qingdao project truly reflects the consistent, high-quality service that Vanderlande provides to its customers, and we are well positioned to support the airport’s operations and future expansion plan. We’re looking forward to being part of airport’s future success.”