Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

70MB programme equips Schiphol for the future

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has long been at the heart of Europe’s aviation industry. However, growth has been higher than anticipated in recent times, and the airport has to balance this with other factors. By partnering with Vanderlande, Schiphol aims to safeguard its position for many decades to come.

A balancing act

One of Schiphol’s main challenges was to ensure that its capacity was sufficient for future growth. Alongside this, it wanted to reduce the cost per bag and mishandled bag rates, while improving the reliability of the overall system. Enhancing the working conditions for ground staff was another vital consideration.

To achieve its multiple aims and objectives, the separate baggage areas at Schiphol had to be seamlessly connected. The airport’s ambition was to develop a state-of-the-art system that provided improved baggage control, enhanced flexibility and offered in-built redundancy.

A monumental project

Schiphol defined the 70MB (70 Million Bags) programme. This was a monumental undertaking that comprised four large-scale projects across multiple locations. These were: Transfer Screening D-pier; Unloading Quays E-pier; the South Baggage Hall; and the Backbone system.

A separate project began in 2002, when Vanderlande was contracted to redesign the baggage handling system in Departures 3 (West). This was to meet 100% hold baggage screening (HBS) requirements.

Within each project, various Vanderlande technology was introduced. This included TUBTRAX, BAGTRAX and robotic handling units. One of the key features has been the introduction of a ‘pull’ philosophy in which bags can be stored and ‘pulled’ out when required.
At a later date, Schiphol also requested VIBES high-level controls software. In addition, Vanderlande has a dedicated site-based service team on site comprising 75 full-time employees.

The strain on the airport’s ground staff has been reduced, and VIBES facilitates better data analysis and faster connection times. Vanderlande’s site-based life-cycle services team also gives the airport peace of mind.

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