London Heathrow Airport

Recent  major projects at Heathrow Airport
  • 2008 – Terminal 5A and B opened in March incorporating Vanderlande’s baggage handling system
  • 2011 – Terminal 5 C completed
  • 2013 – Vanderlande completed baggage handling system for the Western Interface Building (WIB) and high speed baggage transfer connection between Terminal 5C and WIB 
  • 2013 – Vanderlande has been awarded five year contract for the provision of specialist baggage IT support across the entire airport
  • 2015 – Vanderlande is delivering Terminal 3 Integrated Baggage Facility (T3IB) which includes the latest technologies (batch make-up, robot loading, manual handling aids) and new processes
  • Since 2008 Vanderlande has delivered 150 system improvements into the Western Campus (T5A, T5B, T5C, WIB, T3IB) baggage operation without disruption           


12 million
12 million
fewer physical bag lifts per year at T3IB due to automated devices and manual handling aids
system availability at the Western Interface Building
items of baggage can be held in early bag store at Terminal 5  and T3IB


Terminal 3 Integrated Baggage Facility (T3IB), Terminal 5 facilities and the Western Interface Building form the integrated western baggage system for the airport.     
Terminal 5 
  • Capacity – 12,000 bags per hour
  • HELIXORTER, TUBTRAX and BAGTRAX sorting systems
  • 158 check-in positions
  • Automated storage with 4,000 positions
  • Late bag fastrack delivery system (BAGTRAX) to head of aircraft stands
Western Interface Building (WIB)
  • Capacity – 5,400 bags per hour
  • 225-metre long BAXORTER
  • High speed carts (BAGTRAX) connecting the WIB and Terminal 5 via a 1.2 km long tunnel can travel at speed of 12 m/s
  • Project system size – 3km
  • Capacity – 7,200 bags per hour
  • 4 HELIXORTER tilt-tray sorters
  • 198 check-in positions
  • Baggage early build utilized by 2 robot build cells and 3 semi automated build cells
  • Automated storage with 4,500 positions reachable by 27 cranes
  • Automated storage for 118 unit load devices (ULD) 



Transporting transfer bags between Terminal 5 and Terminals 3 through the Western Interface Building reduces vehicle traffic around the airport and the associated emissions.
HELIXORTER, STACK@EASE, BAGLOAD, just to name a few products installed at Heathrow Airport which are in line with Vanderlande sustainability strategy focusing on the actual operational use of the system. Vanderlande  strives to minimize energy use, improve operator ergonomics and effectiveness and maximize smart use and re-use of materials.

Services information

Vanderlande have a 5 year contract for the provision of specialist baggage IT support at Heathrow. This expansion of the service provided at Terminal 5 since 2008 enables the support of all critical, real time baggage IT systems – including Vanderlande’s own system – across all terminals. This includes the management of applications that are key to the successful operation of automated baggage handling systems, management of all IT service management processes and active monitoring of all associated databases, firmware and infrastructure.
Importantly for Heathrow and its passengers, the benefits of a harmonised, transparent approach to baggage IT support is delivered on a 24/7 basis, 365-days-a-year by a team of 50 specialists based in Terminal 5 and a new IT support facility within Vanderlande’s offices close to the airport.

General customer information

London Heathrow Airport is one of the world busiest airports handling on average 201,000 passengers per day and serving 185 destinations in 84 countries.  
Heathrow Airport has been recognised as the Best Airport in Western Europe in the 2015 Skytrax World Airport Awards, which also recognised Terminal 5 as the Worlds Best Terminal for the 4th year running.
London Airport  was officially opened in 1946. It has grown to 5 terminals located between two runways since. Recent key milestone of London Heathrow Airport include:
  • 2006: The Airbus A380 makes its first UK landing 
  • 2008: Terminal 5 is officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in March
  • 2014: The brand new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal opened for business on 4th June
  • 2015: T3IB facility comes into use             

Related References

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