Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has upgraded its departures baggage handling system (BHS).
The new system, which will solve the airport’s main baggage throughput issues during peak periods, features additional systems and storage to cater for early bag store and transfer baggage.
Airport operator, Ethiopia Airlines Enterprises, awarded the £2.5m BHS project to baggage handling systems integrator, Daifuku Logan. The upgraded and expanded system is expected to be fully operational by April 2014.
Ron Osborne, managing director of Daifuku Logan, said, “Rather than propose faster sortation or tighter window timeframes for accepting baggage at check-in, we went for the option of additional facilities to cater for early bag store and transfer baggage, which is more than 50% of the airport’s entire baggage throughput. The airport accepted the benefits that this scheme would bring and they outweighed the higher costs and reliability and expense issues of faster baggage handling.”
Daifuku Logan initially supplied Addis Ababa Bole Airport with a baggage system over 12 years ago, when the airport processed around one million flight passengers a year. Since then the number of passengers has risen to six million and is growing. The airport estimates 50% of these are transit passengers in need of baggage transfer to a connecting flight, and more airline travellers are bringing bags early to the airport, creating on-going ‘clogging’ issues in processing bags during busy and peak times.
Daifuku Logan competed against two other baggage handling system integrators for the project. Daifuku Logan’s winning proposal called for the addition of a system that would handle the early bags and transfer bags, and to provide a facility for the storage of early bags, thereby freeing up the system and preventing clogging during normal periods.
In addition to the expansion of the departures system, the airport is placing an additional £1m contract with Daifuku Logan to refurbish the existing baggage handling equipment. This will ensure the upgraded system will have the improved level of reliability required to meet the requirements of the system upgrade.
Daifuku Logan has already carried out a comprehensive mechanical and electrical survey that will provide the basis for the refurbishment programme.