Finnish airport operator Finavia is on track to expand the capacity of Helsinki Airport’s baggage-handling system (BHS) by 50%, with an extra 3km (1.9 miles) of carousel and advanced sorting technology.
The expansion is part of Finavia’s wider €1bn (US$1.2bn) investment program at Helsinki Airport, with completion of the BHS scheduled for late 2019.
Timo Salminen, system manager, Finavia, said, “The renovation of the current system has been ongoing since the end of 2017, and it will continue until the end of this summer. The new system will be connected to the old one which requires a lot of updates to the old system.”
The expansion of the baggage handling center covers an area of 10,000m² (108,000ft²) across two floors and is located underneath the upcoming West Pier and Plaza.
On average the capacity will increase by 5,000 bags per hour, with three new x-ray baggage inspection machines contributing to the capacity increase. The capacity of the automatic early baggage storage has also been increased from 1,500 bags to 2,500.
The automatic early baggage storage identifies each baggage and checks whether its flight is already open for baggage sorting. If the flight the baggage is destined for is not open yet, it will be stored and released at the right time automatically. This makes baggage handling more efficient and enables the intake of baggage into the system well before a flight’s scheduled departure time.
Transfer baggage from one flight to another will also be processed faster, further helping to improve baggage flow, especially during afternoon peak hours.
Another benefit of the new system is remote video coding, which enables unrecognized baggage to be recoded remotely from a desktop using camera technology.
“The increased capacity and the new sorting area will also bring more security and reliability to the system as it will no longer be so dependent on a single sorting area,” added Salminen. “For passengers, this will mean faster and a more secure transfer of their baggage to their destination.”