ON DECEMBER 7, 2009, Vanderlande Industries and IBM signed a contract for a new baggage handling system at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The new baggage handling system, known as The Backbone, is part of the airport’s 70 MB programme to increase capacity to 70 million bags in the future. Vanderlande has announced that its share of the contract is worth €84 million (US$124m).
The Backbone is designed to provide a more flexible sorting system enabling transfer luggage to move quickly between all of the airport’s baggage handling areas. Vanderlande says it will create more back-up capacity, reducing the likelihood of disruptions to the baggage-handling process in the event of a system failure. Work is scheduled to start in March 2010, and is expected to last until mid-2013.
The construction of the Backbone constitutes a key step in Schiphol’s 70 MB programme, which will require the airport to invest approximately €800 million in expanding baggage-handling system capacity while improving its quality and reliability. The 70 MB programme is currently the Schiphol’s largest investment programme and is being developed in close co-operation with KLM.
Michiel Peters, President & CEO Vanderlande Industries said: “This order not only physically connects all of Schiphol’s handling areas, but also integrates the entire airport’s baggage system control software. As such it is an important part of the airport’s strategic 70MB programme to create an efficient, reliable and fast baggage handling process. It will support Schiphol to become ´the preferred airport in Europe´ and to maintain its mainport function.”