German regional airport Paderborn-Lippstadt has upgraded its baggage system. Tom Allett reports.
Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport serves the North Rhine-Westphalia region of western Germany.
Its terminal building benefitted from several months of upgrade work (see Airports International December 2010) last year and, driven by a three-part action plan focusing on infrastructure, investment and airline facilities, its development continues in several areas.
Its baggage handling system is amongst the recent improvements. For several years its baggage set-up comprised three different sections. It had evolved that way because the airport’s previous management team had preferred to keep costs down by purchasing second-hand equipment. Today’s team has different priorities. In November 2009 it took the decision to purchase a modern system and, after a six-week tender process, Vanderlander won the contract.
Airport CEO Elmar Kleinert told Airports International that now, the baggage set-up has been completely redeveloped at a cost of €1.2 million (US$1.5m). “Before [redevelopment] it was made up of separate parts, but everything is now integrated into a single common system that is much more efficient. Previously we had a theoretical system capacity of about 700 bags per hour but now that is up to 1,000. However, the most important thing is that the whole process is much easier for the passengers and about 10-15% quicker. On average a passenger travelling alone on one sector with one bag will take approximately one minute to complete the check-in process,” he explained.
The construction work took place between May and September 2010 and a maintenance contract is already in place that has about three more years to run. The airport’s own staff are carrying out most of the routine maintenance work and the contract with Vanderlander determines that the baggage system will receive a basic inspection every two years. However, Vanderlander’s specialists are on call 24/7 should any problems arise.
The airport’s outsize bag/cargo capabilities have also been enhanced. For large items of luggage – perhaps pieces of sporting equipment – a new outsize bag scanner has been introduced inside the terminal building, adjacent to the main check-in area. For cargo
purposes, out of passengers’ sight, within the basement, is an X-ray screening machine that can handle EURO pallet size items (of about 31.5 × 47.25in/1,200 – 1,800mm). All the airport’s current screening equipment has been supplied by Smiths Heimann.
Mr Kleinert says that the overall system’s theoretical life span is approximately 15 to 20 years.