Halifax Stanfield Makes Airport History

Halifax Self Serve Bag DropHalifax Stanfield International Airport is the first airport in North America to offer self-serve baggage drop for all passengers.

“This new, fully automated, self-serve baggage drop system uses the latest technology to simplify the check-in process for airline passengers,” says Joyce Carter, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) President and CEO. “With airline customer service agents available to assist passengers if necessary, this improved level of service speeds up the check-in process and makes it possible for passengers to avoid line ups at counters.”

HIAA says it worked closely with its airline partners to develop this new passenger processing model.

“Air Canada has been a partner in the development of the new check-in process in Halifax and we are pleased with the outcome,” says Nick Careen, VP Airports, Call Centres and Customer Relations.  “We have seen reduced queuing for our passengers and an improved customer experience.  We are also very pleased with the upgrades to our Business Class Check-in area where we offer our traditional service.”

Similar self-serve processes have been in use by some airlines in airports in other areas of the world.  “We saw this as an opportunity to be an industry leader, offering an enhanced, time-saving service to our passengers,” said Ms Carter.

“We welcome any airport improvements that enrich the travel experience for our guests,” said Jon Quinton, Station Manager for WestJet in Halifax.  “This new system helps travellers move through the check-in process more quickly, and frees up our team members to get out from behind the counters and assist those guests who need a little extra attention.”

The new baggage drop system was part of a larger project that saw modernization of the baggage handling and screening equipment and renovations to the terminal building, to upgrade and expand both the domestic/international and U.S. preclearance check-in halls.

The new baggage handling system, which integrates with the new self-serve baggage drops, was supplied by Buemer Group through a competitive tendering process.

“We worked collaboratively with our baggage system contractor, Buemer Group, and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to install this new state-of-the-art system to handle all baggage processed at Halifax Stanfield,” commented Michael Healy, HIAA Vice President Infrastructure and Commercial Development.  “With increased capacity, enhanced safety and security, and improved efficiency, this system will serve us well for years to come.”

Both the domestic/international and US preclearance check-in halls have been renovated to create more room for passenger flow, new equipment and processes, and future growth.

At the domestic/international check-in end of the terminal building (south end), a contemporary look for the building exterior has altered the airport landscape.  The two story glass façade brings natural light into the space with architecture that is consistent with the rest of the terminal.

All of these improvements are part of HIAA’s ten-year capital plan.  “As a key driver in regional economic growth, it’s vital to ensure Halifax Stanfield continues to meet the needs of our current and future passengers and visitors and adapts to the long-term requirements of our airline partners,” Ms Carter added.  “We’re proud to bring these industry-leading processes to Halifax Stanfield and believe they are a testament to our customer service commitment.”