A Strategic Approach to Planning Baggage Systems

At a minimum estimated cost to airports of US$150 per bag, lost baggage remains problematic for both airports and the airline industry. Costs per bag, coupled with greater visibility of baggage systems due to federal screening mandates, present challenges and headaches for baggage system managers. Through the planning of an efficient, more robust baggage system within a structured approach -- as found at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport -- the author presents a possible solution. The article describes a step-by-step process airports might adopt in redesigning their own baggage systems, based on the Seattle-Tacoma design. Key aspects include gaining a solid understanding of peak hour baggage flow and its separation by market sector; developing an initial conception of the baggage system that can be tested with dynamic design simulation that provides system performance metrics (e.g., wait times, queue length, overflow conditions, number of bags missing flights) and adjustments as needed; Using system emulation that tests and verifies software control logic prior to the installation of baggage system equipment. The author notes that while technological innovation is an important strategic element in baggage system development, trade-offs are inevitable because of the variety of stakeholder opinions involved. Important trade-off considerations for stakeholders would include functionality, initial capital outlay, performance, system resilience, lifetime costs, operational safety, and dedicated operations space.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052283
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2007 7:02AM