As London Stansted marks two years since the start of its multi-million-pound transformation project, one of its most complex and important projects is progressing at pace behind the scenes.
Stansted is investing £59 million in a brand-new baggage delivery system, updating the huge network of conveyor belts, lifts and chutes underneath the main terminal which transports up to 30,000 bags every day.
The work is designed to coincide with the improvements to the airport’s check-in areas as part of the on-going transformation project, and the installation of new hi-tech ‘Standard 3’ baggage scanners which are required under new EU regulations.
The first phase of the project involved carefully constructing new chutes and track in and around the current layout of conveyer belts so the airport could remain fully operational and continue to process the thousands of bags it handles every day.
When the automated system is fully installed in two years’ time, special baggage carts will speed luggage around the network at 18 kilometres per hour.
It will take about six minutes for each bag to travel from check-in to being ready to load onto an aircraft.
John Farrow, change director for the Stansted Transformation Project, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to reach the first major milestone in the hold baggage system project.
“While passengers simply hand their baggage in at check-in for their journey, below the terminal is a highly automated and complex system that seamlessly and safely ensures the right bag reaches the right flight.
“Over the next couple of years, the whole landscape of the baggage hall will change as we remodel the layout with the new fast-track system which will span the full length of the terminal.
“The new system will future proof the airport for years to come giving us flexibility to allow us to accommodate new airlines and prepare us for the next phase of our terminal redevelopment work.”