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NEWS Last modified on November 5, 2018

Rotterdam trials mark milestone day for airport baggage handling

Rotterdam The Hague Airport has begun testing Vanderlande's FLEET baggage handling solution, which uses intelligent autonomous vehicles to transport individual items of luggage instead of traditional belts and conveyors.

The three month trial will be conducted in co-operation with airport ground handler, Aviapartner.

Vanderlande says the trial is aims to improve the baggage handling process at the airport through the use of intelligent autonomous vehicle technology.

FLEET is a flexible, end-to-end solution that replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorters. Each individual vehicle carries a single bag and determines the most optimal route through an airport.

The trial is a major milestone for Vanderlande, which says that it will be able to validate FLEET’s reliability in a live, real-world environment and make this solution an essential part of daily activities within an airport.
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Sustainability will also be prominent during this period. For example, the energy used by FLEET vehicles is initially generated by solar panels, helping to create a zero-emissions baggage handling solution at Rotterdam airport.

Their design also means that the vehicles can easily be recycled, contributing to a circular economy.

“We have been very much looking forward to this moment and are confident that FLEET is ready for an operational environment,” says Vanderlande’s executive vice president airports, Andrew Manship.

“The programme is a tremendous example of how Vanderlande and its partners can bring cutting-edge innovations to life in a situation where high performance, efficiency and reliability are essential.

“However, it’s not just the technology involved that is important to Vanderlande. With FLEET, we’re also rethinking how to deliver true value and flexibility.
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"As part of this joint innovation we’re discussing exactly how the future delivery of this ‘as a service’ new business model for the airport could be."

Rotterdam The Hague Airport director, Ron Louwerse, enthuses: “We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. By having FLEET commence live operations, we are taking a major step forward and are confident of realising a number of operational benefits.

"This will help contribute to the airport's sustainability ambitions in terms of energy usage and will also align with our vision to be more than just an airport, but also a hub for innovation and education.”

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