Baggage handling: Zurich Airport relies on new sorting system

Zurich-Kloten Airport (Photo: Flughafen Zürich AG).
Zurich-Kloten Airport (Photo: Flughafen Zürich AG).

Baggage handling: Zurich Airport relies on new sorting system

Zurich-Kloten Airport (Photo: Flughafen Zürich AG).
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Zurich Airport has taken a significant step towards future security and efficiency: a new baggage sorting system is replacing the outdated old system. With the latest technology and an investment of around 450 million Swiss francs, baggage handling will be secured for the next two decades. This is a decisive step forward for the continuous improvement of the infrastructure and compliance with the latest safety regulations.

The modernization of the baggage sorting system at Zurich Airport was urgently required because the old system had reached the end of its life cycle. "Construction projects on such critical infrastructure at our airport have to be implemented during ongoing operations and are accordingly challenging. As with passenger processes, we aim for above-average quality and reliability in every construction project," explains Lydia Naef, Chief Real Estate Officer at Zurich Airport AG.

The new system is technologically state-of-the-art and ensures reliable baggage allocation, which is essential for the smooth running of all flight operations. "With the new technology, Zurich Airport is ensuring that baggage allocation will continue to function reliably in the future. This is essential for the smooth running of all flight operations. The new system also meets the new EU regulations on security checks for checked baggage," explains Stefan Tschudin, Chief Operation Officer of Zurich Airport AG.

Challenges of the transition phase

The switch to the new system, which has been running since November 2023, was a logistical masterpiece. On average, 30.000 pieces of baggage pass through the system every day, and on peak days this figure is up to 50.000. "Since an airport is in operation 365 days a year, it must be ensured at all times that this baggage handling system works. We therefore had to plan extensive replacement solutions in order to keep interruptions to parts of the system as short as possible and not to unduly disrupt flight operations," says Tom Calame, Head of Facilities Operations at Flughafen Zürich AG.

The project is not yet fully completed. In autumn 2024, the old infrastructure in the connecting tunnel towards Dock E and the baggage sorting system in Dock E will be replaced. The complete replacement of the old system will be completed by 2027. At the end of this process, Zurich Airport will have a completely renewed baggage sorting system with around 25 kilometers of conveyor line, 5.500 motors and 5.600 sensors.

Long-term planning and sustainability

The new facility is not only designed for reliability and efficiency, but also for longevity. With a planned operating life of 20 to 25 years, Flughafen Zürich AG is ensuring that the investment of 450 million Swiss francs is well spent. This long-term planning is proof of the airport's sustainable orientation, which continuously invests in the modernization and improvement of its infrastructure.

For passengers, the new baggage sorting system means shorter waiting times and greater reliability in baggage handling. This contributes to an improved travel experience and increases traveler satisfaction. Airlines also benefit from smooth and efficient baggage handling, which optimizes the entire flight operation and minimizes possible delays.

The modernization of the baggage sorting system at Zurich Airport is a crucial step in ensuring the airport's future viability and efficiency. With state-of-the-art technology and extensive investments, the airport is ensuring that it can meet the growing demands of air traffic while meeting the latest safety standards. This is an example of how continuous innovation and investment in infrastructure form the basis for sustainable growth and success in the aviation industry.

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Editor of this article:

René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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Nobody likes paywalls
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Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

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