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New baggage facility for Jersey Airport

Jersey Airport BaggageA new £3.6m Hold Baggage System (HBS) has been built at Jersey Airport in order to replace the old facility. Construction began in November 2010 and was completed in June 2011.

David Mason from Capita Symonds, who delivered the project, reported that work had gone smoothly.

The airport witnesses 62,000 aircraft movements and 1.46 million passengers annually, so the speed and reliability of the baggage system is essential. The previous system was built in 1997 as part of the development of the departures terminal but eventually reached the end of its working life, and was beyond economic repair. The situation was further exacerbated by the difficulty and expenses involved in sourcing spares in the event of a mechanical breakdown. Three x-ray machines in the sorting area have also been upgraded to meet new regulatory requirements.

The HBS is an automated mechanical system that carries checked-in baggage through a screening and sorting process before it is loaded onboard an aircraft. Although the process is not visible to the public, it is a vital element of air travel today and fulfils security regulations that require all baggage and cargo to be x-ray screened.

The upgraded system will reduce the chance of airport bottleneck, as queues will be shortened by the more effective system. Bottlenecks can be caused at airports by conveyors moving at the wrong speed or check-in staff loading luggage incorrectly.

A design team created a two-carousel system, with a built in system and structured technical marking. This was then sent out to tender, and was eventually awarded to Geo Robson & Co.

In order to supply the airport with 3 x-ray machines, Baggage Conveyors, two 25m Carousels and a Vertical Sorter and Plough Diverter, a stream of 25 40ft wagons transported the conveyors from the Robson factory in Darnall, Sheffield to the airport in Jersey. All of the machinery arrived on time, which allowed the project to progress smoothly.

Ian Davies, Robson’s airport project manager said: “With the extra anti-terrorism security measures that have been implemented by the airport authorities, Robson’s integrated hold baggage screening systems have proved successful in providing systems that allow fast scanning with minimal delay for passengers.”

In 2011, Robson secured the overall Sheffield Chamber of Commerce & Industry Outstanding Business of the Year Award, also winning: The Kennedy’s Business Person of the Year Award, The Wake Smith Excellence in Manufacturing Award and The Irwin Mitchell Excellence in Customer Service Award.

The new system was built in two halves; work on the left side took place whilst the right side was still operating, so measures had to be taken to make sure that construction was separated from the operational.

Capita Symonds is one of the UK’s largest multifaceted consultancies, delivering property and infrastructure projects on a local, national and international scale. To date, they have delivered over £60m worth of infrastructure and fit-out projects at Jersey Airport including: resurfacing and strengthening the runway and aprons, fit-out of the departures retail area, replacement of the hold baggage system and building extension works. All these developments have been completed whilst the airport has remained fully operational.

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