Paris Charles de Gaulle’s baggage handling systems from top to tote

Author : Nadine Vennat

A new baggage handling system at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 2E saw the beginning of operations in May 2018. Airport operator Groupe ADP’s project scope was to create an automated sortation system that collected the baggage from the six eastern check-in groups in Terminal 2E for transport to Satellite 3 via a 500-metre tunnel. In an interview for International Airport Review, Nadine Vennat, Groupe ADP Project Manager, explains how the new baggage handling system (BHS) came about.


The CrisBag® System

The project, called TDS3, had two purposes: to reduce departure baggage handling time from 60 to 22 minutes, and to increase the capacity of the automated sortation process in the hub. By automating the process, the bags are no longer collected and manually handled airside before being taken to the aircraft but are transported at high speed in the underground networks.

Nadine Vennat, Groupe ADP Project Manager, explains the need for the new BHS system: “The BHS was considered critical for the development of hub operations of the SKYTEAM Alliance, as it will complete the systems at Paris Charles de Gaulle, including Terminal 2E check-in and eventually transfers from Terminal 2F. The design had to fulfil the demanding operational performance needs required by SKYTEAM, with a short baggage travel time and high level of system availability from day one of operations and through the entire life of the system. To ensure the compliance with end-user requirements, regular meetings were held during the entire design phase with Air France.” 

The implementation works had to ensure the continuity of operations during every phase of construction.

BEUMER Group’s tote-based CrisBag® system was selected by Groupe ADP following a tender process under which potential suppliers could submit a system design and BHS technology of their choice to meet the issued functional and performance requirements. Groupe ADP aims to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment and five per cent of the overall score included in the tender was related to corporate social responsibility criteria. The contract also included maintenance services for six years to enable the evaluation of total costs in a comprehensive and balanced manner over the whole life of the system.

Nadine explains some factors that informed the choice of the BEUMER system: “For Groupe ADP, the main benefit of a tote-based solution is that bags can be transported over long distances at high speed. With the TDS3 system being installed underground and between buildings approximately one kilometre apart, this resulted in substantial savings in baggage transport time.”

The BHS was chosen based on technical and financial criteria. ADP’s global internal expertise was of great benefit as engineers from Groupe ADP and ADP International sat down to share experiences with BEUMER engineers to achieve a modern BHS that would meet the expected KPIs set for the project. “In addition, before the system was commissioned there were a number of sessions between BEUMER and the operators in charge of technical control to ensure that the standardised tools and controls were adjusted to fit the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport environment,” she continues.

Several extensive technical performance and operating tests were carried out over the two months before the commencement of operations. “The first tests were aimed at demonstrating the system flows, capacities and baggage travel times at several critical points,” explains Nadine. “This included the manual encoding stations, EDS line and baggage discharge processes. After that, we tested routing and the fall-back mode, where we forced communication failures between the IT systems, power failures and so on, to ensure that we could cope with every possible scenario that might interrupt operations.

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