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Avinor forms ‘innovation partnership’ with Vanderlande


Vanderlande and Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, have formed an ‘innovation partnership’ to explore ways of fully automating the last mile of the baggage handling process.

Vanderlande will supply two innovative solutions – BAGLOAD for integrated robot loading and FLEET Batch for the transportation of ULDs – which will be trialled at Oslo Airport.

The ultimate goal of this partnership, they say, is to “enhance the efficiency and reliability of baggage handling, benefiting the airport industry as a whole”.

Avinor has received €1.3 million in funding from Innovation Norway for the projects.

The airport operator chose Vanderlande, which supplied the gateway with its baggage handling system, as its technology partner through a tender process, and the newly formed partnership runs from August 2023 to November 2024.

The goal of the IP is to automate a part of the baggage handling process that has remained unaltered for more than 50 years.

According to Avinor, the unloading of luggage from the BHS on to containers bound for aircraft is currently a labour intensive and expensive operation, which accounts for about 50% of costs related to baggage during the last-mile of the ground handling process.

The first phases of the IP will take place at Vanderlande’s testing facilities in Veghel, The Netherlands, and involves further developing and prototyping the technologies according to the project brief.

From September 2024, the two products will be subject to a three-month trial at Oslo Airport, where Avinor has built a dedicated project test centre. This facility is connected to the BHS, so assessments will be undertaken in a truly “live” environment.

“The main objective of our IP is to increase the efficiency of the baggage handling process while removing repetitive heavy lifting duties currently undertaken by baggage handlers,” says Avinor’s director of technology and infrastructure, Ole Petter Storstad.

“We’re excited to work with Vanderlande, whose current level of technology provides us with confidence that a viable solution can be developed and rolled out across the entire industry.”

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