For more information, contact Kristi Widmar, Manager of Corporate Communications, 816-448-7379.

Lambert-St. Louis project wins technology award

Automated system to streamline airport's luggage screening


ST. LOUIS — The search for possible explosives on charter and international flights leaving Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will soon get easier. The airport is wrapping up construction of a new, $5 million automated baggage handling system for its East Terminal that will screen checked luggage for explosives directly from the conveyor belt.

Burns & McDonnell, which is serving as engineer and designer for the system, has received a Technology Award for the project from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers for outstanding achievement in the application of HVAC technology.

The two CTX 9000 advanced bomb screening devices the airport is adding work similarly to MRI equipment, explains Burns & McDonnell project manager Gerry Williams.

"As a suitcase moves down the conveyor, the device takes an image of it, which it can slice and rotate to ‘see' the objects inside from any angle," Williams says. If the machine detects anything unusual, it will automatically send an image of the suspicious object to a remote screener for review. If the screener remains suspicious, the suitcase will then be inspected manually.

The new devices, which can each automatically screen 450 suitcases an hour, replace a system that requires workers to manually load all luggage from the conveyor belt into a machine for screening. The system will significantly speed up the baggage screening process and allows Lambert to open new ticket counters for additional charter aircraft flights. The project, which also includes a new baggage carousel building and trace examination building, is scheduled for completion later this spring.

The ASHRAE Technology Award honors the firm's use of innovative techniques and new technologies on the project, including chemical filtration systems and heat recovery devices to create a high performance system with superior indoor air quality, low energy use and reduced life cycle costs.

Burns & McDonnell was responsible for the project management, mechanical systems, electrical systems, civil systems and baggage handling system programming for the project. Other team members included David Mason & Assoc., Belle Engineering and BNP Consultants.

About Burns & McDonnell

Missouri's oldest and largest engineering firm, Burns & McDonnell is a full-service engineering, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm. The company's multi-disciplined staff of more than 2,400 includes engineers, architects, contractors, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and scientists, representing virtually all design disciplines. More than 110 professionals staff the St. Louis office which plans, designs, permits, constructs and manages facilities all over the region with one mission in mind — to make our clients successful.

Back to List