Baggage Handling System Automation

Baggage Handling System Automation

Location: St. Louis

Client: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

This project involved the renovation of the existing baggage handling system in the East Terminal of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, including a fully automated baggage screening system, new baggage carousel and new trace examination building.

Burns & McDonnell was responsible for the project management, mechanical systems, electrical systems, civil systems and baggage handling system programming. The project consisted of the removal of the existing explosive detection system (EDS) and explosive trace detection (ETD) baggage screening equipment from the ticketing lobby and the reactivation of ticketing positions that had been removed to accommodate manually loaded baggage screening equipment.

The project included designing two new buildings adjacent to the existing terminal building to house the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) trace detection/ETD process and a new baggage carousel for the tugs to pick up cleared luggage for delivery to aircraft. An existing apron-level space that housed the old luggage carousel was renovated to house two new CTX 9000 machines used by the TSA. Additionally, a remote Level II screening room was designed for TSA to monitor suspicious items detected by the CTX 9000 equipment. An existing storage room was renovated to include an elevator for oversized items, a break room that doubled as a conference/briefing room, toilets and lockers for TSA personnel.

Advanced 3D computer modeling software was used by Burns & McDonnell to model the baggage handling system in the conceptual phase to assist in design and in communicating the design intent to the users and other affected parties. The airport stripping plan was analyzed to comply with the new building structures. One jet bridge was modified with a jet bridge extension to accommodate the new carousel building. An advanced trace room was designed to assist TSA personnel in manually screening suspicious or randomly selected bags.

Inspection stations for up to eight TSA personnel were included with the conveyor system arrangement to minimize worker movement and maximize efficiency. Included features: rubberized flooring, translucent wall panels to allow day lighting without compromising security, blast panels, and a maximum of 8 feet of carry distance for bags. The carousel building was designed to accommodate tug traffic all sides of the oval conveyor, doubling the existing tug capacity and increasing speed and flexibility of the system.