Amsterdam Airport luggage arrives on time
With the support of the European Investment Bank, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of Europe's top transfer airports, has entered into a new phase of its ambitious project to extend luggage handling capacity while improving processing time and quality - a project that was started some years ago. This new phase is expected to be finished in 2013.
At Schiphol, where hundreds of thousands of people change planes each day, more than 40 million pieces of luggage are handled per year and almost half of all suitcases and bags are transfer luggage. It is a well-known fact that international flights or flights with connections are more likely to see luggage delays. This and the expected growth in the medium term from less than 40 million to 60 million passengers passing through Schiphol have made the airport embark on the 70MB project - a sophisticated investment project to extend luggage handling capacity to 70 million bags (70MB) per year.
The European Investment Bank is supporting the investment with a EUR 350 million 20-year loan. Peter Verboom, Member of the Management Board and CFO of Schiphol Group: "This finance agreement with the EIB is advantageous and important in the light of ongoing large infrastructure investment at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Having the best and most innovative baggage systems in the airport sector will contribute enormously to strengthen our Mainport function".
The EIB's loan will be used for a modern electromechanical luggage system that replaces diesel baggage vehicle, with clear environmental benefits. New technologies will make this a smart system. Baggage flows will be handled much as road traffic is increasingly being organised today: with hard shoulders and parking areas - buffers - and separate lanes for fast or urgent traffic and slow traffic - like lorries in the slow lane on the motorway. Traffic lights regulate the flow of cars, while baggage flows are separated and combined on the basis of the needs of the moment.
For Amsterdam airport the bottom-line, of course, is to improve passenger service. For the EIB, as the bank of the European Union, what counts is that the investment improves an important link within Europe's aviation network and with the rest of the world. But at the EIB we too are always happy to see our luggage arrive on time.