Changi Airport Group Develops Autonomous Outdoor Baggage Handling System

In Singapore, Changi Airport Group (CAG) is collaborating with Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation (Sarcos) to develop an outdoor-based autonomous baggage loading system.

This system will automate the loading and unloading of passenger bags from narrow-bodied aircraft.

Changi Autonomous Baggage
Changi Airport links Singapore to over 120 cities globally, with over 80 airlines operating more than 4,000 weekly flights

As CAG continues to expand, it is struggling to find the required staff, and is thus investing in robotics technology to automate labour-intensive roles in the outdoor apron environment.

Poh Li San, Senior Vice President of Terminal 5 Planning, CAG, said:

“Similar to major airports throughout the world, recruiting enough ground handling personnel to support our growth is a challenge. We have been encouraged by the innovative solution from Sarcos to help address these issues, and we’re excited to explore the next steps towards implementation.”

Initial field demonstrations of the baggage loading system were conducted during September 2022 at Singapore Changi Airport. These trials confirmed the potential for robotics to reduce the risk of workplace injuries from baggage handling, while also strengthening the ground handling labour force in response to staff shortages.

The development and trial of the baggage loading system was partially funded by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) through its Aviation Development Fund (ADF), which supports initiatives to improve productivity in Singapore’s aviation industry.

Kiva Allgood, president and CEO, Sarcos said;

“Changi Airport is an industry visionary and continues to be a key development partner to Sarcos. Deploying robotics to improve workplace safety is core to our mission at Sarcos and this system has the potential to transform airports across the globe by making them safer and reducing passenger delays due to weather-related downtime. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with CAG to augment the workforce of the tarmac with robotics.”

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