Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is working with baggage handling companies to test two new technologies that could help improve the work of employees in the baggage handling hall.

One of these trials is testing the use of a robot to lift suitcases, rather than baggage workers having to do so.

This involves Aviapartner employees working alongside a lifting robot that has been specifically developed for Schiphol Airport.

The airport expects the robot to be able to lift at least 80% of all baggage without issues during the initial 2-week trial. It is then hoped that this figure would increase to 90% of all baggage in the long run.

Schiphol tests new technology to lighten physical work in baggage handling hall
Schiphol tests new technology to lighten physical work in baggage handling hall

In addition, a lifting aid that pushes suitcases onto the baggage belt is also being trialled by KLM employees in the baggage handling hall.

This system works with a new transfer belt for unloading transfer passenger baggage, for which no lifting aid is currently available.

The equipment is placed between the baggage container and the baggage belt, so employees only need to push the baggage aside for it to be unloaded. This system therefore significantly reduces physical labour demands.

In the near future, employees of the other handlers at Schiphol will also test this lifting aid.

Ultimately, the airport plans for every work location to have a functioning lifting aid that can be used by all employees within the year.

Sybren Hahn, Director Asset Management at Royal Schiphol Group said:

Work in the baggage handling hall and on the apron is crucial in enabling all travellers to go on their journeys. We want everyone at Schiphol to have a good workplace and therefore want to use technology to improve working conditions. In the coming period, we will test at least five more lifting aids and several fully automated solutions, some of which are new in aviation.

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