One of the very first things passengers do when they arrive at airports is have their baggage checked. Airlines then send their baggage to baggage handling facilities. In particular, baggage is handled via the Baggage Handling System (BHS) which systematically sorts and handles passengers’ baggage from check-in to airplane cargo hold.
In this post, we will look into the changing history and operation of Incheon Airport’s world-class BHS by introducing Incheon Airport’s Baggage Management Team!
We are responsible for Incheon Airport’s BHS!
Incheon Airport’s Baggage Management Team is in charge of the airport’s BHS from monitoring to control and operation. Its major task is 24/7 real-time baggage monitoring—from when passengers check their baggage at check-in to when their baggage is transported via the conveyor belt, automatically sorted by the BHS, and quickly and safely loaded onto the airplane cargo hold.
Baggage Management Team comprises 46 staff members under Director Lee Sang-yeong, who supervises Incheon Airport’s baggage operation, Director Park Gwang-seop, who supervises Terminal 1’s boarding operation, and Director Choi Jin-su, who supervises Terminal 2’s boarding operation. There are regular workers in charge of machines, electricity, PLC, IT, services and technical management, and twelve shift workers in charge of 24/7 BOC operation.
As they have on-site duties to control risks, the regular and shift workers of Baggage Management Team work at a terminal near the BHS. Moreover, the organic network of all relevant organizations, including Incheon Airport’s subsidiary in charge of facilities and BHS companies, gives Incheon Airport the pride and esteem to boast having the world’s top level sorting precision and efficiency.
Constantly growing BHS capacity!
Incheon Airport has become a major hub airport in northeast Asia as it continuously develops with the opening of Terminal 1 in March 2001, the extension of Concourse in 2008, and the opening of Terminal 2 in 2018.
Incheon Airport’s baggage handling facilities have also changed in line with the changes of the airport. It is because as the annual capacity of the airport rises, the capacity of processing the baggage handling has to rise as well.
Starting with a 21-km conveyor belt of Terminal 1, Incheon Airport’s BHS have continued to be extended—currently measuring at 141 km following the opening of Terminal 2.
With the groundbreaking ceremony of phase 4 extension, Incheon Airport’s BHS will also be extended with the goal of completion by 2024—expected to measure at 190 km following the extension of Terminal 2.
The length is the same as twice the round trip from Incheon to Seoul. The efficiency of the security search will be enhanced as the baggage of transferring passengers will be handled separately unlike the existing way of handling them with those of departing passengers.
Incheon Airport’s BHS: 53 times larger than a soccer stadium
The BHS play a major role in airport operations, and it is interconnected with various systems, including machines, electricity, communication equipment, and conveyor belts. Did you know that Incheon Airport’s BHS is 53 times larger than a soccer stadium?
With a tag, passengers’ baggage is automatically moved to the loading station of their boarding airplanes. The BHS then scans the barcode and sorts the baggage according to passengers’ destination. Through this BHS procedure, passengers’ baggage goes on a journey as long as tens of kilometers on the conveyor belt before reaching the destination.
Like passengers, baggage undergo security check for dangerous articles (e.g. knife, gun, liquid, explosives) and are moved to airlines’ loading stations once everything is deemed fine. The electronic server and transport line operate in conjunction so that the BHS can operate even if a system failure occurs. Incheon Airport’s BHS is world-class with its independent baggage loading control system to monitor the flow of baggage, including increased loading quantity and abnormal system bugs.