Calgary

8,000 bags an hour: Tote-based system to double processing capacity, Calgary airport says

A new baggage processing system will double the Calgary airport’s capacity to 8,000 bags per hour, a spokesperson said Thursday at a behind the scenes tour, while slashing energy use by about 60 per cent.

System already used in international terminal expands to domestic, could slash energy bill by 60%

8,000 bags an hour 0:30

A new baggage processing system will double the Calgary airport's capacity to 8,000 bags per hour, a spokesperson said Thursday at a behind the scenes tour, while slashing energy use by about 60 per cent compared to the older conveyor belt system.

"When you check in, your bag is matched with a tote that is like a tray, with an ID and a chip that we can track," said terminal construction director Ivonne Gamboa.

Calgary will be the first airport in Canada to use the technology from the Denmark-based company, which is in use in a few European airports, she said.

Ivonne Gamboa says the new system, expanded to the domestic terminal starting Tuesday, will handle about twice the number of bags per hour. (Audrey Neveu/Radio Canada)

The tote-based system is already in use in the international terminal which opened in October 2016. The domestic expansion cost about $150 million.

Gamboa says the expansion, which goes live for most passengers on Tuesday, is one of 16 projects in an overall package of improvements pegged at about $400 million. WestJet will be added to the system in 2019.

The Calgary airport serves about 17 million passengers each year.

The new tote-based system will allow easier tracking of bags and should speed things up significantly. (Audrey Neveu/Radio Canada)

With files from Radio Canada's Audrey Neveu