Schiphol is testing a new robot that can lift suitcases and thus make the work of staff easier. A robot is also being tested that can push suitcases aside to the baggage carousel. The airport also wants to test a number of other lifting aids and fully automated systems.
The situation with regard to baggage handling at Schiphol has been a topic of discussion for some time. The Labor Inspectorate announced in March that the companies responsible for luggage at the airport had to start deploying resources immediately.
According to the Labor Inspectorate, the companies did not do enough to limit the physical strain on employees. The Inspectorate required that baggage handling be fully automated or mechanized within two years.
Schiphol then stated that that goal was ambitious, but said it would “make every effort” to automate baggage handling “as soon as possible”. The new tests are a result of that.
The lifting robot is being tested in collaboration with handling agent Aviapartner. The robot was originally used in other companies, such as bakeries, but has been further developed for use at an airport. Schiphol expects the robot to be able to lift at least 80 percent of the suitcases, but is aiming for 90 percent.
Another sliding robot is now being tested at KLM. This is intended to slide suitcases further into the aircraft from the baggage carousel. As a result, less lifting is required.