Royal Schiphol Group, nlmtd and Future Travel Experience unveil BOOST: a global coalition for accelerating baggage innovation


Pictured during the launch of BOOST at FTE EMEA 2024 in Dublin are: Darin Juby, Head of Baggage Transformation, Future Travel Experience; Keum Am Park, Deputy Manager, Professional Engineer, Incheon International Airport Corporation; Dennis van Kleef, Programme Lead Baggage, Royal Schiphol Group; Wopke Dost, Programme Management Lead, nlmtd; Idar Sorgjerd, Department Manager, BHS, Tech & Op. Excellence, Avinor; and Dongmin Lim, Senior Manager BHS Engineering & Renovation, Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC).

Royal Schiphol Group, an Airport Lab Network Partner of the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group (BIWG), and innovation consultancy firm nlmtd, are proud to announce the launch of BOOST, a groundbreaking initiative designed to transform the future of baggage handling through robotics and automation. The initiative was unveiled during the FTE EMEA event in Dublin this week and aims to bring together a global coalition of airports to drive baggage innovation collaboratively.

BOOST, developed in partnership with Future Travel Experience (FTE) via the Baggage Innovation Working Group (BIWG), aims to eliminate physical strain and improve working conditions for baggage workers by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies. This initiative will leverage the collective innovation power of multiple airports, focusing on hands-on execution and rapid implementation of new technologies in the baggage journey.

Inception and vision

During FTE EMEA 2024 in Dublin, Wopke Dost, Programme Management Lead, nlmtd, delivered a presentation on the inception and vision of BOOST.

The concept for BOOST originated during the BIWG meeting in Los Angeles in September 2023, alongside the FTE Global event. Schiphol called for collaboration, resulting in the formation of a “coalition of the willing.” The initiative has since been shaped by a diverse group of airports, ensuring its relevance and backing.

“BOOST envisions airports worldwide joining forces to innovate baggage automation,” commented Dennis van Kleef, Programme Lead Baggage, Royal Schiphol Group. “Our goal is to eliminate physical strain and transform working conditions for baggage workers. By executing pilots within a collective of airports, we aim to minimise risks, optimise costs, and achieve rapid technology implementation for all involved parties.”

Core Partners and Challenges

Investigating the most effective automated loading solutions, Schiphol is currently operating six cobots to load carts and is working on enhancing this technology.

BOOST will commence with three core airport partners: Schiphol, Avinor, and Incheon – all members of the BIWG. Each partner will tackle a specific technical challenge in automating the baggage process:

  • Schiphol: Investigating the most effective automated loading solutions, Schiphol is currently operating six cobots to load carts and is working on enhancing this technology. While further developing their current loading solution, they are also introducing the Eltonomous as an alternative robotic loading solution for comparison.
  • Incheon: Demonstrating odd-sized baggage handling concept by utilizing Doosan Robotics to automate the handling of irregularly sized and heavy baggage, classifying and transporting to each terminal building. This will alleviate the workload for baggage handlers and enhance operational efficiency.
  • Avinor: Optimising the batch release and driver assignment system. Avinor is introducing a digital planning solution with a BHS batch build concept, and load cells from Beumer to improve efficiency, reduce manual actions, and increase handling speed.

Innovative Collaboration

Each core member will work on a unique technical challenge, conducting on-site PoCs to test robotics and other technologies. Information and insights from these PoCs will be shared with the other core partners, and the wider BIWG community on a regular basis, allowing all to benefit from multiple tests without having to execute them independently. This collaborative approach aims to speed up the innovation process across all participating airports.

Looking Forward

BOOST represents a significant step forward in baggage handling innovation. As pilots progress, learnings and outcomes will be shared amongst all members, fostering a continuous exchange of knowledge and advancements within the ecosystem.

Learn more about the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group >>

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