Rotterdam launches FLEET

05 November 2018
RTHA in the Netherlands is the first to go live with FLEET. Source: Vanderlande

The FLEET autonomous solution from Vanderlande has begun live operations in the baggage hall at Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA) in the Netherlands.

Jane’s understands that the first FLEET system in the United States will be operational in early 2019 at an undisclosed airport; and soon afterwards Vanderlande will begin installation and commissioning of the system at Lelystad Airport in the Netherlands. Discussions are under way with other airport operators worldwide.

Six FLEET units are being used in a three-month test period at RTHA. Baggage-handling service provider Aviapartner is also involved in the joint innovation programme.

“Extension of the FLEET system [at RTHA] with more vehicles has not been planned yet,” said FLEET general manager Koen Evers. “However, due to the scalable and flexible nature of FLEET, any future need for higher capacity or other system changes can easily be facilitated.”

Vanderlande and RTHA signed a letter of intent on 20 March 2018 to deploy FLEET. The six units are used by Aviapartner in the baggage hall at RTHA. Aviapartner expects to benefit from increased operational efficiency, and its staff would also enjoy a less physically intensive workload during flight make-up.

Vanderlande is “confident that FLEET is ready for an operational environment”, said Executive Vice-President Airports and member of the board Andrew Manship “With FLEET, we’re also rethinking how to deliver true value and flexibility. As part of this joint innovation we’re discussing exactly how the future delivery of this ‘as a service’ new business model for the airport could be.”

FLEET includes intelligent autonomous vehicle technology that replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorters in the baggage hall. Each individual vehicle carries a single bag and determines the most optimal route through an airport. Specific vehicles can be assigned priority status for on-time delivery.

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