CVG to overhaul baggage system with new technology

Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton is a reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is revamping its baggage handling system after it was deemed obsolete and highly inefficient.

CVG entered into an agreement with Germany-based Beumer Corporation at last week’s Kenton County Airport Board meeting. Beumer is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new system. In total, the CVG is set to spend approximately $137 million on the project.

Beumer is known for their Independent Carrier System. In this system, a bag is loaded into a carrier, and it then travels in the carrier from check to its final destination. Upon arrival, the bag is discharged to the makeup area on a chute or carousel. The empty carrier is then sent back to a loading area near check-in.

Bags of all shapes and sizes can be fit into the uniform carriers. This way, there is no longer a need for airport workers to clear bag jams caused by baggage straps and unfavorable baggage shapes, according to the Buemer website.

The project is part of a broader, multi-year terminal modernization project called Elevate CVG. It includes refreshing the main Terminal’s Welcome Point, the primary welcome area for offboarding passengers, and installing new exit lane security technology designed to boost security and streamline passenger flow.

“The new baggage handling system is part of a lager facility modernization program, we’re calling Elevate CVG,” CVG spokesperson Mindy Kershner said in a statement to LINK nky. “The new system will enhance operational efficiency and bag processing time and is happening along with the exit lane technology installation and additional projects over the coming years.”

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CVG’s current baggage system has reached the end of its life span, according to airport officials. In the official draft motion, the current system was described as a “large consumer of energy” that requires daily maintenance. Additionally, it routinely experiences jams, outages and other interruptions.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, currently inspects baggage in the Concourse B basement. All bags checked at ticketing level to travel 2,000 feet before reaching the TSA’s baggage scanning machines. CVG’s officials described the process as tedious and time-consuming.

The project’s funding is coming from the airport’s capital budget, general airport revenue bonds and passenger facility charges, Kirshner said.

Regarding a timeline, the project’s construction phase is set to kick off in July 2024 and conclude in July 2027, according to the draft motion.

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