Overview of Changi Airport’s baggage handling systems across its 4 terminals
With traffic characteristics changing over the years, additional data was needed for more accurate prediction and analysis of BHS performance, which impacts issues such as the Minimum Connecting Time required for passengers to transfer between airlines. An integrated tool to analyse system capability and capacity would enable the BHS team to simulate and study different operating modes to handle future traffic demand and changing parameters, to optimise equipment and manpower productivity.
CAG and BNP poured in hard work over 13 months to develop a tool to meet this need, as the software had to be validated using historical data, to achieve 99% accuracy. Aptly named ‘Changi BEST’ (Changi Baggage Expert Simulation Tool), this software integrated all the current baggage handling systems and the different technologies used in each terminal into a single comprehensive operational planning tool. The data generated would enable the CAG BHS team to better understand how changes such as air carrier movement, schedule changes, or temporary system maintenance outages will impact each terminal’s baggage system’s operations.
Despite lower traffic volume during this period and unseen to passengers after they say goodbye to their bags at check-in, the ‘Changi BEST’ system was immediately put to test once it was commissioned, to plan a major air carrier’s relocation from one terminal to another. Initially, the air carrier had concerns about the capability of the BHS to accommodate its move. Using ‘Changi BEST’, the team generated information to assure the air carrier’s Senior Management that the airport could fully support their move, without any detrimental impact to the air carrier’s strict baggage connection time requirements.