Baggage Handling Systems at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

With a capacity of 3,800 bags per hour, our baggage handling system helps keep passengers and goods flowing through one of Canada’s busiest airports.

Over the years, we received numerous mandates from Aéroports de Montréal to improve, upgrade or expand the baggage handling systems (BHS) at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. The airport’s renewed trust in us is a testament to our ability to engineer and manage complex BHS projects in operational environments. Two of our most important featured projects are presented below.

Explosives detection system for the Domestic and International terminals

This mandate was for the replacement of the explosives detection system (EDS) within the existing baggage hall to serve a fully operational airport terminal.

Our team designed a new BHS, including a three-level EDS, to convey luggage from existing check-in counters and distribute bags to the domestic and international terminal sorters.

In order to prevent interruptions to airport operations, the project was planned in 21 phases over two years.

Covering 40,000 square metres, the final BHS system includes 5 kilometres of conveyors, 140 check-in counters, a Tilt-Tray sorter with 212 trays, and 6 high-flow computed tomography scanners. Several new technologies and logic controls were introduced into the system.

Our responsibilities included the conceptual study, mechanical and control specifications, BHS planning, drawings and schematics, cost estimates and supervision of the comprehensive installation and functionalities quality control. We were also in charge of supervising the system automation, programming and integrating the human-machine interface.

The main challenge of this project was to implement a large-scale project, all the while limiting the impact on airport activity. To do so, we worked closely with the airport authority to produce a detailed work phasing plan.

BHS for the new U.S. Transborder Terminal

When a new terminal was added to the airport for departures to the United States, a whole new state-of-the-art BHS was required. We developed and implemented the world’s first fully automated baggage pre-clearance process featuring a bag recall system based on the destination coded vehicle technology (105 carts), 10 vertical transport units, a 467 individual spaces baggage storage (individual bag recall), and a full baggage and passenger tracking system with in-line baggage photography, weight and X-Ray results, and a baggage reconciliation system.

On this project, our role covered the mechanical, electrical, automation and IT engineering as well as project management and construction supervision. We also provided technical support for the automated recall system for the first few months of operation. To ensure compliance with security requirements, we regularly consulted with Canadian and American government agencies, including CATSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Our solution for the U.S transborder terminal earned us the 2010 Léonard Award, Transportation Infrastructure Category, from the Quebec Consulting Engineers Association.