Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has signed two service contracts with Vanderlande Industries for the next five years at OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa. The first contract is for the renewal of the existing maintenance contract for the baggage handling systems in the Central Terminal Building. The other contract is for the full operation of these systems. This means a considerable extension of the service activities performed by Vanderlande Industries at the airport in Johannesburg.

According to Mr. Kobus Nel, manager maintenance and engineering of OR Tambo International Airport: “ACSA was very comfortable to appoint Vanderlande Industries because of their excellent maintenance performance in the Central Terminal Building at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg during the past two years. With their team they have been able to contribute to our success during the World Cup in South Africa in ensuring that all soccer fans got their baggage in time with no problems.”

As well as the maintenance tasks, Vanderlande Industries will also carry out all the baggage handling operations in the terminal, from check-in right through to flight make-up, including control room operations. Over 40 maintenance and operations professionals have been added to the Vanderlande Industries’ organisation in South Africa in preparation for the new challenges.

According to Ms. Nina Malherbe, head of department baggage operations of OR Tambo International Airport: “The open and proactive attitude of the Vanderlande Industries professionals with a focus on continuous improvement is exactly what we need to achieve our operational targets, and improve efficiencies during the coming years. This was a crucial factor for us in awarding the operations activities for the Central Terminal Building to Vanderlande Industries. We are happy to note that the recent transition to Vanderlande Industries went smoothly, and we are looking forward to a long-lasting business partnership.”

The extension of the contract by the additional services fits the strategy of Vanderlande Industries to be involved more closely in supporting its customers’ business and continuously improving the competitiveness of its customers’ logistics processes.

For airports, large events like the Olympic Games and the Soccer World Cup mean that they have to contend with high and unpredictable peaks in passenger numbers during very short periods. It is therefore important that both baggage handling systems and staff are well prepared to contribute to the success of such events, to the benefit of both the airport and the hosting country.

Vanderlande Industries in South Africa has proved to be capable of doing this to a high standard. They advised the customer in balancing the capacity of several airports, made sure that extra professionals were available and that all remote support was at the highest level of standby. Furthermore, additional inspections took place to ensure the highest reliability of the performance of the systems. From an operations point of view, additional training programmes for ground personnel were organised and sufficient temporary storage space allocated to meet the high peak demands at check-in.

The World Cup in South Africa is part of Vanderlande Industries’ comprehensive track record of projects for large events. The company already possesses extensive experience in preparing airports for large events: both in getting the baggage handling system ready in time and in providing operations, maintenance and consulting services.

Vanderlande Industries supplied the complete baggage handling systems for the airports of Kharkov (Ukraine) and Wroclaw (Poland), two of the host cities for the UEFA EURO 2012 soccer games. For Kiev, the city where the finals of the soccer games will be held, the baggage handling system will be installed in 2011, well ahead of time. Vanderlande is also providing the baggage handling system as well as maintenance for Sochi where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held. The experience in handling baggage peaks during large events is not limited to the continents of Europe and Africa – Vanderlande was also involved in preparing Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.