Leading aviation industry experts have participated in a workshop called ‘Baggage as a Service’, initiated by Vanderlande. Representatives of European Airports, ACI, IATA, SITA, Schiphol Group and Delft Technical University, airlines and handling companies, gathered to discuss the future of the industry. The event was held on 8 and 9 June 2016 at the Steigenberger Airport Hotel and the historic traffic control tower at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Netherlands.

As air transport is predicted to double in the next few decades, the continued growth of the aviation industry presents large-scale challenges in developing the necessary infrastructure. "Europe in particular will witness a scarcity in runway capacity as airports look to accommodate the increase in passenger, baggage and freight volumes," says Ad Rutten, former COO Schiphol. "This means that European sites must be proactive in outlining an appropriate strategy on innovation."

In anticipation of these developments, Vanderlande worked closely with the PASSME project, and under the guidance of ACI-Europe, to define a programme that will help to develop a strategic baggage innovation agenda. The objective of the ‘Baggage as a Service’ workshop was to identify solutions that extend beyond existing optimisation projects, that are passenger-oriented and create innovative business models.

The two-day event focused on three key areas:

  • The development of baggage airport infrastructure (internal and external)
  • The development of necessary IT support
  • The assessment of future passenger demands and the role of social media

The workshop followed a ‘backcasting’ process, which is used to identify the actions necessary to achieve a certain future goal. Leading specialists were also invited to outline the current scenario and delivered thought-provoking speeches to attendees. The action plan and overall results from the workshop will be announced in August 2016.

"We were delighted to see so many representatives from the aviation industry coming together to discuss this common objective," says Vanderlande’s CEO Govert Hamers. "The workshop has been a fantastic first step in addressing the challenges of our industry, and we’re looking forward to progressing the results of the two-day programme over the coming months." ACI Europe, represented by Federico Bonaudi, stated that ACI is very much prepared to carry forward the results in a dedicated task force as a part of their Facilitation and Passenger Service Committee.