Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (left) and YLW director Sam Samaddar launch the first bag on the airport’s new $39 million state-of-the-art outbound baggage system Wednesday.—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

Getting your bags from check-in to the plane at Kelowna International Airport now takes less time than it does to scan your passport and issue you a boarding pass.

YLW officials showed off the airport’s new $39 million outbound baggage system Wednesday, a system that can whisk your bags through a series of state-of-the-art security screening measures and x-rays in just 80 seconds and handle as many as 900 bags an hour. The old system could only handle 450 bags an hour.

“This new technology lends itself to harmonize with screening systems across North America,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, in opening the system by sending the ceremonial first bag down the conveyor belt at one of the airport’s newly renovated check counters in the terminal.

“It’s a step in the right direction and helps transition our airport from the small airport it was, into a modern, mid-sized airport.”

The new baggage system includes two separate baggage lines that can be combined and provides both redundancy and the ability to expand to as many as 1,400 bags per hour. It was installed as part of a 25-month project that also saw 50 per cent of the existing airport terminal building at YLW either expanded or renovated.

According to airport director Sam Samaddar, the installation of the new baggage handling system came in $1 million under budget and was completed eight months ahead of schedule.

The system, which is highly automated, scans bags at three different levels using the latest x-ray technology, as well as sensors that alert staff if human screening is needed or if bags are suspect and need to be removed from the system and taken to a secure area of the airport property for further investigation. The last part will be handled by robotic carts in the near future.

The new system and the terminal renovations are just the latest in a long line of multi-million dollar projects to expand and improve Kelowna’s airport, which continues to post stunning growth in the number of passengers flying in and out of it.

According to Samaddar, this year the airport is on pace to handle 1.9 million passengers and is already running 10 per cent higher in terms of passenger volumes than it was last year.

The airport, which is entirely self-funded through fees—such as the airport improvement fee charged on every outbound ticket—continues to be the 11th busiest in Canada.

Because it has direct flights to the U.S., it has to not only satisfy Transport Canada regulations but also U.S. security protocols.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Firefighter blown back from explosion at fire above Kelowna art gallery

A fire was reported at the Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography

Okanagan hockey player wins Gold for Canada

Vernon’s Anne Cherkowski, along with three others, trains at Kelowna’s Pursuit of Excellence

More supportive housing annouced for Kelowna

New homes with support services for people experiencing homelessness

Hometown Hockey co-host ready for West Kelowna visit

Tara Slone and Ron MacLean host the Hometown Hockey festival this weekend

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

COLUMN: Anger rising in Yellow Vests Canada movement

While the protests so far have been peaceful and orderly, there is also a simmering level of rage

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read