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

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

VIDEO: Sailing under the sun at the BC Games

Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley was host to dozens of athletes sailing on small prams to planing dinghys

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

Wild fires blaze in the Okanagan, in your words

We have compiled a community photo album of your wildfire photos

Power couple speed into top spot at L’Alpe de Grand Blanc at Big White

The professional riders have been training all year

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read