Guam – A new Baggage Handling System (BHS) will greatly improve the experience for passengers traveling through the Guam Airport.
The A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam will be able to double the capacity of baggage handling and screening while freeing up space in the terminal with a $26 million system that is set for completion by 2016.
The Airport assembled key airport stakeholders, namely the airlines, for a presentation on Thursday, July 3, 2014, on this high priority project funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA). All U.S. airports compete for limited DHS/TSA funding which is normally granted to US large hub airports. The A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam was persistent since TSA baggage screening pods were installed and operated in the ticket lobby, which reduced airline counters and increased passenger congestion. TSA funds were available weeks before FY’12 ended and Guam’s Airport Authority acted quickly to secure a grant for a recapitalization study of the screening equipment. The study was expedited and resulted in a justifiable case for optimization of the TSA screening system. Since Guam was ready, ahead of other airports, TSA awarded the grant to our airport at the end of FY’13.
“The Airport is one of Guam’s most critical facilities. It’s the first place our visitors see and it’s the last place we have to leave a lasting impression with them. Safety, reliability and efficiency have got to be our top priorities and I’m proud of the work our Airport family is making,” said Governor Eddie Baza Calvo. “This new system is further proof that our federal partners have faith in our ability to move these projects forward and the credibility to be transparent with critical federal funds. All of the GovGuam family is committed to fixing problems of the past and making sure there is room to grow in the future. This is the kind of progress Guamanians deserve.”
For the next 22 months, the airport’s contractor, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics LLC will be replacing its baggage handling system with an upgraded state-of-the-art system with three (3) new pods featuring automated screening technology The current manual system that screens at the most 200 bags an hour on each machine. The new system’s throughput capacity enables the screening of up to 680 bags an hour for each machine! The elimination of the x-ray pods from the ticket lobby will definitely improve the passenger experience freeing up space for movement. Additionally, valuable space will be opened up to new carriers in need of dedicated ticket counter space. The new system is also designed to meet additional capacity needs and allow for future growth.
Airport Executive Manager, Charles H. Ada II stated, “We are very exited to see this new BHS project come to fruition. We’ve had the challenges of the baggage x-ray machines in the ticket lobby area taking up valuable real estate and with the new system, everything will be moved to the back of the house and with TSA’s inspections fully integrated with the airlines’ baggage movement from check-in to plane loading!”