A new Baggage logistics center


Press kit: BLC


The airport is investing CHF 270 million in its new Baggage Logistics Centre, scheduled to be fully operational by 2022. Entirely funded by Genève Aéroport, the project aims to deliver a high performing, innovative and more environmentally friendly system. The building site, which opened in April, is extremely complex. In addition to the technical challenges, the work will have to take place while the current baggage sorting system is still in use.

Furthermore, the work schedule will have to be rigorously upheld for the system to comply with standards by 1st September 2022 at the latest.

Why change the current baggage sorting system?

An outdated system

The current system is chiefly being replaced because much of its equipment is obsolete. The main sorting system, installed in 1994, will have been in place for 27 years by the time it will be replaced in 2022. A number of carrousels date back to before 1990. The sorting system is in use 16 hours a day, requiring a great deal of maintenance. Replacement parts will become increasingly difficult to find.

Bringing together baggage sorting systems

The current baggage sorting system comprises two separate systems: T1 (main sorting system), processing 70% of airport baggage, and T1+, which manages the remaining 30% of baggage. This separation incurs additional costs in terms of operations and follow-up. The new Baggage Logistics Centre will bring these two elements together.

Meeting standards

Genève Aéroport needs to comply with European standards regarding security by installing the latest-generation scanners (EDS standard 3). The current scanners (standard 2) will no longer meet the new requirements for screening hold baggage from 1st September 2022.

New functions

The new Baggage Logistics Centre comprises new functions, such as Early Bag Storage (EBS). This solution enables passengers to check in baggage in advance and organises baggage before sorting. A 225-metre-long tunnel has been dug 9 metres below the runway for this purpose.

The current Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS), which tracks baggage in real-time, will be improved with Optical Characters Recognition (OCR). The system reads alphanumeric characters printed on labels, therefore optimising baggage processing.

Some figures:

  • 625 linear metres affected by the Baggage Logistics Centre
  • Surface area: 74’517 m2
  • 13,5 km of conveyor belts
  • 8 high-performance scanners
  • 270 million francs of investment
  • 5’200 pieces of baggage sorted each hour

Luggage routing circuit

The Baggage Logistics Centre, an exceptional example of energy efficiency

Genève Aéroport has a strong environmental policy to reduce the ecological footprint of airport activities. The Baggage Logistics Centre is a perfect example of this.

Here are some figures that illustrate the airport’s commitment:

• 100 geothermal probes

• 90% of energy requirements (hot-cold) met internally

• 1’100 m2 of solar panels

• 7’718 m2 of green roofs

• THPE Standard (Very High Energy Performance)

• Overarching energy programme for construction and industrial equipment

• IE5 class motors (less energy-intensive) installed in the system

Key dates


• 2011 - 2015: Preliminary studies

• 06.2015: Calls for tender (agents) are launched

• 11.2016: The Board of Directors of Genève Aéroport validates the Baggage Logistics Centre project, and work starts on the EBS tunnel

• 11.2017: The security standard 3 machines are selected

• 05.2018: The building permit is received and work starts on digging the EBS tunnel

• 06.2018: Two calls for tender are launched (general contractor and integrator)

• 02.2019: A contract is drawn with Leonardo et Vinci


Main work phases

This is an overview of the preparatory work that is already complete:

• Throughout 2018: The EAST waste collection centre was transferred to the WEST waste collection centre

• 06.2018 - 06.2019: The 225-metre-long EBS tunnel was dug 9 metres below the runway

• 06.2019: The four dry coolers from the GVA Center were relocated

• 04.2019: Work officially began in the French hall

Upcoming phases:

• 09.2019: The northern facade of the GVA Center will be demolished

• 04.2020: Shell: Terminal 1, levels -1 and -2

• 09.2019 - 02.2021: Metal frame

• 09.2022: Start date for the Baggage Logistics Centre

• End of 2022: The complete project will be delivered

General information about the project

• Project owner: Genève Aéroport

• Integrator: Leonardo

• General contractor: VINCI Construction / VCS-SA

• Subcontractors working on the building site: 41, 30 of which are based in Geneva

• Construction timeline: April 2019 – end of 2022

• Operational: September 2022

• Cost of the project: CHF 270 million