For those who carry a lot of baggage, Charleston International’s new baggage handling systems will make smooth flying of the more than 3 million plus pieces of luggage, computer cases, golf clubs,handbags, baby bags, satchels and backpacks that are screened and processed here annually.
Work is already under way to replace two of the airport’s nearly 30-year-old bag claim carousels. The first replacement carousel opened on March 31. The second is slated for a June completion. The addition of a third carousel was completed in February.
In addition to baggage claim, CHS’s out-bound baggage handling systems will be replaced. That work is slated to begin in mid- to late 2014. Out-bound baggage systems are located under the airline ticket counters. Passengers check in and drop off their luggage, which is then sent to screening via underground conveyors before being loaded on aircraft.
Modernized baggage handling systems are just one part of the $189 million Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program. TRIP will transform every corner of the airport and includes a new Rental Car Pavilion (opened March 19), a central energy plant, renovated concourses with five additional gates, a consolidated passenger screening checkpoint, new airline ticket counters and a variety of retail stores, pubs and restaurants for passengers to enjoy.
CHS’s new baggage carousels come from Vanderlande Industries, an international supplier of airport baggage handling systems. Its North American headquarters is based in Atlanta, Ga. The machinery is being installed by Nationwide Conveyor Specialists, a Bristol, Conn.-based company.
Once all three bag claim devices are complete, renovations on the rest of the Baggage Claim Hall will commence. This work includes 16-foot-high glass walls that will give passengers a window seat view of the airfield and front drive while they wait for their bags to arrive on the new carousels.