DIA to dismantle baggage system
DENVER, Colorado ” It’s time to bid farewell to a troublesome automated baggage system best remembered for helping delay Denver International Airport’s opening for months.
Airport officials plan to demolish the system, which has never worked as intended, and are seeking City Council approval to award contracts to Western Industrial Contractors Inc. and February Enterprises Inc., airport spokesman Jeff Green said.
Each contract would cost up to $9 million and last as long as four years for removing the system from areas beneath the terminal and Concourse B and, potentially, some additional steel work, airport spokesman Jeff Green said.
As initially designed, the baggage system was controlled by computers that sent cars along railroad tracks to different destinations based on readings from bar codes on luggage tags.
In early tests, problems ranging from computer glitches to power surges and soggy luggage tags plagued the system. Some bags were mangled; others were sent flying out of cars. Rarely were they delivered to the proper destination.
DIA was scheduled to start up in late 1993 and, finally, opened in February 1995 with a traditional tug-and-cart system for handling bags.
United Airlines used the computerized system to handle luggage on departing flights but abandoned it in 2005.
The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com/