Robotics

Four new autonomous baggage handling vehicles at Changi Airport

14th May 2024
Tess Weller
0

Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Aurrigo International plc agreed to introduce a fleet of four autonomous baggage handling vehicles to pilot underwing operations at Changi Airport.

The recently concluded Phase 2A of the trial tested the Auto-DollyTug at Changi Airport, showcasing its resilience to different conditions including wet weather, heat, humidity, alignment to airport equipment, automated transfer of baggage containers, and close-quarter operations to aircraft on stand.

Over the past two years, the Auto-DollyTug demonstrated its ability to manoeuvre on the apron while interacting with traditional ground service equipment (GSE).

Phase 2B will focus on testing the Auto-DollyTugs’ fleet communication through Aurrigo’s Auto-Connect platform, enabling them to be scheduled and monitored to support the turnaround of a wide-body flight.

This new generation of airport baggage handling vehicles, designed, engineered, and built in the UK, was expected to arrive in Singapore in the coming months.

Beyond the concept validation phase, these vehicles will play a critical role in supporting the turnaround of wide-body flights to achieve efficiency savings, environmental improvements, and to alleviate labour shortages impacting the global aviation sector.

Professor David Keene, Chief Executive Officer at Aurrigo, commented: “This is a milestone moment for the aviation sector and paves the way for the future adoption of our Auto-DollyTugs for servicing of live flights in the near term. Changi Airport Group has been exploring this technology with us since 2020 and the results of significant testing have given it the confidence to place this next contract with us.”

Efficiently turning around a wide-body flight demands seamless coordination among multiple stakeholders.

Auto-DollyTug introduced pioneering features that elevated efficiencies beyond the capabilities of today's standard tow tractors. With Aurrigo’s patented sideways drive system, this innovative tractor could manoeuvre directly sideways into confined spaces within the baggage hall and amidst ground service equipment (GSE) on the apron.

Additionally, its 360° tank turn capabilities and integrated robotic arms enabled the vehicle to automatically load and unload unit load devices (ULDs) with precision, streamlining operations.

Ms Poh Li San, Senior Vice President, Terminal 5 Specialised Systems at Changi Airport Group, concluded: “We look forward to trialling the fleet of four Auto-DollyTugs in Phase 2B and to validate our new concept of operations to support the turnaround of a wide-body flight together with our ground handlers.”

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