The Airport’s new X-ray and baggage conveyor system was ‘operational’ on Friday in time to meet new EU regulations which stipulated that by 1 September 2012, the standard of X-ray machines will have to be 'Standard 2'.
Approval for funding for new Security X-ray machines and a replacement outbound baggage conveyor system at Isle of Man Airport was given at the March Tynwald and work began on site early in April to replace the old outbound baggage conveyor system, located out of site from passengers, behind the check-in desks in the Terminal building. The old carousel equipment was life-expired and had become very unreliable, although it had lasted 2 years longer than expected. The new structure to house the baggage make-up area can now be easily seen from the Departures Lounge, and the three new Standard 2 X-ray machines have been commissioned, all staff training has been completed, and late on Friday afternoon (31 August) the whole system was put into operation.
The key elements of the scheme were:-
- The replacement conveyor scheme will be a 2-line system, allowing for built-in resilience
- Under EU regulation and the UK Aviation Security Programme, Standard 2 X-ray machines needed to be in place for 1 September 2012, which was achieved. The two current Standard 1 machines have been replaced with three new Standard 2 X-ray machines.
- There is now a single portal frame building (ca 1000 sqm) with 6 roller shutter doors housing the conveyor and two of the X-ray machines (with one machine located in the main concourse at the 'out-of-gauge' desk)
- The new conveyor system has the anticipated life expectancy of 15 years, and the ability to integrate future X-ray machine standards, will meet projected passenger volumes, provide capacity to hold bags (dry) when flights are delayed, and will retain the Island’s 'domestic status' for inbound flights to the UK.
- Like the other Crown Dependencies, the IOM has necessarily fully adopted the UK Aviation Security Programme, allowing for aircraft operations to be treated as if arriving from a UK 'domestic' airport. If the new Standard 2 X-ray machines had not been in place for 1 September 2012, the Island would lose that facility. In addition, no hold bags would be carried by the airlines.
- The overall project cost is £3,216,779 and the scheme has been delivered within that figure. The expected spend on island and off–island was approximately 50/50 because of the specialist equipment (X-ray machines and conveyor system etc).
Hon David Cretney, Minister of Infrastructure said:
'The project timetable has been very short and very demanding, and I offer my sincere thanks to both our main contractor JCK, and the carousel equipment supplier Cal-jan, who have worked very hard over some very long hours, in order to get us to meet our deadline date. In addition, I would like to send my grateful thanks to many Airport staff, both from the Department and those who work for our business partners, for having put up with some very trying times, during the works'.
The Department would like to thank passengers for their patience and co-operation whilst these works to the conveyor system were taking place.