THE COMPUTERISED baggage-handling system at Brussels Zaventem Airport's new terminal is generating almost as much difficulty as experienced with that at Denver International Airport in Colorado.

Belgian flag carrier Sabena, the main user of what was promoted as the "20-minute airport", has transferred all its baggage handling back to the old terminal until the problem is resolved.

Registering and unloading baggage is once more being done manually, after the discovery that up to 60% of all baggage was being lost in the system.

Brussels Airport Terminal (BATC), the private company running the terminal, blames foreign airports for the chaos, saying that they fail to use the newly introduced International Civil Aviation Organisation label-code system.

Delays of up to 4h have been registered and the average waiting time for luggage is about 1h. The problem is worst with outsize or unusual luggage.

While a long-term solution is being sorted out, Sabena has decided to use baggage trains to take all luggage to the old terminal to be handled manually.

Source: Flight International