Extensive renovation and expansion

The GSA is being renewed and expanded for the following reasons: on the one hand, key parts of the system will soon reach the end of their useful life and will have to be replaced. Moreover, the existing systems for security checks on checked baggage will have to be replaced in future in line with new EU regulations. In addition, the existing GSA will reach the limit of its capacity in a few years’ time owing to current traffic trends.

The entire project includes a new building to increase the capacity of the existing, the replacement of many current parts of the extensive baggage sorting system and a larger early baggage storage facility to enable more flexible handling of the baggage sorting system. The new building will be constructed in a central location and will replace two buildings between Terminal 1 and the current core of the GSA. In addition, a large number of transport routes and systems throughout Zurich Airport will be renewed – from Check-in 3 in the south to Dock E in the north.

Energy-optimised renewal and expansion of baggage sorting system

The expansion and renewal will also optimise the system's energy needs and increase energy efficiency. In terms of building services, the project comprises several innovations such as water cooling for 3D CT scanners used to screen luggage. Another is the use of thermoactive building components for efficient heating and cooling of new-builds. Energy efficiency is also a key topic for installation engineering: intelligent software calculates the most efficient transport routes for each piece of luggage and transport lines can be included, based on capacity needs, to ensure that only those that are really needed are operational. The length of the conveyor belts of the high-speed transport routes is defined so that more motors are used, but these are smaller and can be utilised in optimum fashion.

Central commissioning planned for 2023

Construction of the new baggage sorting system commenced in 2017. The first larger technical substitution commenced in autumn 2019 with the replacement of the current baggage transport system (“Bagtrax” system) in the 500-or-so metre long baggage tunnel that passes beneath the main airport complex. The new building was handed over at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021. The development phase for the baggage sorting system installation is now underway and will run until the central commissioning at the main airport complex in 2023. The systems to and at Dock E will then be replaced.

Zone A Zurich Airport
Investments CHF 400 million
Construction start February 2018