Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport

A modernized Baggage Handling System (BHS) gives regional airport the lift it needed.
CHALLENGE To meet strict security standards and improve systems, Vertech was commissioned to help the airport upgrade to a new baggage handling system, integrate new baggage security scanners and more.
Solution From PLC controllers and Flex I/O to baggage dimensioners, bar code scanners and a software platform that that provides real-time conveyor status, Vertech solutions ran the gamut.
CLIENT Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport is a public airport six miles east of downtown Amarillo, Texas.
Requirements This system needed to integrate automated baggage security scanners and meet modern TSA security standards and we needed to conduct the integration with no interruption of air travel.


The City of Amarillo needed to upgrade their airport BHS to meet modern security standards. Much of the conveyor needed to be replaced, and new automated baggage security scanners needed to be integrated into the system both for security and passenger convenience. Conveyor programming needed to meet strict TSA security requirements, and the system had to be highly resistant to single points of failure. The entire installation needed to be accomplished with no interruption of air travel through the airport.


149 Conveyors
2 In-Line EDS Scanners
1035 I/O


  • Rockwell ControlLogix PLCs with
  • ControlNet I/O with redundant media
  • Wonderware System Platform
  • Custom System Platform serial driver objects
  • Microsoft Reporting Services
  • Allen-Bradley Power-Flex 40 VFDs
  • Sick Bag Dimensioner and Barcode Scanner


Rockwell ControlLogix PLCs control the system in a warm standby backup configuration. One set of PLCs communicates with field devices and motor controllers using distributed Flex I/O over ControlNet. Other system components such as baggage dimensioners and scanners, VFDs, bar code scanners, and security systems are integrated with the PLC controllers using Ethernet I/P and in one case a custom Ethernet/serial interface.

Wonderware System Platform HMI software provides real-time conveyor status and equipment alarms to operations, and Microsoft Reporting Services provides detailed reports on both bag and equipment history. The entire system was successfully commissioned with no interruption to the normal flow of traffic through the airport.

Passengers are the big winners from this system. No longer must passengers hand-carry their luggage to the TSA baggage screening checkpoint, as the new system ensures their safety while traveling. Airport personnel also benefit from a reliable system built on modern technology. The system provides a high level of visibility to maintenance personnel and TSA personnel who work together to quickly and safely transfer passenger luggage from the ticket counter to the right aircraft.

baggage handling

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