Baggage resilience expertise and implementation for Heathrow

The challenge

Following baggage disruption events at Heathrow Airport during Summer 2014, the airport company initiated an independent review of how the baggage recovery operation was handled. Following this initial review, the operator conducted a broader evaluation of baggage resilience airport wide, which has led to significant changes to infrastructure and how baggage resilience is managed.


Our role

o&i consulting was asked by Heathrow Airport to carry out an independent review of Heathrow’s baggage recovery operation, encompassing processes, facilities and resources, after baggage operations disruption during Summer 2014. An o&i consultant provided subject matter expertise, identified issues and made recommendations; his insight provided a large part of the overall ‘Baggage Recovery’ solution for the final report.

Following the report’s issue, o&i consulting remained involved in the development and implementation of recommendations. Our role included leading the development and implementation of a new “mass disruption” baggage track and trace solution, airport-wide roll-out of mobile baggage reflighting equipment and the development of baggage resilience operating plans for all terminals, including involvement in desktop rehearsals and trials. Additionally, we worked closely with British Airways, Arup and HAL to design a new baggage recovery facility for Terminal 5.

Throughout the project, o&i  worked with a wide range of airport wide stakeholders, who often had disparate views and requirements, to ensure solutions were robust and agreed by all parties. Stakeholders included airlines, the AOC, ground handlers, service providers and control authorities.

As a result, Heathrow had a robust set of baggage resilience plans in place, and was far better prepared to react to unplanned events. Key learnings from the project were the importance of having a resilience plan in place that was practised and understood by all stakeholders. With a view to continuous improvement, ongoing desktop rehearsals and trials were used to further refine the processes and take on board learning from previous events.

o&i consulting continues to provide baggage operations expertise to Heathrow’s baggage resilience team.


o&i expertise

  • Baggage operations planning and design
  • Contingency planning
  • Stakeholder engagement and management
  • Industrial engineering expertise
  • Baggage operations expertise


Project Key Facts

Title: Baggage resilience expertise and implementation for Heathrow

Client: Heathrow

Theme: Baggage