Baggage Snafu May Mar Denver Airport Opening

Associated Press

A computerized baggage system that is supposed to whisk luggage from one flight to another at the new Denver International Airport is performing so poorly its maker said the airport’s opening may have to be postponed for the fourth time.

Mayor Wellington Webb briefed Denver business leaders Friday on the status of the airport opening and the baggage system test. “We haven’t made a decision about a delay,” said Patricia Schwartzberg, the city’s manager of revenue.

Crews were to continue testing the system Friday and today.

“It certainly wasn’t a success,” Gene Di Fonso, vice president of BAE Automated System Inc., said Thursday following a daylong test of the $193-million system. “A failure? Yeah, maybe.


“Without declaring defeat we need to be intellectually honest about what we saw in today’s testing: The May 15 opening is in serious doubt,” he said.

The system consists of 21 miles of tracks and about 4,000 rail cars controlled by computers that direct the cars based on readings from bar codes on luggage tags.