Inaugurated in 2000 by TAV under a BOT contract, the Istanbul Ataturk International Terminal was originally planned with an annual capacity of 10 million passengers. It grew to handle more than 60 million passengers, with the complete baggage system provided and installed by ALSTEF.


ALSTEF worked alongside TAV from the beginning on the installation of the baggage sorting system and supported the spectacular growth of Istanbul Atatürk Airport. ALSTEF supplied all baggage sorting equipment, for both the international terminal and the completely renovated domestic terminal.


The baggage sorting installations were all significantly extended and improved since the year 2000. The number of check-in stations supplied by ALSTEF went from 164 in 2000, to 220 in 2002, 314 in 2006, and 326 in 2012. The sorting capacities were also improved with the addition of a second tilt-tray sorter in 2006, the extension of the first tilt-tray sorter in 2010, and then the connection of both sorters to achieve a total sorting capacity of 24,000 bags per hour for 196 chutes. In 2006, ALSTEF replaced the complete baggage handling system in the domestic terminal and, for the international terminal, added a complete HBS screening system including 10 PEDS (automatic XRAYS) and 6 EDS (tomography machines). In 2010, ALSTEF has implemented a new installation with a capacity of 3,600 bags/hour completely dedicated to bags in transit, with 3 external drop-offs, 3 PEDS and 1 additional tomography machine to control bags in transit on their arrival before they are sorted.

In 2010, ALSTEF has also replaced the complete control and SAC systems, originally installed in 1999, with the latest generation software. The modules of this new BAGWARE® suite are more adapted to the evolving requirements of the airport.

Since the size of the main building was only increased by 30% from the beginning of the project, in 2010 ALSTEF and TAV started to move the functions of arrivals and transit bag drop to the outside the building to decrease the circulation of baggage tractors and reduce passenger waiting time at arrivals.



To adapt to the continuing increase in passenger flow at the Turkish Airlines hub, it became essential to design an early bag storage system for the large number of bags in transit.

The difficulty was to install an early bag storage system in the small space available in the main sorting hall while taking into account the flow peaks of the sorting system.

ALSTEF proposed to TAV to build an early bag storage system on an additional mezzanine above the existing tilt-tray sorter and to separate it in two parts. Because of this, the technical specifications of the early bag storage system are unusual: 1,200 bags can be stored. The input/output capacity is 1,600 bags per hour. Seven rapid shuttles distribute bags into sixty storage aisles. Bags are stored by time slot or flight number.

The challenge for ALSTEF was to complete the installation within a very short period of time. The design, manufacturing, installation, and implementation were carried out within 6 months. Thanks to the expertise of ALSTEF, the works have not interrupted the operations: the existing baggage sorting systems was operating at full capacity while the early bag storage system was being installed, at a distance of only 2 meters above the main sorter.