Case study 1: Glidepath
Published June 2010
‘To be leading our industry as the most innovative and proactive provider of technological systems for our valuable customers’.
Ever wonder what happens to baggage after it’s checked in at the airport?
Kristy Housley, Glidepath’s Marketing Manager, says most people assume it disappears behind the curtain flap, gets put on a cart and is delivered to the plane.
In fact, the baggage travels around an automated system of many metres of track often suspended from the ceiling, through x-ray machines and security checks, until it finally arrives at the cart for loading onto the plane. It’s like an iceberg – you only see about 10% of what’s needed to sort and secure baggage prior to loading on a plane.
Over five hundred airports in over 60 countries use a system invented, developed and continuously improved by Glidepath Limited, New Zealand.
How it all started
The original company, Thompson Engineering, was established in Glen Eden, Auckland. It was purchased by Sir Ken Stevens in 1972.
Early jobs included repairing and servicing conveyor belts at Auckland International Airport. After one project, where Stevens replaced an eight metre piece of the conveyor, the airport management thought the rest of the conveyor looked so shabby they commissioned him to rebuild the entire system. He completed the job and decided that the company should concentrate more on designing and installing its own products and systems rather than just repairing pieces of old ones.
After some success in New Zealand Stevens expanded into the overseas market in 1978, completing a reasonably sized project in American Samoa. Shortly afterwards an office was opened in Australia. From here the company grew from strength to strength.
Read more about Glidepath's journey: