Ahead of the 5th Development Phase of Airport 2000 at Zurich Airport, most of the luggage system was to be replaced and developed to face the upsurge in passenger numbers expected in the coming century. The future luggage system basically consists of three buildings to be constructed in the south of the airport, the underground South distribution center, the A4 sorting system in the northeast and the luggage tunnel lying between, which crosses under the entire airport site.
For renewal of the luggage system a S-149 Mixshield was used to drive a tunnel. Mixshields, in particular, are ideal for tunnelling which is sensitive to settling. This is all down to a compressed air cushion which permits the necessary support pressure in the excavation chamber filled with bentonite to be controlled with great precision. The TBM tunnelled through alternating geological beds under the entire airport site. It started at the South distribution center involving a seven percent gradient. The tunnel reached its greatest depth in the middle of the tunnelling section. The tunnel section then continued at a nine percent gradient towards the A4 sorting system (target shaft). The Mixshield arrived in the target shaft without having caused any disturbances for the airport operations while tunnelling.