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Resolution: RFID Baggage Tracking Set for Global Deployment

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Press Release No.: 31

Date:2 June 2019

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​Seoul - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 75th Annual General Meeting (AGM) unanimously resolved to support the global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking. The AGM also called for the implementation of modern baggage messaging standards to more accurately track passengers’ baggage in real time across key points in the journey.

In 2018, less than 0.06% of the estimated 4.3 billion bags carried by airlines were mishandled, according to the latest figures from SITA. Since 2007 baggage mishandling has fallen by 70% and today 99.9% of mishandled bags are reunited with their owners within two days.

RFID read rates are 99.98% accurate which is significantly better than that of bar codes. And modern messaging standards will enable airlines to proactively take action when there is potential for mishandling. Combined, RFID and modern messaging standards, should reduce the mishandling rate by 25%.

 

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“Passengers want to arrive with their bags. And on the rare occasion when that does not happen, they want to know exactly where their bag is. Deploying RFID and adopting modern baggage messaging standards will help us to cut mishandlings by a quarter and recover bags that are mishandled more quickly,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

The resolution commits airlines to:

  • Transition to bar-coded bag tags with RFID inlays.
  • Use RFID data alerts to enact processes with airports and ground handlers that prevent potential mishandlings.


The resolution does not specify timelines. It is anticipated, however, that global adoption of RFID could be achieved within four years.

Partnerships are critical

Partnerships are critical to success in driving this transformation. The resolution calls for:

  • Airports to rapidly incorporate the use of RFID technology for baggage handling into their infrastructure, and to commence implementation of modern baggage messaging standards.      
  • Ground handlers to make use of RFID technology to replace manual tracking operations wherever feasible.


“Implementating RFID tracking technology and adopting modern messaging standards is a team effort. Airlines, airports and ground handlers need to work together. And the motivation is to satisfy customers,” said de Juniac.    

Resolution full text:Resolution on RFID  (pdf)

For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967
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Notes for editors:      

 

Benefits of RFID technology
RFID uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data and automatically identify and track baggage tags. RFID technology enables bags to be identified and tracked without the need for human intervention. The benefits of RFID technology include:

  • Improved End-to-End Tracking – increasing bag tracking leads to a reduction in mishandled bags and efficiency gains in baggage operations. Initial deployments have shown a reduction in mishandled baggage of 25%.
  • Improved Aircraft Loading and Off-Loading – baggage can be loaded and offloaded faster, which leads to fewer delayed flights. RFID also leads to higher automation, proactive care and therefore a reduction in manual operations.
  • Easing Adoption of Resolution 753 – deployment and operational costs linked with the addition of new tracking points, are reduced. Additionally, the implementation cost is significantly reduced with RFID compared with traditional barcode scanners.
  • Improved data consistency – The current baggage barcode does not contain any error correction capability, and thus the reading of data can be inconsistent. Adopting RFID will result in read rates of over 99% without human intervention.


Benefits of implementing modern baggage messaging standards
Baggage mishandling is often caused or linked to baggage message failures or rejections. Implementing standardized messaging language and processes will make these communications accessible and intelligible for all relevant stakeholders. The benefits of implementing modern baggage messaging standards include;

  • Improved Data Content – the amount of data content that can be communicated is increased.   
  • Reduced Complexity - the number of different messaging formats is significantly reduced, creating a drastically simpler way of determining what the message means and what action is required.    
  • Improved Security –current messaging lacks data security, modern standards provide encryption and signature of data exchange to ensure the security and authenticity of the information.
  • Reduced Cost of Manual Handling – improvements to the timely communication of baggage data to all affected parties will reduce the cost of manually resolving issues, by preventing those issues from occurring.
  • Reduced cost of messaging –Today’s messaging is based on teletype messages, which incur a considerable cost. Our modern baggage messaging standards can be used over the internet without these per message charges.

Read theSITA baggage report for more information.
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