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Longest Chance Offers RFID Baggage-Handling Technology as Service
The system, designed to meet pending requirements from the IATA, was tested on Aeroflot flights from Moscow to airports in Prague, Bologna and Tallinn.
Nov 17, 2015—
A Russian airline and four airports have completed a pilot, under the oversight of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), of an RFID-enabled baggage-tracking system in Europe as part of the IATA's Resolution 753 requirements. The resolution is aimed at requiring airlines to accurately monitor the acquisition and delivery of each item of baggage by June 2018. The solution, known as the Hand-to-Hand RFID Baggage Tracking System (HHRBTS), was supplied by Hong Kong RFID solution provider Longest Chance. The six-week pilot began in early September and ended late last month.
"Baggage is often compared to a factory, but did you ever hear of a factory with no audit on their goods in, nor a record of the goods out? This is exactly what we have in the baggage world," says Andrew Price, IATA's head of airport operations. "The tracking resolution is aimed at setting a minimum of data that all airlines should record regarding baggage, so that mishandling is reduced."ERFID, a Russian provider of RFID-based systems, and its parent company, Invido Group, which is based in the British Virgin Islands. Invido first met with Eldar Vagapov, then ERFID's CEO, to develop a cloud-based RFID solution specifically for baggage tracking at airports, for use both by airlines and by the airports themselves, recalls Vagapov, now Longest Chance's technical director. Vagapov continues to act as ERFID's board chairman, while providing technical support to Longest Chance.
When it comes to adopting RFID-enabled baggage management, Vagapov says, the airline industry "has a chicken-and-egg problem. Airports want it, but they don't have the infrastructure in place."
In this case, however, Invido envisioned a solution that could be offered as a service, would be reasonably easy to install and would lower the barriers preventing airlines and airports from adopting radio frequency identification.
"Longest Chance approached IATA with the idea of tracking bags from check-in at one airport to the arrivals at another," Price says. The system that Longest Chance has developed ensures that the correct bag leaves with the right passenger, and that the airline is informed of any discrepancy that may arise during the baggage's journey. "We were happy to collaborate and help Longest Chance get their pilot working." In that role, IATA acted as a consultant for the technology's installation.
Longest Chance provides the hardware, as well as an ERFID server and software to enable its customers (airlines and airports) to know when luggage is checked in at an airline counter prior to a flight, as well as how the bags are routed to the planes, whether an error occurs, and when they arrive at their destination.
The technology could potentially reduce or prevent the likelihood of misrouted bags, speed up the identification of luggage for loading into departing flights and increase passenger satisfaction by reducing the incidence of mishandlings.
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