Global deployment of RFID technology to track passenger baggage in real-time can help air transport industry save more than USD 3 billion over the next 7 years, a report by SITA-IATA said today.
IT solutions provider SITA and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in their report that RFID technology-based tracking can reduce the number of mishandled bags by up to 25 per cent by 2022, given its high rates of efficiency.
This will provide a major saving for airlines and deliver more certainty for passengers, it added.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can address mishandling during transfers from one flight to another, a key area identified by SITA and IATA where the technology could help improve baggage handling rates.
It will ensure that airports, airlines and ground handlers are able to keep track of bags at every step of the journey and ensure the right bag is loaded onto the correct flight, the report said.
The technology also supports IATA's Resolution 753 that requires that by 2018, airlines keep track of every item of baggage from start to finish.
According to the SITA Baggage Report 2016, technology has helped reduce the number of mishandled bags by 50 per cent from a record 46.9 million mishandled bags in 2007, saving the industry USD 22.4 billion.
This improvement comes despite a sharp rise in passenger numbers over the same period.
"The airline industry is on the brink of a revolution in baggage tracking. Deploying RFID globally will increase accuracy and reduce mishandling rates. This is a win-win situation - passengers will be happier, operations will run smoother and airlines will save billions of dollars," SITA Chief Technology Officer Jim Peters said.
Initial deployments of RFID by airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, show a 99 per cent success rate for tracking bags, helping further reduce the number of mishandled bags.
The report said RFID capabilities can be deployed for as little USD 0.1 per passenger on average, while generating expected savings of more than USD 0.2 per passenger.
The assumptions are based on RFID being deployed in 722 airports (representing 95 per cent of passenger numbers globally) over a six-year period between 2016 and 2021, while the savings are calculated over seven years to 2022.
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