The growing global economies developed the need for a faster and efficient way of transport. Standing in long queues for check-ins during the peak hours of travel can be quite tiresome. This has fueled the development of new technologies, modernization of airports, ultimately developing the air travel industry.
Baggage handling systems enhance the efficiency of airport management. It comprises destination-coded vehicles, conveyors, automated vehicles, etc., used for transporting luggage from aircraft to baggage claim area and vice versa. The prime focus of this system is to make sure that baggage reaches the precise location. Other factors influencing development in the technology include volume regulation, automated tag reader, load balancing, etc.
The ascending air passenger traffic increased the cases of misplacement and baggage loss. To avoid these mishaps, governments have started to invest in better baggage handling systems encompassing technologies like RFID tags, NFS, etc., to carry real-time luggage tracking and reduce the risk of loss.
Big data plays a significant role in the baggage handling system.
Below are technologies employed to enhance efficiency and productivity in baggage management.
1. RFID tags:
Radiofrequency identification uses frequency waves to acquire precise information subject to the luggage. It ensures real time tracking, and the success of this technology is based on the incorporation of information on the chips installed in these tags. The benefits of the cards are that scanners can gain complete information and reroute the bags in case they are misplaced. Hence, the risen adoption of this technology will enhance the efficiency of baggage handling systems.
2. Electronic luggage tags:
The process of printing out cards for check-in bags is now being replaced by electronic tags. Rimowa, a German-based luggage manufacturer, has launched a range of suitcases embedded with an E-ink display. It is of the same size as a standard luggage tag and uses Bluetooth to collect essential data during luggage check-in to transition tracking and so on. These tags also have an embedded chip containing information and work with the help of Rimowa’s app. The product has excellent potential and is anticipated to grow substantially.
3. Microchip tags:
Companies are now developing tags with microchips containing user information. These chips can be scanned at the airport using a bar code scanner in case of misplacement and assist the staff in identifying the owner of the luggage. If there is no scanner, one can type the tag number on the Rebound Tags website to obtain the necessary information. These microchip tags are cost-effective, relatively more comfortable, faster, and convenient.
4. M2MI interface:
It is an IOT-based platform where all the stakeholders can share combined information to meet the steering need for data transfer. It helps in enhancing passenger travel and reducing the loss and misplacement of baggage. The increasing air passenger traffic is leveraging the companies and governments to develop better baggage tracking systems. The ulterior motive behind this is achieving high efficiency by implementing the required systems in the airport terminal. The goal is to produce technologically advanced smart carousels and smart tracking devices using WI-Fi, Bluetooth, smartphones, etc.
These technologies can be successful when incorporated with proper and precise information. Inconsistency in the collection of the data will further lead to loss of baggage. Big data assists these technologies in collecting, segregating, and analyzing the information. Data collected can prove to be valuable and improve the operational performance of the aviation business. It increases flexibility, reduces risks, and provides superior value-added services to the passengers.
However, the adoption of technology is not standardized. Some airports are using RFID tags while some use E-Tags; this obstructs the overall idea behind the technology as equipment used in scanning RFID and Electronic tags are different. There exists a lack of cooperation in the industry. The safety and security issues subject to the luggage are also restricting the use of these tags as the information can be easily edited and corrupted without the proper encryption.
There is a lot of scope for big data in the baggage handling system. It will help the airline and airport management understand their customers better, knowing their preferences, behavioral patterns, and other traits, which will help personalize the services achieve customer satisfaction.