As the world’s airports grow busier, come under ever-closer scrutiny and are subject to increasing mandatory requirements, the greatest innovations for the modern airport environment are those which automate and simplify and streamline systems and processes.
Baggage handling, management and reconciliation systems play a critical role in airport operations. Instances of lost or misdirected baggage cost the aviation industry millions each year, and significantly damage passenger experience. The introduction of new baggage tracking mandates in 2018 (IATA Resolution 753) has placed greater pressure on airports of all sizes around the world, as the industry attempts to streamline baggage management, increase security, reduce the cost of lost baggage and improve passenger experience through the implementation of tracking solutions.
A-ICE have developed baggage management and tracking solutions that not only assist airports and airlines in meeting these goals, but that can be fully integrated into other airport systems. The level of automation and integration provided by our solutions is the key to future-proofing the airport environment in a scalable and cost-efficient fashion.
What does a baggage management system do?
Today’s baggage management systems are an integral and critical part of modern airport operations, handling, verifying and screening passenger baggage using a range of applications, including self-service baggage check-in kiosks, traditional check-in counters and the latest in mobile and wireless hand-scanner devices.
Modern baggage management systems are integrated, and ‘talk’ to other operational departments, accessing airline DCS and security systems to provide an automated process for the entire baggage journey – from passenger bag drop, through loading, transfers and interlining, to arrivals and collection from the destination airport.
Baggage reconciliation capabilities allow airlines to track passenger baggage seamlessly and can give handlers precise locations down to the position of a specific bag within the container onboard the aircraft.
The baggage journey
The baggage journey begins when the passenger arrives at the departure airport and commences check-in and bag drop. Once the baggage is checked-in and tagged, either within a self-service check-in area or at a dedicated counter, it proceeds through a series of conveyors where it is screened by security before continuing to the departing aircraft.
Throughout this process, and at specific points within the baggage journey, the luggage will be electronically scanned and recorded before being reconciled with the passenger and confirmed before loading.
At the destination airport, and during interlining, the baggage should also be tracked, and the position recorded to achieve compliance with the latest mandatory IATA regulations.
The introduction of IATA Resolution 753 earlier this year has placed greater importance on baggage tracking and reconciliation. Member airlines must now be responsible for holding much more information on passenger baggage to ensure that they know the location of baggage at every stage of the baggage journey from check-in and security, through loading and interlining to arrivals and collection at the destination airport. Regulations also dictate that airlines must know to whom baggage belongs and whether loaded bags can be matched with the boarded passenger.
There are four main points of the baggage journey that must be included in baggage tracking, according to the latest regulations:
- Passenger handover to airline
- Loading to the aircraft
- Deliver to the transfer area
- Return to the passenger
Another key requirement of IATA R753 is that airlines make this information available to all other ‘interline journey partners’ in real- or near-real-time if needed.
The regulations are designed to streamline the baggage handling system, enhance security and increase efficiency if loaded baggage needs to be removed from the aircraft at any time.
How A-ICE can help?
A-ICE understands the importance of maintaining a streamlined, efficient baggage management system that can help airlines remain seamlessly compliant. A-BRS has been developed to meet regulatory requirements and offer airlines an integrated solution to increase efficiency and security throughout the baggage journey.
How does A-BRS work?
Using computer-generated tags and wireless readers, A-BRS tracks a precise baggage location at specified points in the baggage journey – within the airport, at the gate, and on the aircraft – verifying luggage before loading, and matching loaded baggage with passengers in real-time.
The A-BRS system increases efficiency, taking existing host lines for departure control and using BagLink gateways to handle IATA standard-format messaging. A-ICE’s solution monitors the movement of baggage seamlessly, effectively automating baggage tracking and reconciliation using the same technology throughout the arrivals, transfer and departure processes.
The solution also significantly limits instances of human error during loading, transfers and unloading baggage by displaying an error message if the scanned bag is being loaded in the wrong location within the aircraft or container or if it must not be loaded at all.