Transport, logistics | Technology & innovation

RFID technology expected to prevent luggage loss at airports and airlines

27 Aug '18
A Russian developer has come up with its own technology for RFID marking luggage at airports. The approach is expected to help take almost no time and incur minimal expenses retrieving items lost, and also decrease the instances of luggage loss dramatically. In Q1 2019, the developer has plans to start testing the system at a large Russian airport.

According to Ilya Melnik, in charge of sales at RST-Invent, the developer, by 2019 the company wants to supply and equip some domestic and international airports and commercial airlines with at least 100 million RFID tags. Which airports and airlines will have the equipment has yet to be specified; word came earlier this summer that RST-Invent was in talks with “Russia’s two largest airports.” The developer’s longer-term plans include international expansion.

How it works

RFID tags will be integrated directly into luggage tags, containing data on the owner, a description of the luggage, and data on the passenger’s itinerary. Each such tag will have a unique identification code enabling the monitoring of one’s luggage from check-in to a luggage conveyor belt at the destination airport.

Special equipment and software to be installed along the entire transportation route will collect in a dedicated database all the information on where the luggage is in a given period of time. RST-Invent says it makes all the hardware at its own factory outside St. Petersburg.

How pressing the problem is

In Russia alone, there are 229 airports with 2,745 aircraft which carry 80 million passengers a year. Losing luggage in transportation causes airlines to lose money and has their reputation dented. According to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimate, an airport or airline loses about $300 per luggage item each time it was lost and has to be returned.

The very idea of using RFID to solve the problem is no news to the market. Similar systems are being developed by Germany’s Siemens, Grenzebach Maschinenbau and Beumer Group, the U.S.’ G&S Airport Conveyor and Logplan, New Zealand’s BCS Group, Japan’s Daifuku Company, France’s Fives Group, Singapore’s Pteris Global, the Netherlands’ Vanderlande Industries, and others. There’ve been examples of commercialization, too. Last month a RFID-based luggage monitoring system was launched at the Calgary International Airport in Canada. The innovation had taken $150m to develop and three years to install and integrate.
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Tags: RST Invent (6) / airport (261) / RFID (24) / loss (22) / luggage (0) /

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