Aviation sector has been one of the biggest adopters of RFID in recent years. It is just one of many industries that could gain enormous benefit from RFID technology.
Today the airline industry faces many challenges including safety & security of customer baggage’s and passenger traffic. The industry is under tremendous pressure to provide better customer service. The pressure to reduce the operating costs is equally strong. Implementation of RFID technology can help the airline industry to increase efficiency, cut costs, enhance safety and security, and deliver outstanding customer services.
The potential for RFID in the challenging aviation sector is immense. Tracking and tracing passenger luggage, tracking and managing critical airplane components, increasing safety and reducing delays and errors, and providing customized and personalized services to customers are some of the areas in which RFID can help the aviation sector.
RFID for Baggage Tracking
Mishandled luggage or lost luggage is one of the biggest problem that passenger airlines face. Therefore, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made it mandatory for airlines to track each pieces of baggage that comes in at check-in and goes out, by 2018, so that the cases of mishandling or lost luggage are reduced or all together done with. RFID technology can help in overcoming this problem. Several airlines now have turned to an array of new baggage tracking systems based on RFID technology.
America’s top airlines, Delta has made huge investments in RFID for baggage tracking and management. In fact, it rolled out its new and innovative automated tracking of luggage using RFID technology. With this system baggage is checked and processed at check-in as well as check-out. Furthermore, with the help of this technology customers are able to see their bags on and off the aircraft during their journey. Delta expects to reduce the number of lost
and mishandled bags by 25% by using this technology.
Several other airlines have now joined the bandwagon of RFID technology. They hope to shorten the check-in process by allowing passengers to skip the line, improve customer satisfaction and reduce bottlenecks by implementing RFID technology in their process.
RFID in Cargo Tracking
Baggage tracking is not the only way that airlines are using RFID technology. Similar to passenger airlines, cargo airlines have a lot to gain from implementing RFID technology. By using RFID, the cargo process can be streamlined to achieve higher operational efficiency and time-saving benefits.
Air Canada Cargo, Canada’s largest air cargo services provider, has implemented RFID-based cargo management solution to track shipments in and out of its hubs, as well as cargo-transfer stations worldwide.
Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading cargo carriers. It has integrated the RFID technology into its handling processes to increase the reliability of loading and transport processes.
RFID for Pre-Flight Checks and Maintenance
Pre-flight inspection is very crucial for the safety of passengers however in situations where a flight has to leave from one destination to other with little or no turn- around time in between, errors may occur. RFID technology can help in increasing the accuracy and reliability of these vital procedures. Hundreds of items such as blankets, pillows, oxygen masks, magazines, life vests, fire extinguishers on an aircraft can be tracked within minutes and thus reducing errors and saving time and money.
RFID can be used to tag and trace each and every individual component of an aircraft and then validate whether the component is installed correctly. By tracking serial numbers, manufacturing dates and maintenance history records, greater efficiency in aircraft maintenance operations can be obtained. This will help airlines to reduce both time and operational costs involved in maintenance operations.
GAO RFID offers several RFID products for long range RFID data collection applications suitable for the demanding aviation industry.
The potential for leveraging RFID technology in aviation is infinite as it can certainly help in saving money, increasing customer satisfaction and improving operational efficiency.]]>