Heathrow pilots RFID bags

Heathrow pilots RFID bags

Airline joins forces with BAA to carry out six-month trial

BAA and Emirates airline are testing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve baggage tracking at Heathrow and Dubai airports.

Under the £150,000 joint project, RFID readers track the luggage of passengers travelling to Dubai, at key points between the check-in desk and conveyor belts at the London airport.

“The project could significantly improve the efficiency of Heathrow’s baggage system,” said BAA head of product development Stephen Challis.

“It means that we can deliver an improved service to both passengers and airlines.”

The technology could also be extended across the airport, transforming the way airlines handle baggage, he said.

During the six-month trial, some 50,000 bags per month will be tracked for Emirates passengers travelling to and from Dubai, testing the effectiveness of RFID against Heathrow’s existing barcode tracking system.

“The trial enables us to embrace the latest technology,” said Emirates UK vice president Vic Sheppard.

“The volume of baggage processed at airports is increasing as more people fly each year.

“So it is important that we look at new baggage handling and tracking systems to help give that extra level of reassurance for our customers.”