A six-month trial that could revolutionise the way luggage is tracked and monitored at the UK’s biggest airport has started.
The Heathrow scheme, run by airport operator BAA, involves the applying of radio-frequency identification tags to bags.
Involving passengers travelling with Dubai-based airline Emirates, the £150,000 scheme will track around 50,000 bags a month, with a similar system being installed at Dubai Airport.
The chips are read as they pass through Heathrow’s baggage system, enabling effective sorting, security screening and delivery to the aircraft. Arriving bags are read on entry to the baggage system and put into the system for effective tracking.
Departing passengers are being invited by BAA staff to voluntarily register their mobile telephone details, which will enable them to receive a text message alert on arrival at Heathrow with details of their baggage reclaim belt.
BAA Heathrow product development head Stephen Challis said: ‘We are extremely excited by this project, which will track bags at every stage of their journey and could significantly improve the efficiency of Heathrow’s baggage system, delivering an improved service to both passengers and airlines alike.
‘In partnership with the airline community, the technology could be rolled out across the airport, transforming the way airlines handle baggage.’
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