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Baggage Handling in Airports | Business Aviation NewsPhoenix Sky Harbor Airport has announced its frustration with TSA screening processes after a breakdown last week resulted in significant baggage systems delays. The airport joins a queue of other airports in the US, who are growing increasingly concerned with TSA systems.

The delays last week were caused by a technical system breakdown that resulted in delays for 16 airlines, and more than 3,000 checked-in bags being left behind.

Airport staff used their initiative to forward around 1,000 bags to Las Vegas airport for screening, as luggage began piling up.

An increasing number of airports around the world are moving to automated baggage handling systems and employing outside agency help for screening. Common bag drop solutions are growing in popularity with the option for multiple airline bag drop kiosks and off-site passenger check-in.

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Baggage Handling Systems - Behind the ScenesLast week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offered a rare behind-the-scenes look at the journey luggage takes through the Philadelphia International Airport baggage handling system.

As one of the first airports to implement automated explosive-detection in 2003, following government mandate introduction of explosive-detection screening after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

TSA spokesman, Michael McCarthy said, “Some people think the TSA opens and physically screens every single bag. That may have been the case immediately following 9/11, but not today.”

The automation of explosive-detection at Philadelphia International baggage handling system can mean that 1,000 bags every hour are screened – via an in-line system of conveyor belts and detection machinery.

The luggage embarks on a 15-minute journey through the airport baggage handling system and travels almost a quarter of a mile, almost never being handled by human hands. If cleared, via sophisticated CT scanning equipment, the luggage makes its way to the aircraft. If an alarm is activated, or if TSA wants a closer look, the bag is removed, opened and physically searched by a TSA officer at an inspection station.

Electronic screening and an automated baggage handling system can improve operational productivity at airports by streamlining a previously complicated, manual system. Not only does the system improve efficiency, but can also reduce physical injuries from lifting heavy baggage and reduce the possibility of damage to passenger baggage or instances of theft.

Baggage Handling Systems ProvidersThe Guam International Airport Authority has announced plans to install a state-of-the-art baggage handling system which they hope will be completed by the middle of next year.

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, the $26million project has been in the planning stages since July last year.

The new baggage handling system is expected to double the handling capacity for GIAA and will incorporate baggage screening capabilities. Using the latest technology allows airports to free up valuable terminal space with multi-airline check in and ticketing and multiple airline bag drop.

Passenger experience is also enhanced with improved baggage handling systems, reducing queuing and allowing passengers to shorten waiting times within the terminal.

Find out more about CUTE Passenger Processing SolutionsRockwell Collins have today announced that Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport have selected the latest ARINC vMUSE Common Use Passenger Processing System for implementation.

In addition, the contract will involve the installation of ARINC SelfServ common use kiosk software, ARINC VeriPax passenger reconciliation system and will update local departure control systems and flight information displays.

“We’re pleased to extend and expand a partnership which dates back to 2004,” said Karen Walkes, director of engineering for GAIA Inc. “Rockwell Collins’ vMUSE system, as well as its other technologies, provides our airport with the most efficient ways to process passengers—and improve customer service—throughout our facilities.”

The airport are the first in the world to operate Rockwell Collins’ common use platform on wireless network alone and look forward to the implementation of vMUSE to bring new efficiencies and savings.

Self service passenger check-in and baggage handling systems are fast growing in popularity on a global scale as passengers continue to take more and more control of their journey. Enhancing passenger experience and streamlining operations from end-to-end is the solution for many airports and airlines to ground delays, while maintaining utmost security.

More information about self service bag dropSingapore’s Changi Airport is currently trialling self service bag drop and check in desks in a bid to streamline passenger processing services, according to the Changi Airport Group (CAG).

Terminal One will run the trial until the end of August with Jetstar airline and will encompass two bag drop units with self-tagging capability and four check-in kiosks alongside the Jetstar counters for passengers on selected flights.

The airport is exploring ways to improve passenger experience and minimise delays and the pilot program is part of an ongoing trial with the Fast and Seamless Travel at Changi (FAST@Changi) initiative aimed at using the latest technology to improve operational productivity and efficiency.

“The implementation of FAST@Changi is in line with a wider global push towards increasing automation at airports to improve productivity and efficiency, while providing passengers with greater flexibility and convenience,” said Mr Tan Lye Teck, Executive Vice President of Airport Management at CAG.

As more than 80% of global travellers now use online check-in facilities, there is an increase in the need for greater passenger control. Many baggage handling providers offer self-service options including the innovative multiple airlines bagdrop which allows for cost sharing in addition to the valuable terminal space-saving benefits.

Automated Baggage Handling ProvidersThere is little doubt that airports with automated baggage handling provide a smooth, enhanced experience for passengers, reducing waiting times and streamlining the flow of baggage and passengers through the check-in system.

As many of us use some form of self-service check-in process, the advent of the one-stop kiosk is proving to be a huge benefit to those of us who wish to remain in control of every step of our journey.

Keeping it simple is the key. Easy-to-operate systems must be installed to enable even the virgin traveller to handle their own check-in with no fuss. The latest CUTE systems provide a comprehensive check-in system that has clear, simple instructions on a touch-screen interface that enables the passenger to;

  • Check in                 
  • Receive a boarding card and baggage tag
  • Attach the baggage tag
  • Place baggage in the kiosk, where it can be weighed, scanned and sent into the baggage handling system

Automated baggage handling system providers, such as ARINC, use the latest technology to provide just that. Simple, easy-to-operate systems that ensure that the baggage follows the passenger to their destination, including connecting flights, with the help of RF tagging is becoming essential to operational productivity.

The latest automated baggage handling systems are able to keep track of baggage with RF readers at critical points along the track, such as merging points and separators, which ensures that baggage can be verified and expedited along the correct route, even with business passenger baggage, that tends to arrive much closer to departure time.

As airports are being placed under greater pressure with the increase in passenger flow, particularly at peak times, Common Use Terminal Equipment is the answer to the expedition of the check-in process and automated baggage handling systems are growing in popularity across the globe.

Industry Pioneering Self-Service Bag Drop Solutions OnlineMontreal Trudeau Airport has converted eight of their 17 previously manned baggage desks into self-service bag drop points in a bid to enhance passenger check-in and speed up operations within the terminal.

More passengers will now be able to make use of the common use, self-service bag drop points for multiple airlines baggage on any flight bound for the US. The airport has observed that the new system has already been adopted by almost half the passengers.

Common-use self-service bag drop points have and will continue to revolutionise airline travel worldwide, streamlining the check-in system and helping to create fluidity within the terminal space that has previously lacked the world over.

Maintaining airport security still remains a priority and the common use desks use up-to-the-minute technology to ensure all the bases are touched in this area. While many of us still check-in online and an increasing number check-in at off-site locations, the self-service bag drop desks offer airlines and airports greater use of terminal space and staff to ensure that the passenger service and experience is better than ever.