A Thursday in December, Kim Abildgaard had the pleasure to share a lunch with Karsten Madsen, Head of Baggage Automation & Technology at Copenhagen Airport. The occasion was that Karsten had won the drawing of the headphones from our newsletter sign-up competition, and we had the pleasure to hand-over the gift – thanks to all of you who participated.
At the same time we had a conversation about RIFD and Copenhagen Airports thoughts about this. We are happy to get the opportunity to present a statement from someone who has not yet bought into the Radio Frequent Identification (RFID) technology in baggage handling and tracking.
At Copenhagen Airport, RFID technology is not yet in baggage operation, but it is not a question of if it will. Karsten Madsen tells that in any new baggage project, RFID will be part of the specification of requirements. Frankly, it is not a decision driven by themselves alone, as they need other airports to send baggage with RFID tags as well. So, when Copenhagen Airport sees RFID technology in action is uncertain, it will happen but it also depends on other airports adopting the technology so that inbound and outbound passenger baggage can be tracked.
Now Copenhagen Airport is doing well in reading rates on outgoing barcode scanning but will expect even better read-rates with RFID. In the baggage claim, there is room for improvement today, as manual identification is not possible. Karsten Madsen expects RFID to be able to improve this process significant with automatic identification of the baggage. Still, the real improvement is that RFID readers have a low cost so that it will be inexpensive to ad reading points in the current baggage system.
It is reported and forecast that over the next decade airports will face a significant increase in passenger numbers. This will require airports to become more efficient in data capture and to modify existing processes to manage higher capacity baggage handling and maintain high baggage read rates throughout the entire baggage handling journey.