Focus on A-BRS - Baggage Reconciliation, Management and Compliance in Global Airports
Passenger traffic through the world’s airports is increasing at an average rate of 5% year-on-year. As airports and airlines grow busier and face additional challenges with increasing mandatory requirements and passenger expectation, today’s best solutions are those which automate, simplify and streamline key systems and processes.
In 2018, IATA introduced Resolution 753 – a mandatory requirement for member airlines to be responsible for tracking, monitoring and reporting baggage at specific points during its journey. This has increased pressure yet provides a key solution to the historical issue of lost and misdirected baggage, which typically costs the aviation industry millions each year.
Add to this the damage lost luggage does to passenger experience and it is clear to see how the introduction of mandatory tracking and baggage reconciliation requirements has helped to drive attempts to streamline baggage handling and management for airlines and in global airports of all sizes. The implementation of tracking solutions is the key to address the challenges, increase security, reduce lost luggage costs and improve passenger experience.
A-ICE has developed A-BRS, a baggage management, reconciliation and tracking solution that not only helps airlines and airports achieve and maintain compliance but is fully integrable into other airport systems. A-BRS delivers levels of integration and automation that provide fully-scalable, future-proofing opportunities while managing today’s baggage reconciliation in the most cost-efficient way.
What is a baggage reconciliation system?
Baggage reconciliation and management systems form a critical, integral part of operations in today’s modern global airports. Comprehensive systems handle, verify, screen and transport passenger baggage utilizing a wide range of airport applications, such as:
- Self-service bag-drop kiosks
- Traditional check-in counters
- Mobile and wireless hand-held scanners and other devices
- Off-site airport check-in and bag-drop
The latest baggage reconciliation systems, including A-BRS, can be fully integrated to communicate with other operational systems, enabling seamless, multi-airline DCS and security systems access, for example. Utilizing interoperable systems in baggage handling processes allows the provision of automation throughout the baggage journey – check-in and passenger bag-drop – loading, transfers and interlining – arrivals and passenger bag collection at the destination airport.
To fully meet the regulatory requirements, baggage reconciliation systems must give airlines the capability to seamlessly track baggage, enable baggage handlers to locate a specific bag within a container on a specific aircraft and provide an accurate record of the position of each piece of baggage at specified points in its progress. This information must also be accessible in near- or real-time to avoid ground delays and to reduce the costs associated with mishandled baggage.
Management of the baggage journey and achieving compliance
The baggage journey consists of a series of specific steps, starting at the point of bag drop when the passenger arrives and checks in at the departure airport. How baggage enters the baggage handling system differs from airport to airport, but most commonly via self-service bag drop facilities, at a traditional, dedicated check-in desk or at an off-site check-in and bag drop location.
After a baggage tag is attached and bag dropped, it continues through baggage handling and security screening systems, often utilizing conveyors and scanning technology to ensure it reaches the right departing aircraft.
Following the release of IATA Resolution 753 in 2018, baggage tracking and reconciliation has increased in importance significantly, due to additional responsibilities for member airlines to hold precise location details of passenger baggage at certain points in the baggage journey. The regulations are in place to streamline the baggage handling system and reduce the number of lost and mishandled baggage across the global aviation industry, increase efficiency and reduce delays should baggage need to be removed from the aircraft and to strengthen and improve passenger experience.
There are four main points that must be included in baggage tracking, according to the IATA R753 regulations:
- Passenger handover to airline
- Loading to the aircraft
- Deliver to the transfer area
- Return to the passenger
In addition, baggage tracking and reconciliation should be recorded during transfers and interlining, and handover information readily accessible, in near- or real-time, to other interline journey partners. This makes sure that at every stage, from check-in and security, through loading and interlining to arrivals and collection at the destination airport, every carrier or handler knows the position of each bag, to whom it belongs, and whether the passenger has boarded the aircraft.
How A-BRS integration can help?
A-BRS tracks the precise location of baggage using hand-held, wireless readers and computer-generated tags. At specific points of the baggage journey, A-ICE’s solution seamlessly monitors the movement of baggage, verifying before loading and matching baggage with boarded passengers in real-time. Efficiency is increased with A-BRS, which also includes an alerting system to warn ground handling personnel if a bag has been misdirected and needs to be removed and rerouted.
This automation of tracking and reconciliation uses the same technology throughout arrivals, transfers and departure processes, using existing host lines for departure control and BagLink gateways for IATA standard-format messaging protocols.
A-ICE integrated solutions reflect an understanding of the importance of streamlining airport operational systems to increase productivity, security and efficiency and achieve compliance. A-BRS has been developed to offer a powerful, integrable solution to streamline and simplify baggage reconciliation and management and reliably meet regulatory requirements throughout the entire baggage journey.