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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Improving baggage handling operations is paramount to ensuring that the industry is ready to cope with the doubling in passenger demand over the next two decades and meeting the evolving needs of passengers for real time baggage information.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking provides the data that allows airlines to efficiently track the bag through all airport processes.

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With IATA's Resolution 753 now in effect, airlines have started to implement baggage tracking. IATA recommends the use of the RFID technology, which is much more effective that the bar code technology mostly in use currently. 

The IATA standard for RFID ensures that all baggage can be easily identified thanks to the unique identifier provided by RFID. RFID also meets passenger expectations for real time tracking of baggage.

RFID in the aviation industry

RFID uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data that uniquely identifies each bag. In addition, RFID does not require line of sight to the bag, and so can identify many bags at once.

The most common type of RFID used in the aviation industry is passive Class 1 Gen 2 Ultra High Frequency (UHF). This type of RFID only sends information when it is in range of a reader, and emits a very low energy signal. When not in range of a reader the tag is absolutely passive and sends no information at all.  This means that when tracking bags throughout airport processes it is impossible to interfere with any aircraft systems.

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