Ultra Electronics’ Airport Systems business has recently upgraded its successful UltraTrak Baggage Management System hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, following a five-year renewal earlier in the year. The renewal until 2018 guarantees enhanced airline security and improved business performance through UltraTrak’s powerful reconciliation, tracking and reporting capabilities.

UltraTrak has been used in South Africa since 2008; originally deployed in Johannesburg, with hosted operations via WAN at Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth airports. The operational efficiency benefits it delivered drove expansion of the system into 3 further airports; Bloemfontein, George and East London. Handlers have commented on the value of the UltraTrak system, describing it as ‘fantastic’, and a ‘very successful implementation and a benefit to the airline community’.

The UltraTrak system passed the ultimate resilience test during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which included the single busiest day of operations in the history of Johannesburg airport, on which it performed flawlessly.

Stephen Smith, national operations manager for customer ACS, said: "The Ultra system has consistently delivered significant benefits to the airline community in South Africa. We’d like to express our gratitude to the team both in the UK and locally in South Africa, for their preparation, dedication, rigorous testing and hard work in executing this project; always done with the customer’s best interest in mind. Their contribution plays a huge role in allowing us to exploit UltraTrak to its full potential."

UltraTrak’s multi-site capabilities enable airlines and handlers at any location to view the entire journey of a bag, from check-in at satellite airports to departure from the hub. This improved information flow lets ground handlers and airlines quickly identify mishandled bags, and allows queries on inbound bags to be investigated and often resolved before the passenger arrives at the airport. The result is an improvement to the service offered to customers by the airlines; all based on standard IATA messaging fed into the central host. The improved flow of information also enhances bag room efficiency, especially close to push back, by reducing the number of rejected scans experienced by baggage handlers; reducing push back delays for airlines.

UltraTrak is used at over 50 airports across five continents, handling around 200M bags per year.

UltraTrak is a crucial part of the baggage handling process for any airport or airline. It provides class-leading segregation, reconciliation, tracking, security and reporting capabilities; enhancing their operational efficiency and improving the passenger experience.