Ensuring Baggage Handling Systems Match Automated Immigration Processes

As automated immigration programmes and processes are being used more widely, it is essential that airport baggage handling systems are capable of keeping pace.

With waiting times and queues reducing, airport operators are facing the challenge of making the baggage handling process seamlessly efficient, while maintaining security, IATA and other mandatory standards.

The US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry programme recently reached an uptake of five million members, and gives expedited, pre-clearance for pre-approved travellers reaching the US. Automated Passport Control (APC) also makes travel easier for US, Canadian and international passengers enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program.

Rockwell Collins’ Tony Chapman spoke in a recent interview about expedited clearance: “APC allows travelers to use self-service kiosks to speed the immigration process,” he said. “For airports, driving the pre-clearance process to other countries eliminates immigration queues on arrival to the US, as passengers have gone through the process before landing.”

The use of automated kiosks is providing a streamlined approach to the system, giving the pre-cleared passenger the ability to bypass traditional CBP queues and have baggage checked and processed by an automated programme. With pre-clearance arranged before arrival in the US, immigration queues are radically reduced.

Although avoiding queuing is a significant benefit to airport operators, customs and border agencies and also the passenger, the baggage handling system must be able to keep up, particularly under the new IATA Resolution 753, which sets out new mandates for enhanced remote baggage tracking.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC SmartBag significantly reduces the complexity of the baggage tracking system and meets all the requirements of compliance with IATA Resolution 753.

ARINC SmartBag is an intelligent management and tracking solution that uses an unlimited number of scan points to deliver a clear picture of the baggage journey, whether for a direct flight or for multiple legs of an interlining traveller’s itinerary. With in-built, powerful analytics and a centralised database, mishandling is significantly reduced. If there is an unlikely instance of mishandling, the mobile re-flighting tool can be used to quickly reconcile lost baggage with the passenger, reducing costly ground delays and increasing passenger experience.

As regulatory and mandatory conditions are constantly evolving in the airport environment, operators are looking towards the latest innovations and technology to streamline operations and increase productivity, while maintaining seamless compliance.

The evolving airport of the future requires scalable, flexible solutions to continue to provide secure, safe and streamlined travel. Passengers that are not waiting in queues are moving through the airport environment, spending more time in retail and dining areas before boarding.

Mr Chapman had a final word: “Given the benefits they provide, it’s likely that use of automated immigration solutions will continue to expand. Airports should continue to evolve their baggage processes as these systems gain traction in more countries worldwide.”

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