Technology provider SITA has introduced the artificial intelligence-based (AI) solution WorldTracer Lost and Found Property for managing lost items on the aircraft or in airports.

The cost for handling and returning a lost item, comprising registration, handling inquiries and customer calls, storage and postage, can go up to $95.

WorldTracer Lost and Found Property is the latest option to SITA’s WorldTracer solution used in 2,200 airports across the world and will help reduce the expense of returning lost items to their owners by 90%.

The WorldTracer service is a fully contactless method enabling passengers to report delayed baggage from a mobile device and skip long queues at baggage service counters.

The new solution will streamline and speed up the process of handling lost items, which is still carried out manually in most cases.

With the help of the service, airline employees can generate a missing item report, register a found item and authenticate a match within two minutes.

In addition, passengers can now enter a claim using their mobile device for reporting, paying and arranging repatriation, which enables them to keep a tab on their item at every stage.

For pairing the found item to a missing item report, the solution studies a global database of images and descriptions by using AI, including computer vision, machine learning and more.

It categorises particulars such as brand, material and colour of the missing item, with the help of image recognition and identifies similar words in the description for making a final match.

Following this, the airline notifies the owner instantly and starts the return process.

SITA airports and borders CEO David Lavorel said: “WorldTracer is a great example of how SITA continues to evolve its portfolio to meet the changing demands of the industry. For almost three decades, WorldTracer has helped to successfully trace mishandled bags. Now, using new technology, we are adding further value by helping the industry be more efficient and reduce costs around lost items at a time when it is most needed.”

Last week, Australia’s Sydney Airport (SYD) awarded a five-year contract to SITA for the delivery of common-use services at its two terminals.