Aalborg Airport in northern Jutland has invested DKK 2m (USD 360,000) in a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, which by means of a chip on baggage strips and antennas on the baggage conveyor belt can help reduce the risk of baggage being loaded on the wrong aircraft, reports professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer).
Director of Aalborg Airport, Søren Svendsen, says: "Initially the technology will primarily help us locally during the sorting of baggage. We have almost doubled the number of routes in the last two years and are still growing. So we need a new technology that could help us with the increased amount of baggage."
Lyngsoe Systems, one of the world's leading software developers and systems integrators of logistics solutions, based in the same region as Aalborg Airport, has supplied the system. The company has previously provided similar systems to airports in Hong Kong, Milan and Lisbon.
"The major benefits for passengers we will naturally not see until more airports use RFID so that we can scan each others' chips, but I believe in and see the spread of the technology," says Svendsen, who has listened to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which supports the use of RFID technology.
IATA tests show that RFID tags are 99% reliable, which is significantly more reliable than barcodes on baggage strips, where 10% cannot be read automatically or get ripped off. Incorrect baggage handling is estimated to cost the aviation industry DKK 21bn (USD 3.8bn) annually.
Aalborg Airport is situated just 6 kilometres (3.75 miles) from the city centre. In November 2007, the airport completed a major expansion of the passenger terminal, which now offers travellers much more comfort and 50% more space. There are 40 daily flights between Aalborg and Copenhagen Airport, which is the main international hub in northern Europe, and the flight time is just 40 minutes.