Tech Bytes

Baggage Technology

  • Quick Drop-Off. Air Canada has implemented a check-in and baggage drop-off process for its customers departing London Heathrow Airport by using technology that combines kiosk check-in and self-tagging options with baggage drop-off at designated counters. Currently available at Air Canada’s Toronto and Vancouver hubs, the system allows passengers to drop off bags in less than 30 minutes, the company says. Using Brock Solutions’ SmartDrop software, the drop-off process is a secure transaction involving scanning the passenger’s boarding pass and each bag tag;

  • World’s Smallest Kiosks. SITA, specialist in air transport communication and IT solutions, has launched the world’s smallest full-function check-in kiosk called the AirportConnect S3 Kiosk. The 64-kg kiosk has the smallest carbon footprint in the industry with a printer that can issue up to 5,300 boarding passes from a single roll, as well as print bag tags for self-tagging, according to SITA.

    The company has also introduced the WorldTracer Kiosk which is enabled with a web-link to its WorldTracer software, allowing passengers to check on the status of their delayed bags online, and to file “missing bag” reports without having to talk to an agent;

  • RFID Tracking. Motorola has partnered with Avery Dennison RFID and Print-O-Tape, Inc. to improve Hong Kong Airport’s baggage tracking with RFID technology. By leveraging RFID (versus bar code) technology, Hong Kong Airport is able to track passenger bags in real-time. By enabling a more timely and accurate system for checked bag deliveries to planes, airlines and passengers experience more on-time departures, says a company press release;

Boarding solutions

  • Mobile Boarding Passes. American Airlines, in partnership with TSA, has expanded its mobile boarding capabilities to Las Vegas McCarran International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International. American Airline customers who check-in at can choose to receive an electronic boarding pass via email, in the form of a 2D barcode. After receiving the email on their cell phone or PDA, customers can save the barcode to the mobile device and have it ready upon arrival at the security checkpoint. Not only does mobile boarding eliminate paper boarding passes, it also speeds up the security check-in process, says a company press release. American Airlines implemented paperless boarding capabilities at Chicago O’Hare, LAX, and John Wayne Orange County Airport last year;


  • Energy Efficiency. Optimum Energy has announced the successful implementation of its heating , ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) optimization software at the Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC). In the first five months of operation, SJC has saved more than 235,000 kWh of electricity and more than $35,000 in operating expenses, a 47 percent reduction, according to the company;


  • Checkpoint System. Reveal Imaging Technologies, developer of threat detection solutions, introduces the ArrayCT, an x-ray detection system for screening baggage at the airport checkpoint. The system combines relative motion technology with material classification algorithms to provide automatic threat detection. The ArrayCT uses multi-axis image acquisition and Array Motion Imaging to scan moving bags from multiple angles simultaneously. The resulting image enables the operator to identify threat objects by their shape, placement, and relative motion, says the company;

Web-based technology

  • Aviation Data Tool. Boyd Group International has implemented a new complimentary website that provides data reports, key information, and underlying trends related to the aviation industry. Included among the data is access to the top ten passenger markets for any airport in the U.S., airline segment financial performance for any nonstop segment operated by any U.S. airline, market O&D between any two U.S. airports, and year-over-year capacity and departure changes for all airline systems and for the top 20 airports across the nation;

  • Flight Tracking Tool. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has launched a web application which allows members of the public to see real-time and historical flight and noise data collected by the airport authority’s aircraft noise monitoring and tracking system. WebTrak for YVR was developed in close collaboration with NAV CANADA and identifies aircraft type, elevation, noise level, and whether the aircraft is arriving or departing. Anyone with Internet access can replay historical flight activity and, if they wish, register a comment or concern about a particular flight;

  • Flight Activity Reporting. Lochard has launched FlightOps, a web-based application developed to help users track and record detailed aircraft operations for airport master planning, billing, maintenance, and marketing; and to manage the impact by responding to the community, according to the company. Aircraft flight tracks are overlaid and replayed on simplified street and satellite maps, while all aircraft operations data are batched and reported on a daily and monthly basis to help track and report growth and airport use;

  • Internet Airshows. LiveAirShowTV has announced its first Internet broadcast of an air show, the Barksdale Air Show. The company worked in conjunction with public affairs personnel and local television professionals;