The International Air Transport Association has published new data around the implementation of baggage tracking by airlines and airports.

IATA surveyed 155 airlines and 94 airports, and found that 44 per cent of airports have fully implemented Resolution 753 – which requires the tracking of baggage at acceptance, loading, transfer and arrival – with a further 41 per cent in the process of doing so.

The results of the survey show that 88 per cent of airlines have fully adopted the resolution in China and North Asia, with 60 per cent of carriers having done so in the Americas, 40 per cent in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and 27 per cent in Africa.

The data also shows that 75 per cent of airports surveyed now have the capability for Resolution 753 baggage tracking.

IATA said that optical barcode scanning was the dominant tracking technology implemented by airports (73 per cent) with the “more efficient” RFID tracking implemented at 27 per cent of those surveyed – although the world’s largest airports (those handling more than 40 million passengers) favoured RFID (54 per cent).

Resolution 753 was adopted in June 2018, and data shows that between 2007 and 2022 baggage mishandling reduced by nearly 60 per cent.

However a report published last year by Air transport IT provider SITA showed that airports were facing “a surge in baggage mishandling rates”.

At the time SITA cited the resumption of international and long-haul flights following the Covid-19 pandemic, and a shortage of skilled staff and congestion at airports as reasons for the increase.

Airlines and airports “facing a surge in baggage mishandling rates”

IATA said it was also leading the industry’s transition from costly legacy ‘Type B’ baggage tracking messaging, to modern messaging based on XML standards, with a pilot project planned for this year.

Commenting on the news Monika Mejstrikova, IATA director ground operations, said:

“Tracking bags at acceptance, loading, transfer and delivery will give the industry the data it needs to improve.

“Tracking reduces overall mishandlings and helps airlines reunite mishandled bags with their owners even faster. With 44 per cent of airlines already fully implementing Resolution 753 tracking and a further 41 per cent in progress, travellers can have even more confidence that their bags will be at the carousel on arrival.

“Adopting modern messaging is the equivalent of implementing a new standard, intelligible language for use by airlines, airports, and ground handling staff so they can effectively communicate about passenger luggage.

“In addition to helping reduce the number of mishandled bags implementation also sets the stage for ongoing innovations in baggage management systems.”

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