In time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, thirteen international airlines operating to and from New Zealand have signed contracts with Unisys to provide an advanced baggage reconciliation system for their international flights operating from Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington international airports. The baggage reconciliation system links passengers with their bags, tracking both as they move through the system to help the airlines comply with aviation industry security requirements.
The Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), an industry representative organisation for airlines, manages the engagement with Unisys on behalf of the airlines. The contracted period is four years and eight months.
Each year these airlines must secure and validate up to 3 million bags for approximately 2.4 million air travellers on international flights to and from New Zealand. These volumes are expected to increase significantly during the Rugby World Cup being hosted by New Zealand in September-October 2011.
The Unisys baggage reconciliation system helps airlines comply with the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) national aviation security program which covers International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations relating to baggage handling so that unaccompanied baggage does not travel ahead of the passenger.
When passengers check in, each bag receives a barcode, which is then scanned and reconciled with a passenger record before it can be loaded onto the aircraft. As the airline has a record of the baggage loading order, bags can be quickly identified and recovered if passengers fail to board. This process prevents take-off with a mismatch of passengers, crew and baggage. It also provides a tool to assist in delivering enhanced security levels to avoid unaccompanied baggage being loaded on the flight.
The Unisys baggage reconciliation system was chosen after a detailed evaluation co-ordinated by BARNZ involving four potential BRS suppliers, with key evaluation criteria including value for money, proven solution and capability, local support and ability to implement the solution before Rugby World Cup.
“The Unisys baggage reconciliation system helps achieve efficiencies by using standardised processes to avoid lengthy processing or flight delays when baggage needs to be found and removed from flights,” said Mr John Beckett, Executive Director, Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand. “It also helps our member airlines comply with compulsory security requirements for baggage handling and, just as importantly, improve their customers’ air travel experience by preventing passenger processing delays and enabling tight flying schedules.”
The new contract with BARNZ builds on Unisys’ credentials for delivering baggage reconciliation systems for the Asia Pacific aviation industry. Unisys has provided a baggage reconciliation system for the Board of Airline Representatives Australia (BARA) since 2004. In 2010 Qantas selected Unisys to provide an innovative solution for its Australian domestic flights using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track and verify bags. Qantas introduced Australia’s first self-service baggage check-in facility as part of the airline’s Next Generation Check-in initiative to streamline and speed up a passenger’s journey through domestic airports using technology such as RFID bag tags, called Q Tags.
Mr Sury Chavali, Partner for the Asia Pacific Airports Practice, Unisys said: “An additional benefit is that as Unisys already provides similar services in Australia to the Board of Airline Representatives Australia (BARA) and Qantas Airways, the airlines have access to trans-Tasman baggage reconciliation information providing visibility of in-bound cargo loads so that the destination airline can better plan and schedule their baggage handling resources.”
Unisys Baggage Reconciliation System team will provide a full managed service to the BARNZ member airlines. This service includes managing network infrastructure and security architecture, training and onsite support, application management and round-the-clock help desk support