The smart use of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to revolutionize the management of baggage at the airports.
Presently, more than 4.5 billion bags are handled by industry baggage systems each year but airlines and airports will have to cope with twice that number with passenger numbers set to double over the next 20 years. Already, through improvements to technology and processes, the air transport industry has halved its annual mishandling cost over the past decade from $4.22 billion to $2.1 billion. However, every mishandled bag is one too many and the industry continues to seek ways to reduce the number further.
Ilya Gutlin, President, SITA Air Travel Solutions said, “We at SITA believe that harnessing data and AI in a meaningful way will revolutionize how we manage the air transport industry in the next decade. SITA has a unique role to play in realizing the potential of data and baggage management is one area that will benefit. It is an area we are strongly focused on, collaborating across the industry to innovate.”
The industry’s immediate focus is on implementing the International Air Transport Association’s Resolution 753. The resolution requires member airlines keep track of each bag and share that tracking information with all involved in delivering those bags back to passengers at their destination. While the resolution will deliver accurate data on the journey undertaken by each and every bag, the industry is already looking beyond the resolution to develop an even more accurate model for baggage operations.
“The bag tracking data that will be generated and collected under Resolution 753 will provide the air transport industry with a rich stream of data. This can be enhanced with AI tools to create greater efficiencies in baggage operations and, ultimately, to improve our experience as passengers,” added Gutlin.
Using AI, intelligent machines will enable baggage to be autonomously managed from the moment a passenger checks in their bag to when it arrives at the destination – all without human intervention. For example, in this vision of the future, autonomous loaders could be used to transport bags between the terminal and aircraft. Baggage data will also allow airlines and airports to provide passengers more relevant information on their baggage as it makes its journey from departure to destination.