Starting this month, a special test will get under way to determine the feasibility of using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in baggage handling applications. During the 30-day trial, more than 40,000 disposable RFID tags will be affixed to outbound passenger bags traveling from Jacksonville International Airport through the Delta Air Lines hub at Hartsfield Atlanta International Ai rport . The test will analyze two different tracking methodologies: printer-level encoding and database association of the RFID tags. The test will apply only to bags departing from JAX that are ticketed through ATL.
The test, funded primarily by the Transportation Security Administration and Delta Air Lines, will be led by the technology research and development consortium Battelle Memorial Institute in conjunction with several partners from private industry. One team member, FKI Logistex, a global provider of baggage handling solutions, will evaluate the RFID tags' effectiveness and durability, and the feasibility of RFID-based baggage tracking from departure to final destination. Other test partners include IATA luggage tag provider Moore Wallace Publishing and two RFID manufacturers, SCS Corp. of San Diego and Matrics Inc. of Baltimore.