Global Apex Body of Airline Operators Passes Key Resolutions to Make Travel More Accessible

Originally posted June 4 2019

Improving airline infrastructure and facilities for people with disabilities, global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking and facilitating implementation of biometrics based One ID process were some of the key resolutions passed on Sunday at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global apex body of airline operators, in Seoul.

The resolution means that global airlines and airports will work together to ensure that wheelchair assistance to passengers increases. Airlines will also work with passenger associations, airports, ground handlers, and regulators to ensure that there is no damage to the mobility aids of passengers who travel with their own aids.

An IATA survey of 48 airlines had indicated that requests for wheelchair assistance grew by 30 per cent between 2016 and 2017. Identification of lost baggage is also expected to improve with global airlines committing to implementation of RFID for baggage tracking in real time. According to latest data from SITA, in 2018, less than 0.06 per cent of the estimated 4.3 billion bags carried by airlines were mishandled.

IATA officials said RFID read rates are 99.98 per cent accurate, which is significantly better than that of bar codes. The resolution commits airlines to make transition to bar-coded bag tags with RFID inlays, and use RFID data alerts to enact processes with airports and ground handlers to prevent potential mishandlings.

RFID implementation is expected to be achieved within next four years. The IATA also passed a resolution to implement biometric-based One ID resolution to facilitate paperless travel.

The resolution calls for International Civil Aviation Organisation member states to endorse digital travel credential specifications that will offer a secure and efficient alternative to passports. The concept of One ID is a paperless travel experience where passengers can fly around the world using only their individual biometric dfata. One ID process is under trial at several international airports including Atlanta, Heathrow, Sydney, Schiphol, Changi, and Dubai.

Original at