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RFID Improves Efficiency at Airport Terminals

The most important function for airports and airlines is to ensure that flights depart safely and on schedule. That means getting planes boarded and emptied in a timely manner. The airports and airlines consider keeping efficiency at the terminals a critical operation. Airports are large places, and some members of airport personnel must cover large areas throughout their shifts. This means it can be difficult to find a specific person if their work area is vast. If you know exactly where they are, you can either page them or you can go to them without having to search.

RFID technology is a great way to track the location of employees, and it enables tags to communicate with readers and computers with locating software installed. RFID tags are given to all employees; each tag uniquely identifies each employee. RFID readers are placed at specific points throughout the airport. Exits, entrances, and ticket counters are just some of the places readers can be placed so they can read the signals broadcasted by the tags. The data is transmitted to the locating software. You can then easily track personnel from a computer or even a mobile device, so they can be tracked and directed/dispatched quickly. By wearing smartwatches, employees are able to keep their hands free so that they can perform their work while receiving notifications or updates. [1]

When considering the use of RFID tracking in airports, reading distance has to be considered. Airports are big places, and some areas may require longer transmission distances than others. For instance, someone working out on the tarmac loading baggage may need tags and readers that can communicate at longer distances. Fortunately, this is possible at as far as 328 feet. In other cases, you may need to monitor employees at choke points, such as entrances and exits or ticket counters. These systems can communicate at a distance of around 16 feet, they’re considered medium distance.

Benefits of Using RFID Technology

The intention of the RFID tags, regardless of the distance in which they’re required to be read, is to measure how truly productive employees are. It can be easy for an employee to lose time without intending to do so. By measuring when and why they’re most productive, as well as why productivity may decline, airlines can create policies or even improve the work environment for their employees. Below are a couple of other benefits of using RFID technology: [2]

  • Sends an alert when an employee enters a prohibited area, which allows you to act quickly to prevent security breaches or safety issues.
  • Provides better safety practices since it shows what employees are doing at any given time. If someone enters an area they’re not trained to be in, they could be seriously injured. You can intervene much faster if you know this is happening as soon as it does.
  • Enables better attendance tracking, since it prevents employees from leaving work for a couple of hours while on the airport’s time.
  • Improves efficiency by monitoring where the employee is and how long they’re there. If a person should be doing a specific task but isn’t where they’re supposed to be, you can identify this and intervene.

Not only is RFID technology effective at tracking employees, but it can be used to track passengers or even measure interactions between employees and passengers. Employees stationed in certain areas can be pinged via a handheld device about the name of a specific passenger so that they can be greeted. Airport personnel tracking is just a first step towards better efficiency. This is a scalable technology, so there’s no need to start from scratch every time there’s an advancement. The scalability also makes it efficient in itself and more affordable than other types of systems and their upgrades.

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