Two years after announcing its plan to replace bar-coding with RFID as a means of sorting and tracking baggage, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has completed the first phase of its RFID deployment, according to Swanson Rink, the consulting engineering firm that designed the system.
On Labor Day weekend,
RFID is a favorable alternative to bar-coding for luggage identification. Due to the unpredictable orientation of the label to the optical scanner, 15 to 30 percent of the bar-coded labels being used to identify the luggage at McCarran are not properly read as the bags move through the airport luggage handling equipment. Each piece of luggage for which the bar code is not successfully scanned is diverted and manually read. Because RFID tags do not require line-of-sight with the interrogator, they are much more easily read.