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Updated: September 28, 2012 11:07 IST

Automatic baggage handling planned

Special Correspondent
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The project is part of a
wider long-term ‘smarter
airport’ initiative.
The project is part of a wider long-term ‘smarter airport’ initiative.

Bengaluru International Airport is planning to introduce ‘automatic’ baggage handling facilities, said a senior official of the airport operator, the Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), here.

A pilot automation project is to commence in November, said S. Francis Rajan, vice-president, information and communication technology, BIAL, earlier this week. “The consultative process with stakeholders, especially airlines, is under way.”

The automation project is part of a wider long-term ‘smarter airport’ initiative, which is being implemented by BIAL in collaboration with IBM. Daniel Bircher, director, operations, BIAL, said the project aims to put in place an IT architecture that allows for seamless integration of multiple agencies involved in airport operations. The implementation of the project at BIA, the first airport in India to try out such a venture, “will be over several years,” he added.

Rahul Sharma, industry leader, travel and transportation, Global Business Services, IBM India, said the modular nature of the IT platform designed by the company would make it possible for new services to be integrated into the system.

‘Questionable process’

Observing that the current process of checking in at airports was “questionable,” Mr. Sharma predicted that it “will eventually disappear.” Smart boarding cards on smart phones will make paperless entry possible, he said.

Mr. Sharma said IBM was working on similar projects at other airports in India, but he refused to name them.

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