Airlines starting to embrace RFID and asset tagging software
Paperless aircraft technical operations are increasingly being discussed and coming in to focus.
More parts are being tagged on Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and carriers are finally beginning to find value in using the technology for their own purposes.
There is much more interest in RFID now in the aviation industry, the statistics seem to strongly back up this theory.
Boeing and Airbus are both currently updating their RFID and asset tagging related projects. Airbus is entering a new phase of RFID Usage and digitalization, whilst Jetstar Airways has recently started using RFID to track cabin safety equipment.
TAP Portugal and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are both now using RFID in their maintenance operations. Air France-KLM is currently embarking on an RFID Luggage-Tag Trial. Honeywell and Rockwell Collins, which supply parts and handle maintenance for airlines are also taking part in RFID projects to tag Parts for Airbus, and Rockwell Collins are exploring ways to benefit from RFID.
The airlines are keen on the idea of using RFID tags to place on seats, life vests and other airplane parts for their own benefit. RFID can also be used within maintenance operations to lower costs, improve efficiency, and reduce the incidence of manual errors.
Most airlines seem to realize they are not currently utilizing the full benefits and advantages of RFID tags and asset tagging software, which could be costing money, efficiency, time and safety.
At Delta airlines, staffs are able to read the tags on all life vests and oxygen canisters in the plane within a minute or so, merely by walking down the aisle and the asset tagger automatically picking up all of the tags through its codes.
It appears that the ground has been laid for the widespread adoption of RFID in the airline industry. Airbus has been installing tagged items on its new aircraft, and Boeing is following suit. Airlines are beginning to realize these tags can be used to reduce the amount of time workers spend checking for life vests and expired oxygen canisters on planes.
This initial application is accomplishing what the tracking of jeans did for retailers. It is a quick and easy way to see the big benefits that RFID can deliver, and is leading companies to look at what else it can do. Those who started with tracking life vests are now moving on to other applications within the maintenance area. It's only a matter of time before RFID is widely used in the airline industry to identify and track parts and manage their maintenance.