McCarran International Airport To Implement RFID Baggage Tagging System

Nov. 1, 2003
Las Vegas, Nevada and Columbia, Maryland - November 5, 2003 - McCarran International Airport today announced a contract with Matrics, Inc., a pioneer

Las Vegas, Nevada and Columbia, Maryland - November 5, 2003 - McCarran International Airport today announced a contract with Matrics, Inc., a pioneer in the advanced development and standardization of low-cost, high-performance, UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) smart label technology, to supply RFID tags for use in tracking passenger bags as part of the airport's ongoing commitment to improving customer safety and satisfaction.

The new system, operational in 2004, is designed to automatically track all passenger bags through inline explosive detection and screening equipment, ensuring safe passage for the airport's millions of customers.

Using RFID tags can ensure nearly 100% accuracy in tracking baggage and supports the Transportation Security Administration's objective to screen all passenger baggage. "This becomes a win for all concerned: the traveler, the airport, the TSA and the airline," said Randall W. Walker, Director of Aviation, McCarran International Airport, "by reducing the incidence of lost or mishandled bags while ensuring screened bags are delivered to the right place at the right time."

FKI Logistex, based in Danville, KY, will provide the system architecture and integration under a separate agreement. The new, automated system will provide McCarran with end-to-end baggage visibility. RFID tags will be printed and attached at the ticket counter or curbside. Each tag will carry a unique identifier and will be read while the bag is being transported on conveyors to route them to the appropriate screening machines and then to the specific plane for flight.

Under the terms of the five-year contract, Matrics will supply nearly 100 million passive, non-battery UHF disposable tags. The value of the contract, including the RFID infrastructure for the new baggage handling facility, is approximately $25 million. This is one of the largest single orders ever placed for RFID technology and the largest for a security application and will, according to Walker, "reflect the commitment we have towards improving the safety and service satisfaction of our customers."

Matrics has been active in supporting the various requirements of airports and airlines for tracking assets with a technology platform that can be used for multiple applications. "We are committed to providing complete solutions with our business partners to bring a new level of visibility and security to our customers," said John Shoemaker, Vice President of Corporate Development for Matrics.

Shoemaker continued, "Matrics is especially proud to work with the team at McCarran International Airport to create a showcase that will clearly demonstrate how RFID technology can improve visibility, accuracy and security in baggage operations - all while reducing operational costs and increasing customer satisfaction. Future applications using the same platform can include passenger boarding passes, carry-on items, vehicle parking, traveler loyalty, air cargo and more."