Johannesburg, 6 February 2014 – Over the past seven years,
Airports Company South Africa has made significant improvements to support,
coordinate and oversee baggage handling operations across its network of
airports. This is demonstrated by the company’s multi-million rand investment in
the latest technology to improve baggage handling and management at O.R. Tambo
International, its flagship airport.
“In 2009, 18.65 bags were mishandled per 1 000 departing passengers at O.R.
Tambo International Airport and this has dropped significantly in 2013 to 9.79
per 1 000 departing passengers”, said O.R. Tambo International General Manager,
“O.R. Tambo International Airport’s baggage management statistics are faring
competitively when compared to the global averages provided by SITA Worldtracer
(a company that studies global trends and reports on baggage performance), which
reported global mishandling rates at 11.39 bags mishandled per 1 000 passengers
in 2009 and improving to 8.83 in 2012,” added Mekgoe.
International and King Shaka International Airports have consistently performed
at levels below four bags per 1 000 passengers. The higher number at O.R. Tambo
International Airport is the result of about one fifth of the airport’s traffic
being connecting traffic. This is one of the major contributors to mishandled
bags around the world.
With Airports Company South Africa’s stance being that one bag mishandled is
one bag too many, the broader focus has been on improving the operational
effectiveness relating to baggage handling. Despite the fact that baggage
handling and management is the sole responsibility of the airlines – which
contract baggage handling service providers – Airports Company South Africa
plays a key role in partnering with stakeholders and providing globally
benchmarked support infrastructure for the process.
Some of the company’s successes, which speak to the airport community’s
commitment to on-going efforts to reduce pilferage, can be attributed to a
number of factors, which include:
- The redesigning of the baggage sortation area’s entrance and egress points
to accommodate fully automated screening and reverse screening – thus limiting
access to the area.
- The introduction of a sterile facility where staff members leave all
personal belongings prior to being screened and gaining access to the
restricted area through a central security point.
- A biometrics system that only gives restricted access once a permit holder
has scanned both their permit and fingerprint.
- The implementation of a colour-coded permit system, restricting access to
the baggage makeup area only to authorised employees and not all permit holders.
- Strict compliance to uniform by staff working in the baggage
While some say it’s impossible to get to zero, Airports Company South Africa
and its stakeholders continually strive to reduce the number of mishandled bags.
The company measures and reviews its baggage processes against international
standards with the objective of remaining competent and competitive. Only
through such collaborative efforts with all responsible stakeholders can the
number of mishandled bags be significantly reduced.
For more information contact:
Spokesperson, Airports Company South Africa
Direct: +27 (0)11 921
Cell: +27 (0)79 882 7307