The FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group (BIWG) is the industry forum where the future of baggage handling will be defined. It brings together the most innovative and progressive baggage supply chain companies, airlines, and airports, in an informal, welcoming environment with invaluable networking opportunities for knowledge-sharing and business development. The BIWG is led by Darin Juby, Director Baggage Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, and Head of Baggage Transformation, Future Travel Experience. In this article, he shares an overview of some of the BIWG members-only events and activities from the last 12 months. “The membership has almost doubled since the start of 2022 to over 70 members from airlines, airports and industry partners,” he shares. “The group works extremely well together, and discussions and Proof of Concepts (PoCs) always involve numerous people from many aspects of baggage. We now have nine Strategic Partners from various aspects of the baggage industry, who are very active in our PoCs and bring insights from all areas of the world.”
In-person and virtual BIWG meetings
In 2022 the BIWG met on nine occasions, including six virtual meetings and three meetings taking place in-person during FTE’s live events: FTE EMEA and FTE Ancillary & Retailing in Dublin, FTE Global in Las Vegas, and FTE APEX Asia Expo in Singapore. “The in-person meetings are my personal favourite and I believe the members as well, because we have 30-70 people there to see the presentations and ask questions, which always leads to fruitful discussions, ideation and sometimes debates,” says Juby. “The conferences also provide a great opportunity for break-out discussions and great networking opportunities with a diverse group of people that are passionate about baggage.”
Invaluable networking opportunities for knowledge-sharing and business development
The BIWG is a welcoming, informal group for all those who are passionate about baggage. Juby became FTE’s Head of Baggage Transformation in June 2022, since when the BIWG has continued to go from strength-to-strength, and he highlights the networking opportunities for knowledge-sharing and business development as among the most important aspects of the group. “Personally, the highlight for me has been the people I have met, and this group has provided the avenue for me to develop both professional and personal relationships. Also, the depth of knowledge and innovative ideas that are discussed in the group give me a ton of optimism for the future of how we move bags with their people.”
As we strive to overcome challenges and drive transformation in the baggage space, it has never been more important for industry stakeholders to share experiences, learnings and ideas. There simply isn’t another group globally that provides such an invaluable platform.
Indeed, this is facilitated not only through the schedule of virtual and live meetings, but also the informal social gatherings that regularly take place during FTE events. In 2022, these took place at the Brewdog Dublin, Beerhaus Las Vegas, and Lotus Foyer at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, truly taking the level of networking and engagement to the next level.
BIWG members tour Changi Airport baggage system
During our live events, FTE usually organises a tour of the host airport’s baggage system. Most recently, Changi Airport hosted a tour of its baggage system for BIWG members during FTE APEX Asia Expo in Singapore in November. “It is a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at some great airports and ask questions during the tours,” Juby explains. “We also really enjoy our social time and an ‘unofficial gathering’ usually occurs where people get together and catch up over a beverage and share stories of baggage and anything that is on their mind. Many friendships have developed within the group which is amazing.”
Successful Toronto Pearson baggage reclaim PoC with Copenhagen Optimization moves to full operational implementation
In 2022, the BIWG completed two PoCs. The first was using data to optimise the allocation of inbound baggage claim carousels using real-time baggage data with Copenhagen Optimization, Brock Solutions, Wipro and Toronto Pearson Airport. “The PoC was so successful that it is being implemented in Q1 of 2023 into live operation,” says Juby.
Read our full article on the Toronto Pearson PoC success here.
The second PoC involved the real-world testing of electronic bag tags through all aspects of a baggage system using different types of readers. The participants to-date have included Air Canada, BAGTAG, Cognex, Materna and Toronto Pearson Airport, with more to come.
Championing truly revolutionary new approaches
The BIWG is committed to reimagining the future of baggage and regularly collaborates with the most progressive players globally. Examples range from supporting Apple’s work in the baggage space through to exploring Pangiam’s concept of an airport with no baggage handling system thanks to revolutionary new AI technology. These are just two examples from our most recent BIWG virtual meetings.
BIWG Strategic Partners
The BIWG now has nine Strategic Partners from various aspects of the baggage industry, who are very active in our PoCs and bring insights from all areas of the world. These are companies that are not only leading edge in the world of baggage but want to stand out as leaders in the field, and their support is central to the efforts of the BIWG.
Exciting BIWG plans for 2023 – more meetings, more PoCs and a new PoC selection process
In 2023, the BIWG will meet nine times with the addition of two more in-person meetings. Alongside the three BIWG meetings to coincide with FTE’s live events – FTE EMEA and FTE Ancillary & Retailing, 23-25 May 2023, Dublin; FTE Global, 19-21 September 2023, Los Angeles; and FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, Singapore – two in-person meetings will also take place in Tampa in February, and in Amsterdam in March. “I am excited to have the additional meetings with the in-person option as the group enjoys getting together in-person as much as possible,” Juby comments.
The selection process for the BIWG’s game-changing PoCs is also being revised to encourage even more member participation. “In 2023, we are going to switch it up a bit and have the BIWG members select themes for the PoCs and then vote on which ones we will collectively work on,” Juby explains. “Members can get involved by submitting their ideas and then voting during the virtual meeting on 18 January 2023. In addition, the person who suggests the idea will lead it themselves and other members will then choose to participate. I hope to have many more PoCs running in various parts of the world in 2023 and beyond.”
Airline membership is free
If you’re interested in joining the FTE BIWG in 2023 and playing an active role in our unique platform for developing new techniques, technologies, and business models to deliver tangible change in the baggage sector, please contact us here and we will be happy to share more information.