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Findings 57 Table 4. Estimated potential annual savings from eliminating recheck. Operation Area Savings Airline baggage recheck staffing $5 million Passenger value of travel time $195 million Aircraft productivity $62 million Total annual savings $262 million Table 5. Estimated potential capital/ infrastructure savings from eliminating recheck. Capital/Infrastructure Savings Airport baggage carousel space $36 million Airport baggage recheck space $18 million Total one-time savings $54 million Other Benefits There is a range of other quantifiable benefits for eliminating baggage recheck. Reducing lost bags, as well as additional efficiencies in customer service provision, are some of the key categories. Because these benefits are more indirect and highly variable depending on the air- port site, they were not included in the impact analysis. One estimate worth noting, however, is the opportunity for greater utilization of aircraft due to the time savings from transferring bags from the origin flight to the connection flight as noted in Test 1. If 15 minutes of flight time is saved, it could produce $653 in savings to an airline in improved productivity of air- craft (based on the ICAO estimates for block hour operating costs for a B737-300/700). The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that more than 9.5 million annual scheduled revenue departures are performed annually. A conservative assumption of 1 percent of flights being able to realize an improvement on time was applied to estimate airline savings. The increased aircraft productivity could result in savings of up to $62 million for connections per year. Impact Summary Eliminating baggage recheck could deliver significant economic benefits, both annually and in one-time cost avoidance. The annual estimated savings are about $260 million in operating costs (Table 4) and $54 million in capital costs (Table 5). The reduction of baggage recheck would have similar benefits but to a lesser extent. Solutions As outlined previously, the risk environment for connections is considerably different depend- ing on the final destination. Therefore, an independent evaluation of each sector is provided in the following subsections. International-to-International Solutions The study team found that very few reasons stand in the way of scaling the DFW, GUM, IAH, and ATL programs for baggage recheck elimination for international-to-international flights to other major hubs.
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58Elimination or Reduction of Baggage Recheck for Arriving International Passengers As shown in Figure 28, three elements are critical for an airport to consider in order to pursue this capability: · Priority for connecting bags: Implement air carrier processes to sort bags upline to ensure that connecting bags are prioritized. If this is not achieved, the risk is that the bags will not be available for retrieval and ultimately undermine the timeliness of passenger processes. · CBP access: Providing CBP access to the baggage area to review arriving bags is an important part of the overall operation of the FIS areas. For international-to-international connections, however, protocols to allow CBP review and oversight of bags that will not be present in the FIS area are important. The study team found that specific processes could vary from site to site, ranging from availability of CBP officers to having canine teams occasionally deployed in connecting bag areas. There may be possibilities for technological solutions to link CCTV images to the CBP Control Center. · Baggage retrieval: Processes must allow a bag to be redelivered on demand within 20 to 30 minutes. Typically, manual retrieval could be instituted; automated retrieval systems through RFID or baggage handler tug barcode scanning procedures could be employed. Beyond the basic commonalties just outlined, local operating procedures that were designed to address site-specific risk and facilities are in effect at each of the airports. International-to-Domestic Solutions There are significant obstacles for expanding the aforementioned process for international- to-domestic transfers. The rationale for greater concern by CBP is the potential consequence of introducing contraband or other risk items into the commerce of the United States. To this end, the study team has found that the ability for TSA EDS images to be available for CBP officers to review could provide a valuable tool to assist in risk management. Further tech- Figure 28. International-to-international baggage recheck elimination.
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Findings 59 nical developments could enable EDS to be an appropriate long-term solution for eliminating/ reducing baggage recheck. The initial testing conducted by the study team allowed for adequate detection of common threat items, as well as a reasonable false-positive result. As shown in Figure 29, the availability of screening images could supplement other procedures locally instituted by CBP to assist with risk management of checked baggage flow for domestic connections from international arrival flights. There are major implications for facility design should protocols for data sharing between TSA and CBP be accepted: · Not all facilities have the ability for this process to occur because of the distance of TSA EDS screening from CBP facilities (i.e., travel time to redirect bags back to FIS for further inspection within allocated time). · An appropriate induction point may or may not be possible depending on the original design of EDS machine configurations. · Some facilities may have multiplexing to rebroadcast images to the CBP Control Center; further testing is needed to adequately track and relate potential suspect bags for CBP inspection. Although there will undoubtedly be technological and policy improvements to allow for bet- ter TSA/CBP data sharing, the study team found practical design issues with FIS facilities that affect the feasibility of incorporating EDS screening. As shown in Figure 30, the study team found that the placement of connecting bag screening proximate to CBP has measurably improved its potential to assist with baggage recheck elimination over the placement of connecting bag screening well away from CBP facilities. The primary reason for this improved potential is that by the time a passenger reaches the Egress officer (Step 3), the clearance process is much more streamlined for bags to be cleared at the same time. Figure 29. International-to-domestic baggage recheck elimination.
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60 Elimination or Reduction of Baggage Recheck for Arriving International Passengers Figure 30. Ideal flow for locating TSA screening for connecting flows. In reviewing sites, the study team found that some facilities (e.g., DFW, ATL) are well suited to enable TSA screening to take place near CBP. Other facilities may require modifications or capacity enhancements that may need to be defined within the TSA EDS reinvestment program. Enhancements to Baggage Recheck Elimination International-to-international and international-to-domestic baggage recheck elimination have the potential to be implemented based on appropriate local protocols. Two enhancements could foster improved performance: · Egress officer processes: In 2010, a number of improvements occurred at O'Hare International Airport (ORD), IAH, ATL, and DFW in Egress processing (i.e., alternative door exit for travel- ers with no checked bags). For baggage recheck to work more favorably for connect time reduc- tion, alternative exits for connecting passengers near CBP Primary (e.g., IAH), or alternative exit points (e.g., DFW), can be considered. · CBP operating area: Expansion of the area that CBP officers could review bags "held" for connecting flights would allow for more opportunity to deal with checked bags before the passenger is released from the FIS area. Figure 31 summarizes the facility implications based on the international-to-international and international-to-domestic protocols. Long-Term Baggage Recheck Elimination Solutions In the long term, more robust tools will be needed at U.S. airports to allow for baggage recheck elimination. With a continually changing threat environment, it is important for all stakeholders to review the sustainability of facilitation programs relative to future trends. For
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Findings 61 Figure 31. Generic FIS facility flow with baggage recheck elimination. example, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in February 2011 resulted in a sizable concern from border authorities regarding the spread of radioactive substances, which extended to reviewing checked bags. Furthermore, the nature of terrorist threats to the United States continues to create more concern. There are also other potential opportunities that are based on bilateral and multilateral dis- cussions that involve changing security policies. For example, in June 2011 Germany instituted full recognition of TSA screening processes so that no rescreening had to occur for passengers connecting through a German airport hub. Future discussions with other countries, such as the President Obama/Prime Minister Harper U.S.Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan, could produce further enhancements relevant to baggage recheck elimination. The study team found three long-term enablers and enhancements relevant to this study (Figure 32): · Risk-based data enhancements: The potential for digital images to be transmitted as part of the airline manifest data is undergoing testing in a number of jurisdictions, namely air travel between Australia and New Zealand. Should this opportunity be used for flights going into the United States, there is the ability for CBP to conduct risk assessments on checked bags 10 hours before a flight lands. · Rescreening elimination: Should "one-stop screening" be adopted with selected countries, there is the opportunity for FIS facilities to maximize the benefits of baggage recheck elimina- tion and even to realize 30-minute international connection times.
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62Elimination or Reduction of Baggage Recheck for Arriving International Passengers Figure 32. Enablers and enhancements to baggage recheck elimination (all sectors). · Hold and release: To ensure that CBP has the ability to respond to any identified threat/issue during the connecting process, the ability to "hold and release" a passenger and his/her checked baggage until the moment of onward flight departure could be an important dimension for risk management. The specific elements of long-term solutions require much more detailed legal, policy, and technological evaluation. However, for airport designers and FIS facility planners, there are potential long-term trends worth considering for planning purposes for future passenger flows in any new facility design. Solutions with Inconclusive Findings A range of technological and process solutions that could be advanced for baggage recheck elimination were reviewed with inconclusive results. Findings are as follows: · Transfer baggage source message: To date, CBP has mandated a sizable amount of data about passengers be collected to assess risks. API/PNR data have proven invaluable to enabling target- ing functions to deal with risks and past travel history. However, this information does not capture any baggage information. The IATA has developed a Baggage Source Message (BSM) system to enable baggage transfers to occur automatically. BSM includes first name, last name, PNR record, and routing data. As a file format that is universally accepted by airports and air- lines, it could also provide enforcement capabilities to allow risk management for baggage recheck to occur and is used by some authorities in Europe for this purpose. While electronic transmittal of all BSM records is technologically possible, SITA reported in 2011 that 15 percent of transfer BSM records were not transmitted and required manual recoding. · Baggage imaging and weight system: The study team examined the implementation of a baggage image/weight system at a number of airports. CBP, airports, and airlines interviewed indicated that while useful in concept, there are times when the system could not deliver data