How useful are radio frequency identification devices for promoting security? While their use by the jewelry industry speaks volumes about how valuable they are, some suggest the true measure of the value of these devices is the fact that they are trusted to ensure human safety. Increasingly, RFID devices are being employed in the context of airport security. Tech-savvy security management teams are using RFID tags on personnel, equipment and luggage in hopes of reducing the incidence of lost luggage and ensuring that restricted areas and equipment are accessed only by authorized personnel. Additionally, some airlines are monitoring passenger whereabouts for their safety and the safety of others.

RFID-equipped employee badges and uniforms allow airports and airlines to monitor who is accessing what equipment and areas in real-time and can help these organizations track their locations to coordinate emergency responses. And while still in test phase in places such as Nice, France,  the IATA , International Air Transport Association, has produced a white paper which points out that  passenger safety can be protected with RFID tags in wristbands or badges acting as tickets that must be kept with passengers at all times. These RFID tickets can also promote increased efficiency by allowing airports to better coordinate the flow of boarding and security traffic. This will allow airports to handle larger crowds at a much faster pace than current passengers are accustomed to.

Finally, tagging passenger and crew luggage with RFID devices can help eliminate incidences of lost or stolen baggage. Additionally, RFID scanners can detect which bags should and should not be in certain locations and loaded on to specific planes, improving passenger safety.

Because RFID devices are inexpensive and can be equipped with tamper-detection technology, using these tags and readers can help airports and airlines save money and maintain value for travelers while improving service.