Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, has been gaining momentum within the aviation industry for improving efficiencies in the supply chain. RFID technology is not new, with many manufacturers outside of aviation being more responsive as early adopters to the technology. Currently, many of the full-scale implementation organizations from late adopters, have strategically integrated RFID technology into the manufacturing supply chain to tag parts and for airports/airlines to track baggage and passengers throughout their airport journey. Literature remains rather sparse in the implementation and success factors within the aviation supply chain as a number of businesses have kept much of the details discreet to differentiate themselves from the competitors.

In this case study, we have examined the state of the early adopters in aviation to implement RFID technology into their supply chain for tracking parts, identifying information, logistics media, and other process improvements in component maintenance management. Airbus, who was the first in the aviation industry to adopt RFID will be examined. The paper examines the increasing numbers of airports/airlines use of RFID to track baggage and passengers with technology. Using information from published secondary data, we review the early adopters of RFID in aircraft manufacturing who are employing RFID to the improve supply chain and how airports/airlines usage of RFID has transcend to passenger tracking to improve airport operational efficiency and to increase passenger satisfaction. By identifying key trends in the aviation supply chain and the value-added in manufacturing and passenger experiences, this paper presents areas in need of further empirical research in order to understand the key success factors with RFID implementation in aviation.



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