Success Stories

Success Stories

Success Stories

Airport Travelers Experience More Comfort with Enhanced Security Boarding - Datalogic

The Bologna Airport Selects Datalogic’s Bar Code Readers to Control Airport Access and Enhance Passenger Security


The Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport is the third largest international airport in Italy and one of the best Italian airports for international destinations with a runway authorized to handle flights traveling as far as 5,000 miles away. Servicing more than 10 million people in the area, the Bologna Airport features new technology to ensure passenger safety and environmental protection. The airport is committed to providing the highest level of service while offering travelers an extensive network of destinations and connections.

The Challenge

The Bologna Airport needed a new access control solution at the security gate check-in areas to improve security for passengers and employees. In particular, airport employees needed a more accurate and secure means to verify the thousands of passengers entering the boarding area each day. The airport also wanted to enhance its customer experience with a rapid check-in process and found that these objectives could be made possible with high performance bar code readers.

In terms of requirements, the Bologna Airport needed a cordless scanning solution capable of reading PDF417 codes on passenger boarding passes. A cordless solution would provide the operator with the freedom to move around and greet each traveler for the best service. Choosing a scanner with ruggedized features would also protect their investment as mobile use increases likelihood of the readers being dropped.

The Solution

Arc Data, an international IT solution provider based in Rome, assisted the Bologna Airport with selecting the best bar code scanners for the airport’s access control needs. After testing several brands, Datalogic’s PowerScan™ PM8500 ruggedized bar code reader was chosen. The scanner’s 2D reading capabilities allows operators to easily read PDF417 codes on the boarding passes with the best performance. This helps the airport accomplish a speedy and secure check-in process, regardless of whether the passes were issued at the check-in desk, printed at home or received on the passenger’s mobile phone via SMS or MMS messaging.

When the bar code is scanned at the gates, data is sent to the host system and a message is sent back to the reader’s display with an instruction that turns on an LED light (green, yellow or red). According to the different colors of the LED, the security operator is either authorized to direct the passenger into the lane for final check-in before boarding, or can refuse access due to a canceled flight or other issue. In the case of access rejection, the reason is explained in the message sent to the display of the reader.

To manage the security of employees and suppliers, the airport also purchased Datalogic’s Magellan™ 1100i on-counter presentation scanner. The Magellan 1100i scanner is able to track the movement of employees and suppliers through the airport’s external access points as the badges are scanned when individuals pass through various gates.

“This innovative solution is aligned with the modern standards for security in the airports,” declared Luca Voltolini, Security Director of the Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport. “Bar code scanning enables us to carry out a more rigorous access control process, speed up boarding activities and also save money. There are also additional advantages such as enhanced customer service as a result of shorter lines for passengers.”

The Results

With the new access control solution from Datalogic, the Bologna Airport is now prepared to manage peak passenger traffic that occurs every summer as over 8,500 passengers pass through the security gates each day. The new bar code boarding system has dramatically improved the level of security for airport passengers with instant operator feedback based on up-to-date boarding pass information.

According to Voltolini, “The new solution has dramatically improved the speed of service we provide travelers, which has in turn allowed us to save about 1,700 employee hours in just six months! This was measured by the reduced time required for the operator to scan the passenger boarding passes, which averages to a 5-second time savings when using bar code scanning technology versus a standard visual verification. This result has saved us a significant amount of money and allows us to provide better service to our passengers with reduced waiting time at the boarding area.”

The acceptance of PowerScan readers by airport employees has also positively impacted the results of the new system. “Our operators are very happy with this new system not only because it makes their job easier, but also because of the PowerScan reader’s lightweight and comfortable design,” stated Voltolini.

The use of Datalogic bar code readers enables many future application developments for the Bologna Airport. For instance, it can now extend bar coding to help manage carry-on baggage and develop a weight system that sends data directly to the check-in to streamline the practice of paying for additional baggage. Finally, the lost baggage area can utilize this technology to systematize bags and quickly retrieve them.


Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport


Transportation & Logistics




Access Control



Datalogic Product

PowerScan™ PM8500

Magellan™ 1100i

Datalogic Partners

Arc Data S.r.l.

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