• SITA to provide integrated end-to-end passenger and airport management solutions

Abu Dhabi | May 12, 2015– SITA’s advanced technology will set the foundation for Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal, which will serve an estimated 30 million passengers annually from July 2017. In a five-year deal announced today, the air transport IT specialist will provide a full range of integrated airport solutions. This includes SITA’s next generation airport management system, common-use passenger processing platform, automated boarding gates, flight information display systems and baggage management services.

SITA will also manage technology integration at the new terminal for IT and telecommunications technology, as well as other special airport systems. The SITA team will help the airport operator, Abu Dhabi Airport Company, meet any challenges presented during construction of the new terminal and ensure the technology meets the airport’s operational goals.

Eng. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are building the Midfield Terminal to exceed global standards for connectivity and high-tech integration. We will ensure that the very latest in every system is installed. From baggage tracking and handling to flight display systems, passengers will benefit from a highly sophisticated IT support system to ease and speed their journey through the airport.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, Middle East, India and Africa, SITA, said: “In today’s complex airport environment, it’s important to have integrated solutions that help enhance collaboration among all stakeholders. We look forward to working with the airport and its partners to deploy a connected infrastructure platform that will help streamline operations, make the airport more efficient, and create a seamless passenger experience.”

SITA’s Airport Management Solution will help the airport simplify its operations, while improving profitability. An integral part of this solution is SITA’s AirportCentral, the airport operational database, which will allow the airport to centralize all its data into a single repository of operational information. The airport can use this database to set up real-time dashboards covering the most critical aspects of its operations, as well as for flight management, billing and reporting. The airport management solution also includes SITA’s AirportVision® flight information display system to keep passengers up-to-date on flight information and SITA AirportResource Manager, which will help the airport coordinate the planning and real-time management of its fixed resources including aircraft stands, gates and check-in counters.

The airport will also benefit from SITA’s AirportConnect® Open passenger processing platform and its baggage operations management service, BagManager. To maximize flexibility and convenience, AirportConnect Open will enable all airlines using the terminal to access their respective IT applications in real-time on shared equipment and use any airport desk or gate for passenger check-in and boarding. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airport with comprehensive baggage management, delivering real-time information on baggage status and helping resolve baggage issues quickly and efficiently.

Construction of the Midfield Terminal, which is scheduled to open on 17 July, 2017, is well underway. Once complete, it will provide a home base for the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, Etihad Airways.

  • Increased speed and security to help manage continuing passenger growth

Abu Dhabi | May 10, 2015– Abu Dhabi Airports announced it will deploy a new traveler document authentication system using boarding pass validation technology from air transport IT specialist, SITA. Airport iValidate will enhance security, accelerate passenger processing and reduce waiting times for passengers by automatically verifying all types of boarding passes, including mobile boarding passes and home-printed passes. The use of iValidate at Abu Dhabi International Airport will be the first deployment of the product in the Middle East.

The airport’s Traveler Document Authentication System using SITA’s Airport iValidate ensures passengers are at the correct terminal and security checkpoint, and enables them to present their barcode boarding passes either on paper or on their mobile phones. The data is automatically validated, checked for duplicates and cross-referenced against the Airport Operational Database and the airline’s Departure Control System. The information is then displayed to the security agent on an intuitive graphical user interface in a matter of seconds.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Deploying such an advanced technology is a further demonstration of Abu Dhabi Airports’ determination to use the very best the market has to offer. Effectively managing the balance between continuous passenger flow and stringent security measures is a fundamental part of our operations, and the task is even more important in view of our continued growth.

“With this new technology verifying passenger documentation will be done quickly and efficiently, while at the same time improving the passenger experience. This is all part of our ongoing programme to deliver a smooth flowing airport that affords passengers sufficient comfort and time to enjoy all the facilities on offer.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, Middle East, India and Africa, SITA, said: “It’s always a challenge to maintain the right balance between speed, efficiency and security. We also know that airports typically make around one-third of their revenue from retail, and there is a very clear correlation between moving passengers quickly through airport security and retail spend. SITA’s Airport iValidate is designed to work hand in hand with security at Abu Dhabi International to help them enhance the passenger experience.”

The Airport iValidate system, which will be in place by June 2015, will include four security lanes with automatic gates, four mobile/paper boarding pass scanners and four hand-held wireless boarding pass scanners.

The system will initially be deployed in Terminal 3 economy, followed by the Terminal 3 business area. It will also be implemented in both economy and business in Terminal 1. SITA on-site staff will support and maintain the Airport iValidate system, with the same stringent Service Level Agreements the company provides for other systems in the airport.

  • Kiosks Securely Process Passengers in 60 seconds

Abu Dhabi, UAE | February 2, 2015– Passengers travelling to the United States can now pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at Abu Dhabi International Airport using new automated passport control (APC) kiosks from air transport and government IT specialist, SITA. Introduced in December 2014, the self-service kiosks use advanced biometric technology to streamline border control procedures and process passengers securely in less than 60 seconds.

The new kiosks in Abu Dhabi enable passengers to provide their travel documents, biometric data and customs declaration prior to speaking to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. This increases efficiency by off-loading work from the immigration counters to the kiosks. SITA collaborated with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency as well as Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, on this project.

Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ Chief Operations Officer, said: “Since its opening in January last year, U.S. preclearance has been extremely popular with passengers flying from Abu Dhabi to the United States where they arrive as domestic passengers. The process has been greatly enhanced by the introduction of automated passport control kiosks which allow passengers to pass through border controls quickly and seamlessly, significantly improving their travel experience.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, SITA Middle East, India and Africa, said: “SITA is pioneering solutions in self-service border technology all around the world. Our APC kiosks use the latest biometrics to facilitate fast, accurate and secure passenger processing at the border. This ensures that airports, airlines and governments can provide a warm welcome, while still providing a high level of border security. For airports like Abu Dhabi which are experiencing strong passenger growth, these kinds of automated solutions are becoming increasingly important to help manage greater volumes of passengers securely and efficiently.”

Passengers from the United States, Canada and the 38 countries that are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program can use the kiosks in Abu Dhabi for self-service immigration. The whole process takes less than 60 seconds. Passengers simply scan their passports to identify themselves, provide their fingerprints and a camera on the kiosk captures their face biometric. The passport and biometric information captured is then cross-referenced to verify the passenger is who they claim to be and then checked against government watch lists. There are several immigration questions the passenger needs to answer on the kiosk touch screen, and once cleared, the kiosk prints out a receipt to show as they exit the customs hall.

SITA is a world leader in providing border control technology and has developed its border control solutions in close collaboration with border agency partners worldwide, as well as airlines, airports and industry groups. Around 30 governments globally use SITA’s iBorders® systems and capabilities to keep their borders secure and transform their border security operations.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | October 28, 2014– Abu Dhabi International Airport, in cooperation with Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited (PPLML), the pioneer and industry leader in premium airport services, today revealed its newly renovated Al Reem lounge by Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 1 as part of its commitment to providing world-class services to travelers using the international hub.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is a vital transportation hub for the region and one of the fastest growing airports in the world. The number of passengers using Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2014 is more than triple the number reported in 2006. As such, the airport has undertaken extensive upgrades to its facilities to ensure it continues to meet passengers’ expectations as Skytrax’s ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’.

Mohammed Al Bulooki, Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports chooses to partner with the private sector’s best concessionaires in order to offer passengers a world-class experience when travelling through Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airport continually looks to improve its facilities and services to meet both the growing number of passengers and their high expectations. There are many more improvements and new additions planned for the coming months that will ensure Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to raise the bar on customer experience.”

“Al Reem lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport will focus on catering to business class passengers and in the coming months our capital city’s airport will also announce the opening of its all new first class Al Dhabi Lounge” added Al Bulooki.

To ensure world-class standards, Abu Dhabi Airports last year entered into a partnership with Plaza Premium Lounge for the renovation, management and operation of all of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s hotels and lounges in Terminals 1 and 3.

“Abu Dhabi International Airport is an airport with a great and dynamic vision that is admirable in all accounts, their development plans are in the forefront of aviation and we are proud to embark of this journey with them. We will be leading the Premium Airport Service development, in addition to Al Reem, we have plans to give Al Dhabi and Al Ghazal a facelift, we will also be bringing new conveniences to the unique Airport Hotel, changing the way you travel in Abu Dhabi International Airport,” said Mr. Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited, “The reopening of Al Reem by Plaza Premium Lounge brings a world-class experience to the airport in design, function and efficiency – with our lounges in Abu Dhabi, you are promised a travel experience that is first-class.”.

The redesign by lounge operator PPLML brings its international lounge service and design standards to AUH offering a refreshed contemporary lounge with local touches. The 4,500 square feet lounge is based on the concept of providing comfort and convenience to travelers and aims to deliver an ambience of luxury while providing a ‘home away from home’. Together with renowned designer Kinney Chan of KCA Associates, the PPLML team introduces its signature detailed touches to the airport lounge, this is highlighted by the Plaza Premium Lounge signature chandelier, which was designed about 8 times the original size.

The lounge spans three floors and offers a wide spread of Arabic, Asian and Continental Cuisines made daily in the state-of-the-art kitchens, must-try multi-cultural dishes are on offer. The lounge offers free Wi-Fi connection and laptops upon request for those wanting to catch up on some work in between destinations. A fully-serviced shower room is on hand with amenities to refresh between flights. A variety of International TV Channels are available for entertainment and those that crave reading can enjoy an extensive selection of international newspapers and magazines.