• New Deal Marks First In-Terminal Advertising Concession at HNL
  • State-of-the-Art Digital Media Will Help Advertisers Reach Nearly 20 Million Passengers Traveling Through HNL Annually

Honolulu | February 1, 2017– Clear Channel Airports (CCA), a brand division of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) (NYSE: CCO), and a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc., today announced it has signed a new 10-year partnership with Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to provide a comprehensive digital advertising network throughout the airport. CCA is the first media company to offer an in-terminal advertising concession to HNL. The new advertising program, implemented by CCA, will include iconic, state-of-the-art digital assets and experiential displays with an installation date of May 1, 2017.

Honolulu International Airport has recently experienced four record-breaking years of growth for Hawaii’s visitor industry. The state is also projected to reach a record number of air seats servicing Hawaiian Islands in 2017, indicating long-term sustainability for the Hawaii visitor industry. At any given time, day or night, an estimated 10,000 people are in the HNL airport complex as passengers, employees or visitors, presenting a prominent platform for advertisers.

CCA’s advertising program at HNL will feature highly integrated, custom fixtures that complement the architecture and passenger flow at the airport. In addition, the advertising concession will integrate a sense of place theming that incorporates visuals to reflect the island’s unique beauty. CCA’s media technologies are expected to attract local, regional and global advertisers, reaching a sophisticated global passenger base. Other components of the new digital media program include:

20 high definition digital screens;
Six iconic digital LED screens with a welcome message and sense of place;
Comprehensive baggage claim digital network;
Experimental brand displays; and
Sponsorships and event marketing opportunities for advertisers.
Additionally a 2016-released Nielsen study shows that nearly 60 percent of business and leisure travelers believe that advertising in airports is an indicator of high-quality brands and products, and more than three-quarters of leisure and business travelers say they notice airport digital ads, with over one-third of travelers surveyed confirming they’ve visited a website or used an app to find out more about a product or service they saw advertised inside an airport.

“The new advertising contract at Honolulu International Airport will generate additional revenue, which will help improve our airport facility,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT Airports Division, Deputy Director. “We look forward to working with Clear Channel Airports on this new venture.”


News:

Lufthansa Systems

Brussels Airlines introduced a new passenger service system in 2016. To make its departure control and adjacent applications accessible from the respective CUTE systems at each of the airports in its network, the Belgian airline is using cFront/LAGUNA from Lufthansa Systems. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This software enables airlines to make shared use of airport IT infrastructures. This means that different airlines can use the same hardware to access their own servers for passenger and flight handling. The cFront/LAGUNA adapter software helps standardize the different versions of the CUTE systems.

“We have more than 100 destination airports in our route network. As an airline, it isn’t possible for us to develop interfaces for every version of CUTE and acquire the necessary certifications. This is why we are relying on the expertise of Lufthansa Systems,” said Paul Rogiers, Delivery Manager Outstations/IT at Brussels Airlines.

For many years, Lufthansa Systems has offered airlines comprehensive CUTE services – from setting up the applications to carrying out updates and maintenance. cFront/LAGUNA was modified by the experts to meet the specific needs of the Lufthansa Group. The software is based on the CUTE solution known as cGroup. It accesses an airline’s IT systems in a smooth, standardized way and supports all leading CUTE platforms as well as the new standards for Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS). In addition to Brussels Airlines, other airlines in the Lufthansa Group are also using cFront/LAGUNA. This means different airlines in the Group can benefit from a shared check-in system if necessary. Users can access the system from anywhere with a web app. cFront/LAGUNA also offers monitoring functions that provide an overview of the status at all CUTE and CUPPS airports and enables the responsible management team to intervene quickly in the event of a disruption.

“Thanks to the shared certification and provision of cFront/LAGUNA, the Group solution was already available at many of the airports in Brussels Airlines’ network. During the implementation, we simply had to add the information specific to Brussels Airlines. This saved money and ensured a fast launch,” said Bjoern Steinbrecher, Head of cGroup Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

Established in 2002, Brussels Airlines from Belgium is part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance. With a fleet of 49 aircraft, Brussels Airlines connects the European capital of Brussels with more than 100 destinations in Europe, Africa, India and North America.”

VISION-BOX

On a similar subject, Vision-Box also has automated airport passenger electronic control devices. We realize this is not IFEC, but  you are going to see a lot of this ground-based technology in the future. Since this technology free’s up a lot of people, border and airport automated technologies will increase for identifying passengers and visitors and a recent release about a Caribbean airport at St. Maarten caught our eye. “Juliana International Airport just upgraded to the new Vision-Box™ which is a self-service biometric Automated Border Control eGates intended to modernize the process, improve the security of the identification procedure, and expedite passenger flow at one more stage of the passenger journey across the airport!”  The news release went on: “vb i-match ™ ABC eGates have now recently announced a seamless passenger journey designed by Vision-Box ™, joining the existing vb i-match ™ security checkpoint gates installed in the first phase of the project. Together, these solutions are streamlining identification processes for departing passengers, when entering airside and clearing immigration.” We also understand that the arrival of biometric ABC technology at SMX (Juliana) Airport means that after successfully entering airport side by using vb i-match ™ security checkpoint eGates, passengers crossing the border will be able to complete the entire immigration process in a few seconds using customer-centric, self service touchpoint vb i-match ™ ABC”. Here is how it works: “Once at the eGate, the passenger will first scan their ePassport, where facial biometric information from the echip is scanned and matched with a live facial image capture of the passenger. Once all identification and safety checks have been successfully conducted, the passenger is allowed to clear immigration. At the forefront of modernizing the immigration clearance procedure is cutting-edge fraud detection and self-clearing biometric identification capabilities, using an advanced eGate security algorithm authenticating the passengers ePassport and identifying identity through multiple fraud and security operations, which just takes a few seconds.” We note that “Newly appointed airport ambassadors are there to greet and guide travelers in the use of the eGates, additionally to the support of a passenger-centered, expertly designed user Interface, oriented towards the success of the operation! Additionally, every passenger transaction is closely monitored by an immigration officer using vb inspector ™, a monitoring system giving the officers immediate information on each passenger’s identity and transaction status, detecting identity fraud, leveraging biometric and biographic information during real-time checks of intelligence and criminal databases, and instantly alerting border officers in case of an emergency.”

Editor’s Note: If you think there is not enough electronics in the airport departure and entry areas, you need to keep your eye on companies like Lufthansa Systems and Vision-Box.  www.vision-box.com. Here is another link about the coming technology.

APPS

We recently came across an interesting website about the use of Android apps for passenger devices.

While a bit old (2014 – 2015) we note their comments: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. And you guessed it – this app stuff is getting a lot more important to travelers.

Airlines aiming at increasing personalization are aware of the importance of mobile apps. However, a prerequisite to unleashing new streams of ancillary revenues through tailored offers is offering an outstanding digital user experience.” The app importance is noted in the link above, but tnooz said: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. While the airline average was around 3.1 to 3.6 (or lower) a reader sent us LATAM’s score (a few months old) – 4.0 Google/4.0 Apple – Guess who designed it?  If you said Zii, you win!

ZODIAC

And speaking of Zodiac Aerospace, Safran will buy them and merge the two companies with lots of financial machinations if all the business offers are accepted. In the end, Safran landing gear, nacelle, power systems, actuators and avionics would be combined with the Zodiac seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, lighting, safety, and oxygen/fluid/safety equipment.

Here are the involved Zodiac companies: Heath Tecna, Contour Aerospace, IMS (Zii), NAT, TriaGnoSys, PPP, and Greenpoint Technologies.

One expert said that the message here is clear, Safran see’s the future of electrical and avionic involvement in in aircraft. We believe, because of their native product differences, that management selection will be very critical as the two companies are so different and almost opposite talents. It is worth noting that the combined company would have about 92,000 employees and we understand Safran purchase is estimated to be approximately  $9.5 Billion. Interestingly, Safran attempted this acquisition in 2010. FYI, if the deal goes through, Safran will be number three Tier 1 supplier behind GE and United Technologies. However, the purchase is still subject to shareholder approval and if so it will close at the end of 2017/ 1st Qtr. 2018. Stay Tuned.

GOGO

Gogo announced that it has promoted Jon Cobin to Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Gogo. Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for Gogo’s commercial aviation division.  In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams. Under Jon’s leadership the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016. “Gogo is at the forefront of technology development and innovation and combining our strategy group with product, sales and marketing enables us to better align the organization around meeting the needs of our global airline partners,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Jon’s proven leadership makes him the right person for this role.” Congratulations Jon!

 THALES

JetBlue announced the completion of its fleet-wide Fly-Fi installations and they said: “Fly-Fi is the revolutionary Wi-Fi service offered to JetBlue passengers for free across the carrier’s 227 aircraft, including Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s. This Wi-Fi offering was developed by Thales InFlyt Experience to meet JetBlue’s expectation to offer connectivity services for every seat, on every aircraft. This service allows passengers to connect and remain connected from gate-to-gate. With the completion of these installations, Thales has again enhanced the passenger experience for JetBlue by providing high-bandwidth connectivity services that complement existing stored and live in-flight entertainment products.” For additional details on this service, please refer to this JetBlue press release.

GLOBAL EAGLE

Global Eagle Entertainment, CA secured a $500m senior-secured term-loan facility and a new $85m senior-secured revolving credit facility.

LATE PREDICTION

This came into us after publishing last Tuesday. It is a prediction submission from FlightPath3D: “We predict 2017 as the year the industry finally recognizes the PAX audience as the most highly coveted demographic for advertisers and begins real & sustained efforts to bridge the gap between them.”

A RUMOR

An unnamed IFExpress reporter told us: “Yesterday, I spoke with a friend of mine at (US) FCC and he confirmed that there will be organizational structure changes within. The alleged purpose is to “streamline” the licensing process. We’ll see. I have my doubts with any Federal bureaucracy. However, it could make for an interesting scenario with the 14 GHz air-to-ground license auctions. I suspect the license costs will go higher. Notwithstanding the purported organization changes, with every presidential transition period, he told me, from Republican – to – Democrat, or vice versa, or has about a 3-4 month period when almost nothing happens.” We concur.

LASTLY

You gotta see this – it might work! The Worst Seat on a Plane Gets Better: New Middle Seats

 

 

Osaka, Japan | January 13, 2017– Panasonic Corporation today announced that it will begin its demonstration experiments with the Autonomous Delivery Robot, “HOSPI(R),” from mid-January 2017 in cooperation with the Narita International Airport Corporation and the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita.

HOSPI(R) is a robot that can deliver goods autonomously on behalf of humans. Based on preprogrammed map information and using high performance sensors and advanced collision-avoidance algorithm, the robot can move about while staying aware of its surroundings, enabling it to deliver items safely and efficiently without colliding into passersby or various objects along its route. Unlike traditional delivery systems, equipment does not need to be embedded into the walls or ceilings, and guide tapes do not have to be laid down along the route, so delivery destinations and layout changes to facilities may be easily made and at low cost. Being recognized for these features, the HOSPI(R) has already been adopted by 4 hospitals in Japan and other countries for the delivery of pharmaceuticals and specimens.

In the demonstration experiments to be conducted, the robots will be retrieving used dishware in the airport lounge and offering drink service in the hotel lobby. Through these demonstration experiments, Panasonic will be verifying the utility of the HOSPI(R) in performing other types of delivery services and accelerating the commercial development of the HOSPI(R).

[Video] Demonstration Experiments of HOSPI(R), the Autonomous Delivery Robot, at an Airport and Hotel

Overview of the Demonstration Experiments

1. Drink service.

Period: Jan 14 (Sat) – 18 (Wed), 2017
Location: ANA Crowne Plaza Narita, 1F Lobby
Description: The robot will move around the lobby offering bottled beverages to hotel guests. It will also provide information about bus departures.

2. Dishware collection.

Period: Jan 23 (Mon) – 27 (Fri), 2017
Location: Narita International Airport, “Narita Travel Lounge”
Description: The robot will retrieve used dishware and deliver them to the relevant counter.

*At the moment, there are no plans to introduce the HOSPI(R) to the Narita International Airport and the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita more permanently. With its personal care robots, Panasonic will help realize a safe, secure, and convenient lifestyle.

  • Rockwell Collins’ acquisition of Pulse.Aero expands the company’s strong passenger processing offerings beyond agent and self-service check-in to include new applications and services.

Annapolis, MD | January 4, 2017– Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) has acquired Pulse.Aero Limited, a UK-based company specializing in self-service bag drop solutions and airline applications, to enhance the company’s passenger processing services for airports and airlines. This acquisition further expands Rockwell Collins’ Information Management Services strategy to enable the connected aviation ecosystem.

“As passengers seek to take more control of their travel experience, this acquisition expands our portfolio of self-service passenger processing solutions, enabling us to streamline and simplify the passenger journey through a fully connected airport”
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“As passengers seek to take more control of their travel experience, this acquisition expands our portfolio of self-service passenger processing solutions, enabling us to streamline and simplify the passenger journey through a fully connected airport,” said Dave Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins.

Pulse.Aero’s products and services will be integrated into the Airport Systems portfolio of Rockwell Collins’ Information Management Services business.

The self-service bag drop market is experiencing significant growth due to the benefits it provides both airports and passengers. Airports can increase passenger throughput without capital expenditure on building and facilities, and passengers can move through the airport check-in process more quickly and efficiently.

Rockwell Collins and Pulse.Aero have worked together on several successful deployments, including Dublin Airport, where new self-bag drop units were installed, reducing queue times and improving customer service.

Watch a video to see how Rockwell Collins’ self-bag drop solution has impacted Aer Lingus’ operations at Dublin Airport: https://youtu.be/OG_4zANwLXo.

  • SITA Airport Management solution initially to be installed at airports in Portugal, France and Cambodia

Paris, France | December 20, 2016– VINCI Airports will be implementing SITA’s multi-airport Airport Management solution across its global network of airports, starting with 22 airports in Portugal, France and Cambodia. This operational unification will help the airport group deliver new efficiencies and synergies across its global network of airports.

VINCI Airports, a top five global player in the international airport sector, manages the development and operations of 35 airports: 13 in France, 10 in Portugal, 3 in Cambodia, 2 in Japan, 6 in the Dominican Republic and Santiago airport in Chile. Served by more than 170 airlines, VINCI Airports’ network handles more than 130 million passengers annually. To support its fast international expansion, the group has turned to global IT provider SITA to help optimize its airport operations by leveraging the most advanced integrated technology.

For SITA, this is the biggest and most diverse deployment of its Airport Management solution yet, demonstrating SITA’s ability to deliver the technology across numerous airports and countries. VINCI Airports will use the technology to streamline operations around the world by introducing common tools in the network. These will include new airport operational databases (AODB), resource management systems (RMS) as core modules, with the addition of complementary systems as needed, such as flight information display systems (FIDS), and passenger and capacity optimization systems.

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO VINCI Concessions and Chairman VINCI Airports said: “Given that we operate in airports that are geographically spread out and diverse in terms of size and markets served, we needed a solution that brought some commonality in the operational systems used by our airports yet was able to accommodate the unique requirements in each location. SITA understood our requirements and provides a fit-for-purpose solution.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President Europe, said: “SITA’s global reach means we are able to not only support VINCI Airports’ operational requirements today, but also their future growth plans no matter where they choose to expand and operate. Our experience in more than 1,000 airports around the world means we understand the challenges and opportunities of using cutting-edge technology to manage an airport.”
As part of the rollout, SITA’s AirportResource Manager system will provide VINCI Airports with the tools to manage equipment and staff in real-time, giving the airport operator more flexibility to effectively optimize and deploy resources to address changes across airports. SITA will also introduce its business intelligence portal, AirportPulse, which will provide VINCI Airports’ teams the ability to monitor, predict and manage daily airport operations. They will have a dynamic view of the airport passenger flows, allowing them to quickly respond to any changes on the airport floor.

Adelaide | November 22, 2016– Adelaide Airport, Australia’s fastest-growing international airport, has selected SITA to provide smart new passenger and airport operational technology. The airport’s eight million passengers will enjoy new self-service bag drop and check-in kiosks, while SITA’s day of operations technology will ensure optimized airport operations.

SITA has provided technology to Adelaide Airport for more than ten years and the new five-year contract includes a move to common-use self-service (CUSS) which allows passengers to use self-service for any airline, at any check-in kiosk or bag drop point. In total SITA will provide 32 check-in kiosks and 14 bag drop units.

As part of the technology investment for the future, Adelaide Airport will use SITA’s AirportPulse. This day of operations technology includes a business intelligence portal which provides end-to-end visibility of what’s happening in the airport at strategic and operational levels. Data is pulled from all common-use infrastructure to analyze, report and benchmark passenger movements, providing a deep understanding of relevant activities and providing intelligent reporting to effectively manage the allocation of shared resources.

Vince Scanlon, Executive General Manager, Planning and Infrastructure, Adelaide Airport Ltd (AAL), said: “As the gateway to South Australia, we at Adelaide Airport want to deliver exceptional outcomes to our customers, partners, shareholders and community. SITA is providing us with world-class technology that will improve the experience at the airport. Passengers will enjoy efficient bag drop and check-in while the data collected will turn information into knowledge and allow us to focus on what matters for improved performance.”

The increased focus on using data to enhance operations will allow Adelaide Airport to be proactive and predict and identify imminent adverse conditions before they happen. AirportPulse makes sense of data to drive operational efficiencies and improve customer experience.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “SITA has been Adelaide Airport’s technology partner for over a decade and during that time we have worked with the team to contribute to its growth and success. Over the coming years we will continue to seamlessly transition Adelaide to the latest innovative technology that supports the vision of Adelaide Airport becoming a top tier business center in the Asia Paci­fic region.”

Adelaide Airport’s annual passenger numbers are rising and it forecasts more than 18 million passengers by 2034. This growth comes with the investment in the Adelaide Airport Business District. This development is set to transform the airport into a full-fledged business district acting as the business gateway between the world and South Australia.

  • Manila International Airport Authority selects SITA technology for overhaul of Terminals 1 & 2

Manila | November 16, 2016– The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) today announced the selection of SITA technology as it takes the first steps to transform Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to be among the leading airports supporting IATA’s Fast Travel program. The airport is the main international gateway to the Philippines with more than 37 million passengers and serves as a hub for the country’s major carriers.

The agreement includes the implementation of the most up-to-date airport common-use technologies at Terminals 1 and 2 for fast check-in and bag drop, along with new bag tracking. SITA’s systems, which are used at the world’s top airports, are set to significantly boost ongoing efforts to improve the passenger experience at NAIA.

In this first stage of NAIA’s transformation, SITA will completely overhaul the passenger processing systems in Terminal 1 and 2 putting its next-generation technology SITA AirportConnect Open in place. This will be the platform for NAIA’s next phase of transformation over the coming months, allowing the airport to introduce common-use self-service kiosks, self-bag drop and self-boarding gates.

In addition, a new local departure control system (LDCS) will be implemented. This is the first time an LDCS will be available in Manila and it will provide vital back up to the airlines in cases of disruption of their systems.

Ed Monreal, General Manager, Manila International Airport Authority, said: “Our aim is to improve the airport experience for passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. SITA’s next-generation technology allows the airlines to offer fast and efficient service in Terminals 1 and 2 and its baggage reconciliation system will also ensure bags are electronically tracked until aircraft loading, reducing passenger inconvenience of mishandled bags.

“We are starting with shared airport systems and as we progress in our transformation we plan to introduce self-service technology such as check-in kiosks, bag drop and possibly self-boarding. The airlines have committed to test these self-service systems in the coming months as we work together to alleviate the peak season passenger surge.”

MIAA’s strategic transformation of the two terminals is in line with international standards set by IATA in the Fast Travel program. This program addresses the future of travel and provides more choice and more control for ​passengers while lowering costs for the industry. It includes self-service options in six areas of a passenger’s airport journey to increase airport efficiency and deliver a better travel experience for the customer.

As part of its strategy to manage the balance between continuous passenger flow and stringent security measures, the MIAA is also evaluating systems which allow security agents to quickly and efficiently validate passengers’ paper and mobile bar-coded boarding passes. These will support the transformation and better facilitate the flow of passengers through airport security.

Ilya Gutlin, President, SITA APAC, said: “This is an exciting time for the air transport industry in the Philippines. Passenger traffic is growing and there is a clear commitment from the authorities to transform the passenger experience at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. SITA’s world-class technology will replace legacy systems at NAIA and underpin that transformation. It will provide the opportunity for a better passenger experience at every step of the journey while enabling efficient airport operations.”

Manila’s passengers are set to enjoy a world-class airport experience. They can expect faster check-in, better baggage management and a smoother journey through NAIA’s Terminals 1 and 2 as the new SITA technology is rolled out over the coming months.

  • AirportResource Manager allows the airport to optimize deployment of 300-plus employees in real-time

Dortmund | November 15, 2016– Dortmund Airport is set to introduce a new operations solution from global IT provider SITA that will allow the airport to optimize the deployment of its 300-plus workforce, ensuring that employees are always in the right place at the right time.

Using SITA’s AirportResource Manager, the airport operator will streamline its operation through intelligent and proactive decision-making, leveraging tools for planning, staff rostering, real-time scheduling and management as well as reporting. Overall this will deliver more accurate and flexible long-term and real-time workforce planning.

The technology also allows employees out in the field to access and update information using mobile devices as well as update in real time the statuses of their tasks. This will ultimately save costs and improve productivity across the airport operation.

Udo Mager, CEO of Dortmund Airport, said “Airports are extremely dynamic environments and having the ability to have the right person in the right place is crucial to a smooth, friction-free operation, benefiting both our employees and passengers. SITA’s technology provides us with a clear picture of which tasks are assigned to which staff member and therefore management can quickly make decisions and respond to developments in the airport as they occur.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “Technology is central to cost-effective and efficient airport operations while helping to improve the overall passenger experience. This is clearly illustrated by the deployment of AirportResource Manager at Dortmund Airport which will streamline the workforce planning function, allowing the airport to maximize their resources through smart, real-time planning, saving costs, improving efficiency and enhancing the airport journey for passengers.”

Dortmund Airport has long turned to SITA to provide its technology needs. Over the past decade SITA has supported the regional airport with several technology solutions, including Common Use Terminal Equipment and Common Use Passenger Processing Systems used across the airport.

  • Leo the robot to lend a helping hand to delegates departing from the city’s airport

Marrakech | November 14, 2016– Leo, the innovative baggage robot developed by air transport IT provider SITA, is in Marrakech for the COP22 climate talks taking place in the city from 7-18 November 2016. Leo, is being hosted by Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s national carrier.

Leo will be on display in the main COP22 convention centre in Bab Ighli from 7-16 November before moving to Marrakech Manara Airport and Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport this week where the robot will assist delegates flying Royal Air Maroc to check-in their bags. SITA’s baggage robot will remain in Morocco until November 27 where the national airline will conduct numerous airport trials using Leo.

Abdelhamid Addou, Chairman & CEO of Royal Air Maroc, said: “The smart use of new technologies is undoubtedly the key to improving the passenger experience while helping airlines better manage a growing number of travelers in a more sustainable way. This requires out-of-the-box thinking and Leo is exactly the sort of innovative exploration that will help airlines and airports manage the new challenges we as an industry will face in the next decade.”

Leo is a fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot that has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport up to two suitcases with a maximum weight of 32kg. It also has an obstacle avoidance capability and can navigate in a high-traffic environment such as an airport.

Leo provides a glimpse into the future of baggage handling being explored by SITA Lab and is the first step to automating the baggage process from the moment passengers drop their bags to when they collect them. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, bags will be collected, checked in, transported and loaded onto the correct flight without ever having to enter the terminal building or be directly handled by anyone other than by the passengers themselves.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa said: “Through the innovative work of the SITA Lab we are able to tackle some of the key challenges that face airlines and airports today. Leo demonstrates that technologies such as robotics can help the air transport industry manage the growth in traffic in a more sustainable way while offering passengers an unencumbered journey through the airport and onto the aircraft.”

Leo comes to the assistance of passengers as they approach the terminal building. Touching Leo’s Scan&Fly bag drop interface opens the baggage compartment doors to allow passengers to place their bags inside. After the passengers have scanned their boarding passes, the tags are printed and can be attached to the bag. With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and departure time. Leo then takes the bags directly to the baggage handling area where they are sorted and connected to the correct flight.

  • Real-time updates on queuing now available at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Atlanta, Georgia | November 1, 2016– Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, known as America’s Friendliest Airport®, is using sophisticated technology from global IT provider SITA to offer its 44 million passengers real-time information for their journey through the airport.

Passengers can now view security wait times before they travel as well as when they arrive at the airport. Today, real-time checkpoint wait times are available on the airport’s website; on flight information displays in the terminals and PHX Sky Train® stations; and on Sky Harbor’s visual paging screens in the terminals.

Committed to providing a great passenger experience, Phoenix Sky Harbor rolled out SITA QueueAnalyzer, the intelligent queue management technology from SITA and its partner iinside, following a successful two-month pilot at the airport. It is now in use at five security checkpoints in Terminals 2 and 4, providing accurate real-time information. More than 80% of passengers use Terminal 4, which is home to American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, the airport’s dominant carriers.

In addition to providing passengers with the information they need, SITA QueueAnalyzer provides airport management with dashboards to assess current wait times and view live video of lines. It also provides dashboards for quick analysis of real-time information against historical data, allowing for better allocation of resources to avoid bottlenecks. Airports across the USA are focusing on improving queue management and SITA’s technology will be in operation at a number of high-volume airports before the end of the year.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “Passengers want the right information at the right time and SITA QueueAnalyzer ensures that Sky Harbor provides accurate information at every touchpoint. Not only does it monitor wait times but it can predict queue times at key checkpoints so that lines can be managed more efficiently. This is a great example of smart technology being used to deliver a better passenger experience.”

SITA QueueAnalyzer is also being installed as part of Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3 modernization and will come online later this year, when the first phase of the terminal project is completed.

  • First airport in Myanmar to implement ARINC vMUSE common use passenger processing solution

Singapore | October 25, 2016– Mandalay International Airport (MDL) passengers will realize an enhanced check-in experience with the implementation of a new passenger processing system from Rockwell Collins.

Under the terms of the agreement with MC-Jalux Airport Services Co., Ltd. (MJAS), the group that operates MDL, Rockwell Collins is providing its ARINC vMUSETM Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) solutions at the airport, the second largest in Myanmar.

“Myanmar is a growing tourist and business destination with a variety of attractions and opportunities,” said Futoshi Hiroi, vice president, COO and CFO of MJAS. “By using the latest airport technology from Rockwell Collins, we are better able to attract airlines and travelers to the northern part of our country. This implementation of ARINC vMUSE makes it easier for travelers to reach the destinations they want to experience, helping develop our tourism industry.”

The new contract also includes the use of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviNet® network and message solution which provides a secure, fast and efficient way to communicate flight operation, aircraft maintenance and other critical messages that have a direct impact on airline operational efficiency.

“Being able to improve the passenger experience while also enabling MDL to support multiple airline check-in applications running concurrently on the same workstation makes ARINC vMUSE a powerful technology for airports looking to provide the best service to their passengers and airlines,” said Paul Hickox, head of Airport Systems Sales for Rockwell Collins.

Atlanta, Georgia | October 11, 2016– SITA today announced that JetBlue has selected the global IT provider to support 531 check-in and automated passport control (APC) self-service kiosks across 56 locations in the USA and Caribbean.

This three-year agreement will see SITA, the air transport industry expert, provide 24/7 remote and on-site service of JetBlue’s devices ensuring maximum up-time and the highest levels of passenger service across current and new destinations.

Eash Sundaram, Chief Information Officer, JetBlue, said: “Over the past number of years we have worked with SITA and become familiar with its expert global service provision for airlines and airports. Our kiosks, used by our customers for check-in and fast immigration processing, must be up and running at all times. SITA’s round-the-clock support will ensure that any problems can be identified and resolved faster than they were before, minimizing impact on service to our customers.”

Service quality is key in the airline industry and SITA’s contract with JetBlue includes tight service level agreements (SLAs) for the end-to-end support of the kiosks. SITA matched JetBlue cost reduction objectives by seamlessly combining its advanced remote management capabilities with field engineers available at airport locations.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “JetBlue is renowned for the high quality of service it provides to its 35 million customers and with the move to passengers using more self-service technology, it is important that this service excellence is guaranteed at every touchpoint. We at SITA recognize this and are providing proactive management of JetBlue’s kiosks so the airline’s passengers have them available for use at all times.”

SITA End User Computing offers airlines and airports an end-to-end managed service. It combines both advanced real-time monitoring technology with a global footprint of field engineers at airports. SITA’s central management platform manages devices including desktop PCs, thin clients, laptops, kiosks, monitors, bag tag and other printers, with real-time status all over the globe.

SITA’s dedicated multilingual operations team provides monitoring and support 24/7, ensuring global business continuity through a flexible service model. This ensures operational agility, accessibility and continuity – anytime, anywhere. With its truly global presence, SITA industry specialists can reach end users at 400 airports (including airside) and outstations in more than 190 countries and territories to offer a seamless end-user experience.

  • Digital canvas redefines passenger experience as part of airport’s multi-million dollar renovations

Orlando, Florida | September 26, 2016– The Greater Orlando Aviation Administration (GOAA) today unveiled a new standard in airport displays that will span the length of five football fields to create a fun and interactive check-in experience for the 42 million passengers who travel to and from Orlando International Airport every year.

SITA, the air transport technology provider, has partnered with Synect to design and install the ultra-high definition video wall, which fully integrates with the airport operational systems to deliver dynamic way-finding along with flight information, destination time and weather, security and gate information. In addition, the family-friendly airport can now display engaging games to entertain its young travelers and decrease perceived wait times.

John Newsome, IT Director, Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA), said: “Renovating our ticket lobby to make check-in faster and more enjoyable for more passengers is a key component of our capital improvement plan. This innovative video display redefines the check-in experience by keeping our passengers informed and entertained as they check-in, while also allowing airlines to promote their brands, engage on social media and even offer last-minute upgrades and purchases on larger-than-life displays.”

The digital canvas, which will span 1,560 feet (475 metres), comprises more than 700 55” LG LCD screens to create a vast and continuous video wall, essentially creating digital wallpaper. The new digital experience at Orlando also includes installations from the curb side to the terminals, including outdoor digital displays, self-check-in and way-finding video walls.

Matthys Serfontein, Vice President, Airport Solutions, SITA, said: “Orlando’s new video wall is a fantastic showcase of how technology can transform the passenger experience. It is visually exciting, informative and engaging.

“Most importantly it is fully integrated with the operational systems we provide to the airport. This means that passengers will have access to accurate real-time information. There is also the opportunity to display predictive information, such as expected wait times at security or baggage collection. The sharing of all this information helps to reduce the anxiety of passengers as they make their way through the airport.”

SITA has partnered with video wall experts and content development agency, Synect. Their sophisticated content strategy is focused on driving Orlando International’s brand as a family-friendly travel destination through brightly-colored interactive games and by creating a stress-free passenger experience. The entire video wall network is tightly integrated with SITA AirportCentral the airport’s operational system and SITA AirportVision®, its flight information display system, which opens up the possibility to visualize real-time accurate travel-data in spectacular and eye-catching ways.

“This is one of the highest resolution video walls in the world, with many complex layers of content, but what’s truly remarkable is that the video wall can consume all of that activity and data and display it in a delightful, cohesive experience,” Synect Founder and CEO Yahav Ran says. “We’re capitalizing on existing data systems along with new and emerging technologies to create a powerful solution for the airport and a seamless, memorable experience for the traveler.”

Orlando International is the second busiest airport in Florida and 14th busiest in the U.S. It has 18,000 employees and generates $31 billion in direct and indirect revenue for the regional economy. Orlando International Airport strives to value and delight its customers through an airport-wide focus and design concept known as The Orlando Experience®.

Singapore | July 26, 2016– Passengers using Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) can now check in faster due to the implementation of Rockwell Collins’ new ARINC vMUSE™ mobile passenger processing solution. IGI, India’s busiest airport and the largest in South Asia, is the first airport to implement ARINC vMUSE, which gives airlines the ability to check in travelers wherever and whenever needed.

“‘Passenger delight’ is a driving principle that has helped shape our company, services, goals and all that we stand for today,” said Jeewan Khulbe, Head of IT at Delhi International Airport Ltd. “ARINC vMUSE mobile from Rockwell Collins is a way to improve the passenger experience and to provide our airports with cutting-edge solutions when traditional systems are not enough.”

ARINC vMUSE mobile enables airline and ground handling agents to utilize a tablet-based application to check in passengers from anywhere in an airport. Key reasons IGI selected ARINC vMUSE mobile include:

  • Providing the airport with a cost effective way to accommodate its rapid growth without additional infrastructure.
  • Enabling the airport to help airlines reduce queues during winter months when weather can cause irregular operations due to flight disruptions.
  • Providing a specialized check-in tool that enables airlines to offer an added level of service, like off airport check in or seat upgrades, for elite passengers.

“IGI understands the value that these new technologies will bring–especially improving operations,” said Paul Hickox, head of Airport System Sales for Rockwell Collins. “It is one of the many reasons IGI has repeatedly been honored by industry groups as one of the world’s leading airports for both quality and customer service.”

Since 2009, IGI has benefitted from the implementation of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airport solutions. In addition to ARINC vMUSE mobile, the airport has deployed ARINC vMUSE™, ARINC SelfServ™ Kiosks, ARINC VeriPax™ Passenger Reconciliation System and ARINC BagLink™ for baggage messaging to facilitate passenger processing and reduce congestion.

  • Mobile app provides ground agents with relevant real-time information for smart collaboration

Geneva | May 12, 2016– SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, has worked with Microsoft to deliver a Windows 10 universal app – SITA AirsideApp – a sophisticated mobile application that transforms ground operations at airports. This app, which fully digitizes processes, works on phones and tablets and can also be used with wearable computing devices for efficient hands-free operations.

Microsoft and SITA jointly developed AirsideApp to replace the current paper-based and slow manual processes by integrating the multiple airline, airport and ground handler systems used during ground operations. The app collects and shares information in real time and presents an easy-to-use interface on Windows 10 mobile devices and tablets for ground agents. In addition, notifications and status updates can be provided on the Microsoft Band allowing for hands-free updates on the go.

SITA’s mobile app is in use today at a leading Asian airline and at airports in Asia and the Middle East where it has been shown to reduce administration time to process forms and manuals by as much as 30% and increase the accuracy of time-stamped activity recording by up to 25%.

Craig Dewar, Sr. Director, Windows Commercial Product Marketing, Microsoft, said: “Microsoft has collaborated with SITA to develop this mobile solution because of SITA’s unique expertise across airline, airport and ground-handling operations. SITA’s understanding of the business processes enabled our joint design teams to deliver an app that takes advantage of the latest mobile and wearable technology and Windows 10 to provide an agile and efficient way of working at airports worldwide.”

SITA AirsideApp allows seamless integration with the variety of back-end systems in use at airports, including departure control systems, flight information, roster and inventory management and third party services. The app’s integration to these various data sources combined with mobile precision timing ensures contextual and relevant data are displayed to ground agents based on their individual work activities.

Dan Ebbinghaus, Senior Vice President, Communications and Infrastructure, SITA, said: “SITA and Microsoft have focused development on improving the workflow for ground staff at airports. By moving from paper-based checklists and operations, SITA AirsideApp eliminates fragmented processes and enables workforce collaboration. This agile way of working means it is easier to make the right decision quickly every time.”

SITA AirsideApp opens the possibility to digitize additional ground processes from any location, on any mobile device. It enables real-time monitoring of events and processes from teams and third parties. All activity recorded and collected by mobile users, such as fuelling, cleaning, catering deliveries, gate openings and passenger check-in, are displayed for supervisors on a clear business intelligence dashboard. In addition, by enabling better information sharing and communication across mobile users it improves collaboration across various groups to provide better real-time visibility of event and improve disruption management.

AirsideApp can also support mobile point-of-sales allowing agents to easily sell ancillary services such as lounge access, seat upgrades, excess bag charges or duty-free orders. This can be done on the spot without the hassle of paper-based operations and inventory reconciliation.

SITA AirsideApp is a cloud-based mobility solution designed to be easily customized and integrated within individual and unique customer ecosystems. It is backed by SITA’s global services team of more than 2,000 IT service professionals and field engineers on the ground at airports. Together they proactively monitor SITA application and network services 24/7, identifying and resolving issues before they have an impact.

SITA AirsideApp is part of SITA’s showcase of technology at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit taking place 24-26 May in Barcelona.

  • Agreement paves way forward to a future-proof airport

Valletta | May 11, 2016– Malta International Airport has entered into a strategic partnership with global air transport IT specialist SITA which is geared towards boosting the airport’s operational excellence and putting it at the forefront of technology in the aviation industry.

The partnership – which came into effect from May 10, 2016 – will allow Malta International Airport to focus on strategic investment and innovation as SITA takes over the airport’s day-to-day ICT operations. The partnership will help improve ICT service levels, optimize airport operations and enhance the overall passenger experience.

SITA’s experience in managing large-scale ICT transformation programs around the world will be extended to Malta International Airport, and support it in integrating ICT at the heart of its growth strategy over the long term.

Malta International Airport welcomed 4.62 million passengers in 2015 and is expected to grow by more than 2% this year. The company has also unveiled an ambitious investment program which includes a €28m terminal expansion. Work on Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to commence later on this year.

Alan Borg, CEO of Malta International Airport said: “We recognize that developing our ICT infrastructure is fundamental to our future growth. In light of this, we are delighted to be partnering with SITA, the market leader in this industry, and look forward to working together on a digital blueprint to meet our future demands.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “As a global supplier of end-to-end solutions to the broader air transport industry, we are in the unique position of being able to support the full gamut of airport, airline, and government systems found in airports today. This allows us to take our service to the industry a step further, by managing the end-to-end ICT infrastructure for airports while guiding their future investment to ensure cost savings and improved service delivery.”

  • Airport mapping database Lido/AMDB meets criteria of Letter of Acceptance Type 1 and Type 2 from EASA and can be used at A350 and A380 as of now

Raunheim, Germany | May 3, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that is has received the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) Type 2 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Lido/AMDB airport mapping database. This LoA certifies navigation data for delivery to end users. Lufthansa Systems supported the EASA significantly in developing the complex test procedure and is the first provider of airport mapping data to be certified by EASA.

The airport mapping database supports pilots during all taxiing procedures that could pose a challenge depending on the airport size and weather conditions. In order to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew, the Lido/AMDB data needs to be absolutely reliable.

In 2014, Lufthansa Systems received the LoA Type 1, which confirms that its processes for producing airport layout data comply with the conditions and quality standards required by EASA. In certain types of aircraft, such as the Airbus A350 and A380, these data are more closely tied to the plane’s avionics systems and must therefore meet the special test requirements of the LoA Type 2 from EASA.

In the A350, for example, the Lido/AMDB data is used in calculations made by the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). The ROPS on the A350 is an additional function of the Brake To Vacate system (BTV), which calculates the necessary braking distance during the approach with the help of Lido/AMDB data. If there are deviations, the system supports pilots by alerting them if the available landing distance has been determined to be too short.

“We are delighted that our Lido/AMDB database meets the high certification standards of EASA so we can now cover the entire data supply chain,” said Frank Wigold, Director Quality Management at Lufthansa Systems.

Lufthansa Systems is the first provider of airport mapping data to be certified by EASA. Unlike the certificates held by other organizations, the LoA Type 2 requires that the data be checked prior to each delivery – which is 13 times a year. This unique test procedure was developed by Lufthansa Systems and assessed by EASA.

The LoA Type 2 certifies data compatibility for the ANF A350 XWB, OANS A380, Single Aisle and Long Range platforms. You can find more information about the Letter of Acceptance from EASA here: https://www.easa.europa.eu/navigation-database-suppliers-letters-acceptance#main-content

YOURSpace: Bear with Holiday Travel This Year – A Better Experience is Nearly Here

By Chris Smith, Founder and CEO, Area360

Today’s typical airport experience is at the very best, hit or miss. Travelers may be prepared and get to the airport on time, have a great meal while enjoying a book in a hushed terminal, and board a flight with no delays. But that’s a rare day, and the typical airport journey involves at least one complication that throws everything off.

This year, Airlines for America projects that 38 million Americans will take to the skies over the 2015 holiday season, equaling 2.2 million travelers every day between December 18th and January 3rd. That many people flowing through the nation’s airports truly puts their efficiency and customer experience to the test, and showcases their biggest problem spots – curbside congestion, snakingly-long lines to check in and get through security, and many more.

I am a geek and a frequent flier, so as I traverse through herds of people resembling The Walking Dead, I can’t help but get excited about the way passengers will experience and flow through airports in the very near future. Here’s a glimpse.

It’s 5:30 AM in the morning when your alarm sounds. You roll over and in a gurgle manage to muster a somewhat coherent sentence: “Alexa, what are my flight details this morning?”. My Amazon Echo replies, “Your Alaska Airlines flight to LA is currently scheduled to board at 11:25 AM, 15 minutes delayed. Traffic will be moderate to heavy. Would you like me to set you a reminder when it’s time to leave or order you an Uber to get you there 1hr prior to departure?” You respond, “Thanks Alexa, please order me an Uber Lux, I like to roll in style”.

As your Uber drops you at the departure door, your phone lights up with a message: “Welcome to Sea-Tac. I see you have checked in and do not have luggage, would you like to head to security?” (A few airlines already do this.) You select yes and the next screen says, “Currently, the fastest security line is 1500 feet away, would you like directions?”. Why yes, yes you would. As you walk to the security line, your phone is navigating you with turn by turn directions as accurate as Google Maps, and also happens to show you the time delta between where you’re currently waiting, and how long it will take to get to your gate on time.

Approaching the security line, an overhead screen shows your name with a green arrow under it pointing you into the TSA Pre line, as it knows you’re already approved. Upon approaching the agent stand, your boarding pass pops onto your mobile screen without your having to dig for it, and you simply tap your phone on a waist high pedestal and it reads the information. To double check, you’re required to hold your phone up to your face so that a quick facial recognition scan can be beamed via Bluetooth to the pedestal to confirm your identity.

The gate opens and allows you through to a conveyor belt that scans your bag without your having to take a single thing out, and you walk across a scale-like platform that does a quick scan to make sure nothing’s out of the ordinary, and in less than two seconds you’re done.

Next, your phone buzzes and up pops another welcome message: “Congratulations, you are through security. You have 55 minutes before your flight starts boarding – would you like to go to to the coffee shop (2 min walk), get a sandwich (6 min walk), buy something at the newsstand (1 min walk) or go to your gate (10 min walk)?”. Naturally, you select the coffee shop and lo and behold, a free drink is waiting as it’s your 10th time, this month.

After you enjoy your coffee, your phone buzzes and tells you: “Your flight is boarding in 15 minutes and you are currently 10 minutes away from your gate, would you like directions?”. You take your phone up on the offer and get there in exactly 10 minutes – no more, no less.

As you stroll up to the gate, your boarding pass pops up again and as you near the agent, you see that she’s already rolled up your favorite newspaper along with headphones for the trip.

You say “thank you” and you’re on our way.

Chris Smith is the founder and CEO of Area360, a location technology company, building products that enhance the way people engage with physical locations through the use of mobile applications and location-aware technology.

  • SITA’s beacon technology delivers location-specific information through new airport app

Nice, France | February 15, 2016– Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is leveraging SITA’s beacon technology to put personalized information at passengers’ fingertips through the airport’s new multifunctional app. The new app was launched to coincide with the recent opening of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport’s refurbished Terminal 1 retail area and will also support the refurbishing of the commercial area of Terminal 2 in 2016.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is leading the way by using SITA’s beacons and Common Use Beacon Registry to provide passengers at the airport with real-time, relevant information each step of the way. With beacons installed throughout the terminal, passengers who are using Nice Côte d’Azur Airport’s app will also receive retail information and offers relevant to their specific location. The Airport Premier Club passengers using the app will automatically earn points as they pass through the airport.

Jean-Pierre Torres, Head of IT at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport said: “Increasingly passengers are demanding more control over their airport experience. They want to personalize the services they receive from the airport to their own requirements or needs. SITA’s beacon technology allows us to deliver on this expectation and offer a highly tailored experience to our passengers, in particular our frequent flyers. Indeed this technology will facilitate access to Fast Track Security for Airport Premier Gold members, allowing them to use their frequent flyer card automatically.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “Beacon technology unlocks a world of opportunity for airports. With a clear view of who the passengers using the app are and where they are in the airport, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is able to offer a wide range of tailored services. The airport has recognized this potential and we will continue to work together with the airport team to leverage this technology to further enhance the overall passenger experience at Nice.”

SITA’s beacon registry is a repository of information describing the beacons deployed at an airport. Accessed through the Beacon Registry API, it allows app developers to use the detection of a beacon to trigger the provision of contextual information such as boarding times or information on a connecting flight. The Beacon Registry API is one of the APIs offered by SITA, which include weather, baggage tracking and flight information.

In October last year, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport opened the first part of the refurbished Terminal 1 retail area with a wider range of outlets and more circulation areas, making the area more enticing and welcoming for departing passengers.

  • New airport app gives users the right information at the right time, wherever they are

Atlanta, Georgia | February 10, 2016– Miami Airport today launched its new mobile app, which is designed for passengers and all airport users. This is the first airport app in the USA to use the latest technologies, including Bluetooth beacons, to get the right information to the right people, when and where they need it. Developed by IT provider SITA, the app presents an easy-to-use interface and gives travelers personalized updates, directions and tips based on their location and needs.

Described by the airport as “Your Personal Travel Assistant,” the MIA Airport Official app can be used on iOS and Android devices from anywhere in the world. When the user opens it, options are provided based on location, so a user in Miami will get a different experience than someone opening it in London, Bogotá or New York.

As travelers make their way through the airport, the app provides information and support that is relevant to their individual journey, including updates on their gate, flight times and baggage collection, as well as nearby food and retail outlets, prioritizing suggestions based on their current location. The app beautifully presents the most accurate and up-to-date indoor maps. And with ‘blue-dot’ functionality, map rotation, turn-by-turn directions, ‘walk times’ and a ‘near me’ feature, they allow passengers to quickly locate virtually anything inside the airport.

“MIA Airport Official 2.0 is the latest example of how we are leveraging new technology to make travel through our airport easier than ever,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Thanks to the installation of data beacons, our mobile app can now guide you from your driveway to the runway with personalized, user-friendly instructions.”

Matthys Serfontein, Vice President, Airport Solutions, SITA, said: “There are a multitude of airport and travel apps but at SITA we have taken the initiative to develop one that provides a truly personal experience. We’ve incorporated the latest technologies, including Miami’s beacon infrastructure and a selection of SITA’s industry APIs, to provide a context and location-aware experience.

“What this means is that anyone who uses Miami International Airport will find this app incredibly useful. We have drawn on our decades of experience with airlines and airports and worked very closely with the team in Miami to deliver the world’s most technologically advanced airport app.”

Traditional airport apps do not know when you are flying or where you are, how you are getting to the airport or what you want to do once you arrive…they are passive. SITA’s Day of Travel Airport App is the smarter airport app. It recognizes the user and makes sense of the vast amounts of data that are available at the airport adding real-time business intelligence to create an outstanding user experience. It uses data delivered via SITA’s industry-leading APIs to present the user with a seamless experience on their device of choice.

The MIA Airport Official app can be used on mobile devices running iOS or Android, and is available today in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Updates and new features will be made available over the coming months to further improve the day-of- travel experience in Miami.

This app was designed to make use of the latest beacon technology based on the Common Use Beacon Registry standards. The registry was developed by SITA and is currently managed by the organization on behalf of the airlines and airports of the world.

By Chris Smith, Founder and CEO, Area360

Today’s typical airport experience is at the very best, hit or miss. Travelers may be prepared and get to the airport on time, have a great meal while enjoying a book in a hushed terminal, and board a flight with no delays. But that’s a rare day, and the typical airport journey involves at least one complication that throws everything off.

This year, Airlines for America projects that 38 million Americans will take to the skies over the 2015 holiday season, equaling 2.2 million travelers every day between December 18th and January 3rd. That many people flowing through the nation’s airports truly puts their efficiency and customer experience to the test, and showcases their biggest problem spots – curbside congestion, snakingly-long lines to check in and get through security, and many more.

I am a geek and a frequent flier, so as I traverse through herds of people resembling The Walking Dead, I can’t help but get excited about the way passengers will experience and flow through airports in the very near future. Here’s a glimpse.

It’s 5:30 AM in the morning when your alarm sounds. You roll over and in a gurgle manage to muster a somewhat coherent sentence: “Alexa, what are my flight details this morning?”. My Amazon Echo replies, “Your Alaska Airlines flight to LA is currently scheduled to board at 11:25 AM, 15 minutes delayed. Traffic will be moderate to heavy. Would you like me to set you a reminder when it’s time to leave or order you an Uber to get you there 1hr prior to departure?” You respond, “Thanks Alexa, please order me an Uber Lux, I like to roll in style”.

As your Uber drops you at the departure door, your phone lights up with a message: “Welcome to Sea-Tac. I see you have checked in and do not have luggage, would you like to head to security?” (A few airlines already do this.) You select yes and the next screen says, “Currently, the fastest security line is 1500 feet away, would you like directions?”. Why yes, yes you would. As you walk to the security line, your phone is navigating you with turn by turn directions as accurate as Google Maps, and also happens to show you the time delta between where you’re currently waiting, and how long it will take to get to your gate on time.

Approaching the security line, an overhead screen shows your name with a green arrow under it pointing you into the TSA Pre line, as it knows you’re already approved. Upon approaching the agent stand, your boarding pass pops onto your mobile screen without your having to dig for it, and you simply tap your phone on a waist high pedestal and it reads the information. To double check, you’re required to hold your phone up to your face so that a quick facial recognition scan can be beamed via Bluetooth to the pedestal to confirm your identity.

The gate opens and allows you through to a conveyor belt that scans your bag without your having to take a single thing out, and you walk across a scale-like platform that does a quick scan to make sure nothing’s out of the ordinary, and in less than two seconds you’re done.

Next, your phone buzzes and up pops another welcome message: “Congratulations, you are through security. You have 55 minutes before your flight starts boarding – would you like to go to to the coffee shop (2 min walk), get a sandwich (6 min walk), buy something at the newsstand (1 min walk) or go to your gate (10 min walk)?”. Naturally, you select the coffee shop and lo and behold, a free drink is waiting as it’s your 10th time, this month.

After you enjoy your coffee, your phone buzzes and tells you: “Your flight is boarding in 15 minutes and you are currently 10 minutes away from your gate, would you like directions?”. You take your phone up on the offer and get there in exactly 10 minutes – no more, no less.

As you stroll up to the gate, your boarding pass pops up again and as you near the agent, you see that she’s already rolled up your favorite newspaper along with headphones for the trip.

You say “thank you” and you’re on our way.

Chris Smith is the founder and CEO of Area360, a location technology company, building products that enhance the way people engage with physical locations through the use of mobile applications and location-aware technology.

  • Easy-to-use, self bag drop solutions enhance SITA’s Airport Passenger Processing Product Portfolio

Geneva, Switzerland | December 2, 2015– SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, today announced the acquisition of private company Type22, a market innovator that is driving the development of self-service bag drop solutions. The company founded in 2006, is based in Delft, The Netherlands.

The acquisition will strengthen SITA’s position as market leader of end-to-end technology solutions that enhance the passenger experience. The Type22 self bag drop portfolio, including Scan&Fly and Drop&Fly, will complement SITA’s suite of intelligent airport IT solutions designed to improve the entire passenger process from curb to arrival hall, resulting in reduced costs and improved customer service.

Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA, said: “SITA has been providing its ‘Self BagDrop’ solution since 2010 with several successful deployments worldwide. According to SITA’s 2015 Airport IT Trends Survey, 62% of passengers will use self-service bag drop by 2017. Recognizing the tremendous potential in the market made acquiring Type22 a logical next step that will make us leaders in self-service bag drop integrated with common-use systems. The addition of Type22’s product portfolio and expertise will provide SITA’s customers with automated self-service bag drop solutions that are perfect for both new airport terminals as well as retrofitted into existing desk environments.”

Roel Reijnen, Managing Director of Type22, said: “At Type22 we have been entirely focused on self-service bag drop solutions since 2011 and our team has the technical experience as well as a keen understanding of the needs of the customer. With an established strong customer base in Europe and Asia, we look forward to continued growth in these and other markets adding to the SITA success story.”

SITA will continue to develop Type22’s products and will provide support for all Type22’s existing customers. Members of Type22’s staff will remain located in Delft, The Netherlands.

Innovation in self-service technologies such as self-service bag drop, self-service bag tag printing and bag tracking has led to significant cost savings for the air transport industry (ATI) since 2007. More information on these trends can be found in SITA’s 2015 Airport IT Trends Survey.

  • 100% of China’s major airports now provide check-in kiosks – self-service for baggage is next

Beijing | November 19, 2015– China’s airports are using self-service and other leading technologies to manage increasing passenger numbers which rose by 11% in 2014 and continue to rise. This is according to the 2015 SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey. It reports that 100% of the airports surveyed now provide self-service check-in kiosks. By 2018, 77% will offer kiosks for self bag tagging and 68% will offer unassisted self-service bag drop and boarding. This indicates a strong progression to an end-to-end self-service passenger experience in China.

The research results represent the views of major airports in China which together serve more than 60% of all Chinese airline passengers. In this year’s survey, 77% of Chinese airports rated passenger processing their number one priority, up from 53% last year. This demonstrates a greater emphasis on improving the traveling experience for passengers at the airport than seen previously.

May Zhou, Vice President, SITA China said: “Rising passenger numbers continue to present a challenge to China’s airports in terms of infrastructure and resources. There is of course much construction and expansion underway but it will take some time to match the growth in traffic. Meanwhile, technologies such as self-service, mobile and business intelligence can improve the passenger experience today.

“These technologies can help airports provide faster check-in, real-time updates, reduced queues and faster aircraft turnarounds. All of the airports surveyed expect IT budget increases in 2016 which indicates that passengers in China will enjoy the benefits of investments in smart technology for smarter airports over the coming years.”

Having a smarter airport means that operators must collect and use data to make better decisions. A majority of leading airports in China expect to put in place business intelligence initiatives over the next three years, particularly in areas such as passenger flow monitoring (82%) and airport operations (72%). This focus mostly around passenger flow once again shows the priority that airports in China are putting on passengers.

Improving the allocation of resources by tracking vehicles and other mobile assets around the airport is also set to become standard operational practice over the next three years and 90% of leading airports will have introduced this by the end of 2018.

A key area of investment by the airports is in mobile services for passengers. Flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by the majority of airports (77%) and 95% plan to offer them by the end of 2018. By then, two-thirds of airports (66%) also plan to introduce stress-reducing features, such as way finding and queue wait times.

Airports are also embracing social media and already 67% of China’s major airports provide flight status notifications to passengers in this way. This is well ahead of the global average (33%) and is expected to increase to 95% over the next three years. When disruption or flight delays occur these airports are also using social media to communicate with passengers. It is the number one communication service implemented today and by 2018 will be in place at 95% of the airports surveyed.

  • World’s first full deployment of open standard beacons across an entire airport

Atlanta, GA | September 24, 2014– Miami International Airport is the first airport in the world to have a complete and open deployment of beacons. SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, announced that there are now beacons registered and available to users via the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry which cover entrances, check-in, gate, baggage claim and valet parking zones throughout Miami International Airport. Each beacon broadcasts its identifier in the zone and this can be used by airlines, retailers and other partners’ apps to trigger useful content to passengers or staff.

Maurice Jenkins, Division Director, Information Systems, Miami International Airport, said: “The passenger experience at Miami Airport is our number one concern and iBeacon technology allows us make it even better. We have installed beacons throughout the airport and made them available to all our stakeholders. Now we invite airlines and our other partners to invent new ways to make the passenger experience at Miami even better. With our beacons, they can now give passengers relevant information on their phones at every point of their journey through our airport.

“Working with SITA has made it easy for us to do this quickly – onsite deployment took just two days. And by using the SITA Registry, it makes it simple for us to collaborate with our partners, both domestic and international, and let them take advantage of this new technology too. Airlines that fly to Miami are already working on their apps so passengers will start seeing the benefits very soon.”

Jim Peters, SITA Chief Technology Officer, said: “This is a fantastic move by Miami International and a great model for the industry to follow. By installing the beacons and registering them on the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry, the airport has set the standard for being truly open and collaborative with its partners.

“Miami has made it easy for airlines, and other partners working at the airport, to take advantage of iBeacon technology and provide information that is relevant to the passenger’s location or stage of the journey. And of course, it is not just for passengers; beacons can be used for staff notifications and to beam operational information – such as temperature, noise levels, vibrations, etc – from throughout the airport to allow efficient operational management.”

Beacons offer great opportunities for airlines and airports and by collaborating and working openly the industry can implement this new technology in a consistent way that will allow efficient use, across all airports and airlines’ networks around the world.

Miami Airport’s beacon zones are in operation throughout the terminals, skytrain and car parks to allow way-finding to be offered on passenger’s phones. SITA Lab, the research team at SITA, has already tested the beacons with mapping technology which has proved hugely successful. All of Miami Airport’s beacons are open and available via the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry so any airline, retailer or other service-provider at the airport can make use of these right away.

For more information on beacon technology and how it can be used today by airlines and airports read SITA’s research results and check out the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry.