Starting Sept. 5, all Main Cabin customers will have the same carry-on allowance: one personal item and one carry-on bag

USA | July 26, 2018–

American Airlines announced that beginning Sept. 5, Basic Economy fares will include both a personal item and a carry-on bag like other Main Cabin fares.

Why are we making this change?

Basic Economy is working well in the markets where we offer it today. Customers benefit from our lowest fares that are competitive with no-frills carriers while experiencing American’s unparalleled network, better product and great customer service. Removing the carry-on bag restriction will make our short-haul Basic Economy fares more competitive with airlines that include a carry-on bag in their lowest fares.

Until Sept. 5, current Basic Economy fare rules will continue to apply, including the allowance for only one personal item and the gate service fee when a Basic Economy customer checks a carry-on bag at the gate.

Seoul | May 30, 2018–Incheon International Airport has deployed SITA’s award-winning self-service bag drop technology at its new Terminal 2, effectively serving the influx of visitors to the recent Winter Olympics and in preparation for the 100 million passengers projected by 2030. Drop&Fly simplifies the bag drop process, cutting time for passengers and improving their experience. This technology also makes more efficient use of terminal capacity and ensures more accurate baggage handling.

Incheon International Airport has been named the World’s Best Airport for 12 consecutive years by the Airport Council International (ACI) and Drop&Fly has been in operation at the airport’s Terminal 1 since 2016. Today, 48 Drop&Fly units (14 at T1 and 34 at T2) are available to passengers with 30 more on the way.

Sang-il Kim, Executive Director of Smart Airport Group at Incheon International Airport said: “We want to give our passengers a fantastic experience when they travel through our airport and that means using the very best technology. Deploying SITA Drop&Fly is part of our extensive modernization program that will help ensure Incheon International remains on top of the list of the world’s best airports.”

Drop&Fly provides a safe and secure self-bag drop area. A sliding door and advanced sensors prevent tampering and the intrusion of unauthorized objects. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and is equipped with technology such as payment devices, baggage facing cameras and more. It can also provide live status and notifications on all bag drop units for ground agents, and real-time statistics to analyze trends and generate reports.

Drop&Fly won the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “We know passengers want self-service options because they like having control over their journey and it saves time. Self-bag drop is a win for the airport because it makes very efficient use of the available space and makes the baggage process more accurate and efficient.”

Patel added: “With IATA projecting that routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.1 billion annual passengers by 2036, there is no doubt Incheon International Airport has exactly the right approach. As Incheon Airport consolidates its position as one of the best airports in the world, we hope to continue being a part of the airport’s success.”

Incheon International Airport had a record year in 2017, with over 60 million passengers using the airport. The introduction of Terminal 2 has increased capacity by a further 18 million passengers per year and the airport has ambitions to reach 100 million passengers by 2030.

SITA is the world leader in self bag drop with more than 55 airlines connected to SITA BagDrop at more than 40 airports worldwide.

Dublin, Ireland | May 11, 2018–The “Global Airport Baggage Handling Systems Market – Segmented By Airport Capacity And Geography – Growth, Trends, And Forecast (2018 – 2023)” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

Airport terminal extensions and new terminal development ventures globally, owing to increased air passenger traffic are driving the airport baggage handling systems market.

Recently developed and modernized air terminals have to be supplied with the interlinked baggage conveyor system, which is expected to drive the baggage handling systems market. With terrorist threats around the globe, airplane terminals have stepped up their luggage security. The security procedure is highly time-intensive and influences the general proficiency of baggage handling operations. The increasing number of air passengers coupled with existential security threats is expected to increase the demand for these systems.

Establishment of New Airports and the Expansion of Existing Projects is Expected to Drive the Market

The growth in middle-class population in the developing countries, such as China and India has increased the air passenger traffic, and this trend is expected to continue. To handle the growth in the air traffic, many airports in different parts of the world have been undergoing expansions creating demand for airport baggage handling systems. Airport expansion projects are underway across the world.

All the countries that are part of Gulf Cooperation Council are in the midst of expanding their airports, as the region has few of the world’s busiest airports the growth in the air traffic will necessitate expansion of capacity to provide seamless travel experience. India under its regional connectivity scheme has envisaged developing the underserved and unserved airports to boost domestic air travel. The Heathrow airport in London, the busiest in the European continent is undergoing expansion. The construction of both Greenfield and Brownfield airports is expected to drive the demand for such systems.

Recent Developments

  • March 2018: Vanderlande signs strategic baggage cooperative agreement with Vancouver Airport Authority for the design and execution of baggage handling projects in order to reach the capacity, redundancy and flexibility required for future growth

Companies Mentioned

  • Vanderlande Industries
  • Daifuku
  • Siemens
  • Pteris Global
  • Glidepath
  • Crisplant
  • G&S Airport Conveyor
  • Aversan Inc
  • Logpan
  • Babcock Airports Ltd

Key Topics Covered

1. Introduction

2. Research Methodology

3. Executive Summary

4. Market Overview and Trends

5. Market Dynamics

6. Global Airport Baggage Handling Systems Market Segmentation

7. Competitive Landscape

8. Company Profiles

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s9xmd5/global_airport?w=4

Geneva, Switzerland | April 19, 2018– Airlines around the world have once again improved the rate of baggage delivery, this is according to the SITA 2018 Baggage Report  published today. This continues the improvement trend of more than a decade which has seen baggage mishandling drop by 70% since 2007. This is the 14th year that SITA has issued its report and it marks 2018 as a turning point for the global air transport industry as airlines increasingly adopt baggage tracking technologies.

SITA’s report details how baggage management is changing globally and airline passengers can expect to see major differences over the next two years. Services like real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop will be more commonplace and 2018 is the year that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect which will see the industry increase baggage tracking.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Over the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in bag management as airlines have taken advantage of technology. Now with IATA’s drive for 100% bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further. End-to-end tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes. While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”

The growth in passenger numbers globally puts considerable pressure on the industry’s baggage systems and processes. With the rise to more than 4 billion passengers in 2017, the airlines did well to reduce the rate of mishandled bags. In fact, at 5.57 per thousand passengers it was the lowest level ever recorded. Despite the improvement, mishandled bags cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2017 so there is considerable scope for cost savings from airline investments in end-to-end bag tracking.

SITA’s Baggage Report includes examples of how airlines, including Aeroflot, Alitalia, Bahamasair, Delta and Qatar, are using innovative and proven technologies to improve bag management and tracking. One case study outlines how the airline Bahamasair went from scanning bag tag labels on a “bingo” card to full Resolution 753 tracking in Miami and Nassau airports inside seven days. This included the full ability to share tracking data in real-time via SITA’s BagJourney service. This initiative will deliver benefits to the airline in the way of improved passenger service and cost savings.

SITA provides IT and communications to the air transport industry and is the only single-source vendor covering all areas of baggage management from data capture to management and sharing using the latest technology. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

For further details, download SITA’s full report.

Airports Authority of India to use SITA BagManager to improve baggage handling at airports

Air Transport IT Summit, Jaipur, India | March 22, 2018– The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages 126 airports across India, has expanded SITA’s baggage management solution to 15 airports. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airports with real-time information on the status of passengers’ baggage, significantly reducing the chances of baggage mishandling.

This follows the implementation of SITA’s BagManager at Kolkata and Chennai Airports in 2015 and is in line with the AAI’s vision of rolling out standard airport infrastructure across all their airports to drive greater efficiency across the airport network. The implementation of SITA’s baggage solution will also help AAI’s customer airlines progress towards complying with IATA Resolution 753 by tracking bags across key points in the journey.

The 15 airports are Trivandrum, Calicut, Mangalore, Tirupati, Chennai, Madurai, Kolkatta, Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Leh, Chandigarh, Trichy and Ahmedabad.

As part of the expanded agreement, the AAI will also deploy SITA Airport Management Solution to two further airports – Goa and Lucknow airports – taking the total number of India airports using this technolgy to 12. SITA Airport Management Solution is a suite of integrated software applications designed to support and enhance airport operations from landside to airside, from landing to take off. With SITA Airport Management Solution, the airports will have access to real-time data to better anticipate, plan and control their operations.

Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman of Airports Authority of India, said: “As passenger traffic increases across India, we need to be smarter in the way we manage our airports and smart technology is the answer. SITA’s experience in India and its solutions make it possible to manage our network of airports in a more efficient and effective way, delivering a better service to our passengers while accommodating rapidly rising passenger numbers.”

The AAI continues to invest in new airport infrastructure and technology across India to meet growing passenger traffic. India is expected to become the third biggest passenger market by 2025 with more than 400 million passengers a year. This investment includes new development works at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “India has long been an important market for SITA. With our sharpened focus on delivering solutions at the airport – including passenger processing and baggage management – we are able to support AAI with new technologies that make it easier to operate their airports and deliver a great passenger experience.”

SITA’s BagJourney will provide accurate real-time information on each and every bag

Moscow, Russia | December 21, 2017– Aeroflot has become the first airline in Russia to provide real-time location information for all the baggage it handles, choosing  SITA, the global IT provider, to deliver an end-to-end baggage tracking solution using its BagJourney system.

BagJourney allows Aeroflot to accurately track passengers’ bags at key points along their journey, including at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival at the destination airport. BagJourney provides a precise picture of a bag’s location. It uses baggage data from 400-plus airports and 500 airlines that passes through SITA’s global, fully-managed baggage message and distribution service, BagMessage.  This makes it possible for the airline to keep passengers informed about the status of their baggage or to quickly trace a bag if it does go missing. Aeroflot’s employees will also be able to provide customers with complete information on their baggage.

Kirill Bogdanov, Deputy CEO for IT at Aeroflot, said: “Baggage tracking is just the latest example of how Aeroflot is focusing on technology innovations that improve the customer experience. We recognize that baggage is such an important area for passengers, and through this solution we will be able to provide them with more certainty on where their bags are at every step of the journey.”

Dmitry Krasnov, SITA VP Russia and CIS, said: “Aeroflot has a great track record of embracing technology to enhance the passenger experience. With SITA’s BagJourney, the airline can permanently track bags, reducing the likelihood of a bag being mishandled in the first place. This will have a tremendously positive impact for passengers while making the airline’s baggage operation far more efficient and significantly reducing the number of mishandled bags.”

According to SITA’s 2017 Baggage Report, the rate of mishandled bags in 2016 was at a record-low of 5.73 bags per thousand passengers, down from a peak of 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007. This improvement has been directly attributed to the use of technology to more efficiently and accurately manage baggage. The rate is set to improve even further thanks to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Resolution 753’s requirement for comprehensive baggage tracking which comes into effect in June 2018.

SITA’s BagJourney can become the core platform of a ready-to-go solution for airlines looking for a cost-effective way of providing the tracking data to their passengers or fulfilling IATA Resolution 753.

SITA will deliver the most advanced airport experience when the world’s largest airport opens in 2018

Istanbul | November 1, 2018–Istanbul New Airport, one of the world’s most ambitious airport projects, has appointed global IT provider SITA to bring the region’s most advanced airport to life. SITA will deliver a wide range of airport, passenger and baggage processing solutions to deliver a world-class experience, showcasing the future of air travel.

İGA, the contractor and designated operator of the new airport, has brought SITA on board to design and deliver IT solutions that will manage everything from landing to take off as well as all passenger processing and baggage management systems from check-in through to boarding. SITA’s systems will be required to support 75 flight departures per hour, 3,500 flight operations per day and 1,000 bags per flight. Upon completion of all phases of the project, the capacity will reach over 200 million passengers annually, making it one of the world’s biggest airports.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa said: “Airports are without a doubt one of the most connected public spaces. SITA’s role is to provide and integrate all these systems to provide effortless airport management while elevating the passenger experience and satisfaction. We remove the complexity so that İGA can focus on what is really important: the passenger.”

In the first phase of the infrastructure development, SITA will deploy passenger processing systems to provide a smooth and efficient experience for passengers. This includes SITA’s departure control system and common-use platform, allowing multiple airlines to connect and use the same check-in and boarding infrastructure. SITA will also implement automated passenger access control that will validate all types of boarding passes against travel documents at key touchpoints such as security and boarding. In total, SITA will provide 1,041 check-in and boarding workstations and 90 touchpoints where passengers can validate their boarding passes.

SITA’s state of the art baggage management technology will also ensure airlines flying to the airport are able to track their bags at every stage of the journey, meeting IATA’s Resolution 753 requirements from day one.

In parallel, SITA will deploy key airport management solutions that will allow İGA to proactively manage and oversee every aspect of the airport operation. SITA’s Airport Management Solution will make it possible for İGA to centralize flight data information collected from all the systems in the airport and to proactively take smart decisions in managing the resources in the airport. SITA will help İGA take collaboration a step further through the sharing of common airport operational objectives across stakeholders such as airlines, ground handlers and control authorities.

Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of İGA Airports Construction said: “We fully understand that having the right technology will be essential to the successful operation of the new airport and future-proofing it for decades to come.

It is also critical to ensuring our passengers fully benefit from our new, world-class facilities by providing innovative systems that make the journey through the airport enjoyable and effortless. We are confident that we will conclude this co-operation successfully.”

Ersin İnankul, CIO of İGA Airports Construction said: “In building a new facility, we have the opportunity to implement technology or the capacity to accommodate new technologies, thereby ensuring we are well prepared to accommodate changing requirements over time. Working with SITA, we have implemented passenger and operational systems that support those evolving demands, assuring the long-term future of Istanbul New Airport.”

Read the interview with Ersin İnankul, CIO of İGA Airports Construction in SITA’s Air Transport IT Review online

The construction of the new airport will be carried out in four phases. The first phase will be finalized in 2018 with the opening of three runways and a main terminal building with a capacity of 90 million passengers a year. Close to 100 airlines have committed to begin using the airport once it opens for operations.

Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3 to cement airport’s position as a major regional hub

Johannesburg | October 16, 2017– SITA is providing its world-class passenger and baggage processing technology as well as its airport management solutions to Ghana’s new Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, helping cement the airport’s position as a vital regional hub.

Ghana’s largest airport is expanding its capacity to meet significant growth in international passenger traffic, increasing the airport’s capacity to five-million passengers a year. The country’s aviation industry has witnessed significant growth over the past decade due to the discovery of petroleum and gas reserves, sustained domestic demand and the growth of the tourism sector.

SITA, the global air transport IT provider, has worked closely with both MAPA, the construction company building the new terminal, and Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), the airport operator, to ensure that the new terminal has the most up-to-date technology to support the country’s modern airport infrastructure.

SITA already provides technology for Terminals 1 and 2 at Kotoka International Airport and will ensure that its world-class technology is fully integrated with the existing terminals from day one. This will deliver smooth passenger and baggage processing, and efficient operations across the entire airport.

SITA is deploying its latest passenger processing technology including common use check-in desks and self-service check-in kiosks, allowing the airport to maximize its capacity by enabling airlines to cost-effectively share the same infrastructure. The airport will also make use of SITA’s state of the art baggage management technology that will assist airlines in tracking bags every step of the way, helping them meet IATA’s Resolution 753 requirements from day one.

On the operational side, SITA’s Airport Management Solution will simplify planning and operational control, and facilitate collaborative decision-making, data management and analysis in Terminal 3 and across the entire airport. It will also support revenue management with its billing and reporting functionality.

Levent Uzunokur, General Manager of MNG Technical, MAPA’s parent company, said: “SITA was the obvious choice both because of its wide experience of airport technology across the world and the team’s specific knowledge of Kotoka International Airport. SITA’s ability to seamlessly integrate the new terminal into the existing airport operations is particularly important and will have a very positive impact on the success of the whole project.”

Dr Gershon Adzadi, Head of ICT at Ghana Airports Company Limited, said: “SITA has long provided its technology and know-how at Kotoka International Airport. Their understanding of our business and their leading technology solutions at airports make them an ideal partner to support us in the next chapter of our airport’s growth.”

SITA is initially contracted to MAPA during the deployment and implementation phase before handing over to GACL who will then take over the day-to-day running of the terminal.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “We are working with MAPA to transform the new facility into a working airport terminal that can process 1,250 passengers an hour. Kotoka International Airport’s new terminal will have the world-class technology it needs to support the airport’s role as a leading hub in the region.”

Kotoka International Airport supports both international and national routes for passenger and cargo aircraft. When Terminal 3 opens at the end of 2017, it will have six contact stands and two remote stands for long-range aircraft, including Airbus A380s, A330s and Boeing 777s and 787s.

SITA technology will allow airlines at one of the world’s biggest airports to track bags at every step

Istanbul | October 9, 2017– İGA, contractor and designated operator of Istanbul New Airport, has appointed SITA to implement its innovative baggage tracking solution at what will be one of the world’s largest airports, allowing airlines to meet IATA Resolution 753’s baggage tracking requirements from day one.

The airport, due to open in 2018, will have capacity to accommodate 90 million passengers a year. Upon completion of all four phases, the passenger capacity will reach over 200 million passengers annually and will be required to track more than 75,000 bags an hour. The potential for bags to be mishandled in such a busy environment will be significantly reduced with SITA’s baggage solution by providing information on where every single bag is on its route through the airport.

SITA’s baggage solution provides the IT infrastructure that makes it possible for airlines to track bags at key points in the journey, including check-in, transfer and arrival. Airlines will also be able to receive updates on where their baggage is at each step of the journey, allowing them to comply with IATA Resolution 753.

Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of İGA Airports Construction said: “We fully understand that having the right technology will be essential to the successful operation of the new airport and future-proofing it for decades to come. It is also critical to ensuring our passengers fully benefit from our new, world-class facilities by providing innovative systems that make the journey through the airport enjoyable and effortless. We are confident that we will conclude this cooperation successfully.”

Ersin İnankul, CIO of İGA Airports Construction said: “In building a new facility, we have the opportunity to implement technology or capacity to accommodate new technologies. One of the technologies that will become a must-have is baggage tracking to meet the June 2018 deadline of Resolution 753. As a service to our airlines, we have partnered with SITA to implement the technology to meet the requirements from day one of operation.”

Jihad Boueri, SITA Vice President Airports for Middle East, India and Africa said: “Baggage is one key area where technology is improving the passenger experience. Increasingly airlines and airports are helping to relieve the anxiety of waiting for bags to arrive by providing real-time information on the status of their bags to passengers. At the same time, by understanding where a bag is at any point in its journey, airlines will be able to act proactively to ensure that a bag is correctly allocated to a flight, ensuring it arrives with the passenger at their destination.”

SITA’s Baggage Report 2017 showed that baggage management by airlines globally improved again in 2016 as the industry focuses on technology investments. According to the report, the rate of mishandled bags was 5.73 bags per thousand passengers in 2016, down 12.25% from the previous year and the lowest ever recorded.

New SITA services includes South Africa’s first self-bag drop and mobile boarding

Johannesburg, South Africa | July 26, 2017– Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter.

In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service.

Using SITA’s  Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, Lanseria International Airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey.

The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

Gavin Sayce, Chief Operating Officer of Lanseria International Airport, said: “Our passengers and airlines have always valued the ease of use when travelling through Lanseria International Airport. The investment in new technology – together with new infrastructure such as the multi-storey parking we are building – is aimed at maximizing this convenience. We want this airport to remain the airport of choice for both airlines and their passengers.”

Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg, has established itself as a favored low-cost hub for passengers to quickly and conveniently connect to South Africa’s other main cities. FlySafair recently joined Kulula and Mango in operating flights from Lanseria to Cape Town, Durban and now George. The airport handles over 2 million passengers a year and the existing passenger terminal is being extended to accommodate more airlines and flights.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our research shows that an overwhelming number of passengers prefer to use technology rather than a human interaction when in the airport. They value the control and convenience that self-service options such as self-bag drop and mobile boarding provide. This is the case with Lanseria International Airport where passengers are accustomed to a smooth passage through the travel steps.”

2017 Air Transport IT Summit – Barcelona, Spain | May 24, 2017– SITA, the IT specialist that is transforming air travel through technology, today rolled out several community innovation demos with an eye toward the future at this year’s Air Transport IT Summit. These forward-looking innovations are part of SITA’s 2016 multi-million investment across five main focus areas to explore new solutions to some of the air transport industry’s most pressing challenges.

The five areas are; new baggage tracking capabilities to meet IATA’s Resolution 753; identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports; the facilitation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC); an industry-wide disruption warning system; and enhancing cyber security across the industry.

Demos shocased included the innovative WorldTracer Ground Delivery Baggage Tracking App which allows airlines to track delayed bags until they reach their final destination and Travel Identity of the Future, a new approach to identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports. The multi-million dollar community innovation investment is over and above SITA’s continued investment in new products. It is aimed at looking further into the future of promising technologies or new ways of doing things that could have a big impact and significant benefit to the air transport community.

In addition, SITA announced seven new member benefits to enhance nine offers made available in 2015. The offers, exclusive to SITA’s 400 plus members, consist of free trials and preferential contract terms for services. These include SITA’s Mobile Boarding Pass API, which gives airlines flexibility to easily create and distribute mobile boarding passes and SITA’s sophisticated baggage services BagConnect and WorldTracer Tablet. Members can also benefit from free consultancy services for SITA’s cloud services and Horizon solutions along with preferential terms for messaging services SITATEXT Online and the new MessageIntelligence Archive.

Jappe Blaauw, President of the SITA Council, said: “SITA is a member-driven organization and these offers are designed to offer value and support in the areas that we know our 400 plus members are interested such as improved baggage management, driving the adoption of mobile self-service and taking advantage of cloud services. These exclusive offers will allow our members to quickly evaluate and adopt new and efficient technologies across the air transport industry.”

The Air Transport IT Summit, which is attended by more than 400 air transport industry professionals, also provides SITA with the opportunity to recognize its valued members. Working with its air transport industry partners to define next-generation technology for more than 65 years, SITA recognized numerous milestone members including 60 years of partnership with Air Serbia, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines and Qantas Airways. And 50 years of partnership with Adria Airways, Arabian Airlines, Libyan Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Saudi Arabian Airlines and United Airlines.

  • 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.

  • SITA Baggage Robot Visits Singapore and Hong Kong


Singapore | October 20, 2016–
Leo, the innovative baggage robot, is touring Asia, with visits to Singapore and Hong Kong. Leo is a fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot which provides a glimpse into the future of baggage handling that is being explored by SITA Lab the technology research team at global IT provider SITA.

After spending time at some of SITA’s key customer locations, Leo can be caught in action at the Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO 2016 taking place 25 – 26 October in Singapore. This is Asia’s biggest free-to-attend passenger experience expo and this year the expected combined attendance of 3,000+ will have the chance to see Leo up close.

Leo, the baggage robot, has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport two suitcases. It also has an obstacle avoidance capability and can navigate in a high-traffic environment such as an airport. It is the first step to automating the baggage process from the moment passengers drop their bags to when they collect them.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA President Asia Pacific, said: “At SITA, innovation is a key driver of our business. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is on collaboratively developing technology solutions and services for the air transport industry, working with our airline and airport partners to stimulate technological innovation. It is great that we can share the experience that our technology research team SITA Lab has gained during the development of Leo, the baggage robot, here in Asia.”

This robot is a perfect example of how innovative thinking, neatly integrated with the systems in use across airlines and airports, can transform the passenger experience. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, Leo demonstrates how bags can 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 the passengers themselves.

Next stop for Leo is Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) where it will be on show for the participants of HKIA’s second Technovation Conference and Exhibition which will be focusing on smart airports.

  • RFID technology will significantly reduce mishandled baggage rates

Dubai | October 19,2016– The global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which can accurately track passengers’ baggage in real time across key points in the journey, can enable the air transport industry to save more than US$3 billion over the next seven years.

Global IT provider SITA and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that the highly accurate tracking rates of RFID technology could reduce the number of mishandled bags by up to 25% by 2022, mainly through efficient tracking. The SITA/IATA Business Case released today at the IATA World Passenger Symposium taking place in Dubai, outlines how this will provide a major saving for airlines and deliver more certainty for passengers.

In particular, RFID will address mishandling during transfer from one flight to another, one of the key areas identified by SITA and IATA where the technology could help improve baggage handling rates. RFID technology will ensure that airports, airlines and ground handlers are able to keep track of bags at every step of the journey and ensure the right bag is loaded onto the correct flight. The technology also supports IATA’s Resolution 753 that requires by 2018 airlines keep track of every item of baggage from start to finish.

The deployment of RFID would build on the already significant savings delivered by the smart use of technology for baggage management. According to the SITA Baggage Report 2016, technology has helped reduce the number of mishandled bags by 50% from a record 46.9 million mishandled bags in 2007, saving the industry US$ 22.4 billion. This improvement comes despite a sharp rise in passenger numbers over the same period.

Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer at SITA, said: “The airline industry is on the brink of a revolution in baggage tracking. Deploying RFID globally will increase accuracy and reduce mishandling rates. This is a win-win situation – passengers will be happier, operations will run smoother and airlines will save billions of dollars.”

Andrew Price, Head of Global Baggage Operations at IATA said: “Over the past few years we have seen more work to help airlines introduce and reap the benefits of RFID technology through better oversight of their baggage operations. This has included trials and of course the Delta Air Lines implementation. The advances in the technology and the immense benefits it brings to the airline industry has prompted IATA to revisit and fully explore the benefits of RFID today.”

Initial deployments of RFID by airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, show a 99 percent success rate for tracking bags, helping further reduce the number of mishandled bags.

David Hosford, manager of baggage performance strategy at Delta Air Lines said: “We are investing in RFID to further improve our baggage handling rates and improve the customer experience. RFID technology provides us with more data and more precise tracking information throughout the baggage journey.”

The SITA/IATA business case shows that the improvements in handling rates do not come at a great cost. RFID capabilities can be deployed for as little US$0.1 per passenger on average while generating expected savings of more than US$0.2 per passenger. With some big airlines and airports already introducing RFID technology, combined with the fact that it is compatible with existing barcode technology, adoption of RFID across all airports could provide a positive return for airlines, both in cost savings and passenger satisfaction.

SITA’s and IATA’s assumptions are based on RFID being deployed in 722 airports (representing 95% of passenger numbers globally) over a six-year period between 2016 and 2021 while the savings are calculated over seven years to 2022. The figures for 2016 take into account the RFID infrastructure already deployed or about to be deployed at multiple induction points on the baggage journey.

SITA’s research into RFID and baggage tracking is part of its ongoing investment in research for the benefit of the entire air transport community. Baggage tracking is one of the five community research programs that SITA has launched to address some of the industry’s most pressing challenges. The others are identity management; the facilitation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC); an industry-wide disruption warning system; and enhancing cybersecurity across the industry.

  • First “touchless” bag drop already significantly reducing passenger check-in times

Annapolis, MD | July 20, 2016– Rockwell Collins, working in conjunction with Pulse.aero, has recently deployed two major self-service bag drop zones in Terminals One and Two at Dublin Airport through an agreement with daa. The multimillion dollar project streamlines and simplifies the baggage check-in process.

The new systems are already having a significant impact including increased check-in capacity and shorter lines. Comparing statistics from this year’s June bank holiday weekend to 2015, the use of the kiosks has reduced check-in times considerably.

Terminal One, home to Ryanair, now has 15 self-service bag drop units. The units use a one-step approach, allowing passengers who have checked in online to take their bags directly to a bag drop unit where they can print and tag their luggage. The bag is then dispatched straight into the baggage system.

In Terminal Two, the airport now has 32 self-service kiosks and 12 bag drop units in the Aer Lingus check-in area. The bag drop units in Terminal Two are the world’s first touchless bag drops, employing a two-step approach. Passengers first use their reference number to print a boarding card and/or weigh their bag and print a tag. Once tagged, the luggage is taken to the self-service kiosk and the bag is automatically dispatched.

“Touchless bag drop means that passengers can drop their bag at a self-service machine that requires only minor user interaction, eliminating many of the steps they have to deal with today,” said Liz Walshe, project manager at daa. “This solution from Rockwell Collins and Pulse.aero is providing passengers with the services they need to make their travel as easy and seamless as possible. Beyond providing a better check-in experience, the solution is reducing costs by enabling us to use our existing infrastructure to check in more passengers.”

“Different airlines often have different passenger processing models, which means that there isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ solution for baggage handling,” said Chris Forrest, vice president of Airport Systems for Rockwell Collins. “This, combined with the requirement to work with the existing infrastructure and systems at the Dublin Airport, enabled us to create the right approach for each terminal—and it’s having a real impact on daa’s passengers’ travel experience.”

The self-service solutions will be expanded to additional airlines in the near future and more features, such as baggage payment, will be added over the summer.

(IFExpress Readers: It is fairly obvious which image above is the SITA robot, Leo. (the middle image). However, in searching for a good robotic image for this week’s story, we came across a number of pictures that caught our interest (and imagination) as you can see above – PLW)

While we had some fun with the concept of airport robots, the folks at SITA are very serious about the future of robot technology in use with aviation – in this week’s case, airport baggage handling. We talked with Stephane Cheikh from SITA Lab who answered a number of questions we thought our readers might find interesting. While the future is rather unclear as to the use of robots in aviation solutions, handling passenger baggage appears to be one logical application. So, we asked a few folks at SITA and their communication people about LEO. Leidar’s Charlie Pryor told IFExpress when we asked the question about the application: “It’s really part of a bigger story about automation throughout the airport. And it is very much a trial at this stage, albeit an interesting one of course.”

Here are a few questions we asked of Stephane:

1. IFExpress: Let’s get started with robot power, we assume it is charged via wall power during the night and via alkaline or lead batteries while in use?

“Leo runs on two lead batteries which can last between 24 to 48 hours depending on the type of operations required. The robot is programmed to autonomously return to its base station to get charged when it’s running low on battery power.”

2. IFExpress: Please describe the way a human interacts with the robot?

“Leo does not directly communicate with passengers. In the case of Geneva Airport Leo was positioned outside 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 bags. 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 while the passenger heads straight to the gate, bypassing the check-in hall. Being a fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot, Leo is able to transport bags from the point of bag drop to where they are handed over to be injected into the baggage handling system.

The doors of the robot can only be reopened by the operator unloading the baggage in the airport. For the purpose of the proof of concept at Geneva Airport, the baggage robot was monitored at all times.”

3. IFExpress: Please describe how it finds its way to the required destination? I presume robot speed is fixed?

Using GPS technology, Leo is programmed to follow a specific route from where the bag drop takes place to where the bags are handed over and injected into the baggage handling system. The robot’s speed is fixed but is able to stop if it detects passengers passing in front of it.”

4. IFExpress: Will airport inside destinations required any new facility construction?

“SITA hopes to continue further trials and proof of concepts to probe how robots such as Leo can be incorporated into airports. This will vary from customer to customer.  SITA continues to work with the industry to ensure that the baggage robot is able to meet the requirements of our airport customers.”

5. IFExpress: Has an approximate cost/price been determined of the robot?

“Leo is still a proof of concept and as such SITA is unable to provide a cost or price.”

6. IFExpress: Please describe and detail the human/movement sensors and protections?

“The robot has two laser-based sensors: one in front and one at the back of Leo. The robot is programmed to stop when the sensors detect an object either in front or behind. Sometimes if an object is close but still a safe distance away, the robot will decelerate until it is free of the object and then re-accelerate.
Leo also has an obstacle avoidance mode where it will go around an object – within certain thresholds.”

7. IFExpress: If I were an airline or airport, why would I want this device/system in my airport?

“During the trial at Geneva Airport, Leo demonstrated how, by taking the bag drop process out of the terminal building, the number of trolleys and bags in the terminal could be significantly reduced.

Leo also provides an early glimpse into the future of baggage processing and handling being explored by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team. 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 the passengers themselves.”

8. IFExpress: Are there any rough technical specs available?

“As Leo is still in a developmental stage, we are not able to disclose more details than what has already been provided above.”

9. IFExpress: How would an airline or airport contact SITA/manufacturer of the robots if they wanted to test out a system?

“Airlines or airports can reach out their SITA representatives in their respective regions or contact us through the www.sita.aero website.”

(And yes, this is not an IFEC story per se; however, we wanted to check in on the future of robot technology in our business. Interestingly, SITA has been working the robot solution for some time now and, who knows, it may even be on an airplane in the future… and you may get your future headsets from one – Patricia Wiseman, Editor)


IFEC News:

1:  Here is a news release from Gogo about their new relationship with Aeromexico: Today, Gogo partner Aeromexico announced the launch of a pilot program to provide complimentary in-flight access to Netflix. Netflix members onboard select Aeromexico flights within Mexico, Central & South America will be able to stream the best programming available in the skies, including hit series Orange Is The New Black, Club de Cuervos and Chef’s Table, on their phones, tablets, and laptops at no cost starting on June 17th and through October 17th 2016.

The “Netflixabordo” experience is made possible by our next generation 2Ku satellite wifi system, which offers passengers a ground-like experience, including the ability to stream video.”As the first airline to launch with Gogo’s new 2Ku technology, we couldn’t be more excited to help Aeromexico bring this great new passenger experience to life,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s regional president. “Gogo’s industry-leading 2Ku technology is enabling passengers to connect using any Wi-Fi enabled device and experience all of Netflix’s hit series just as they would at home.”

“Passengers on aircraft equipped with the new Gogo 2Ku technology will be notified by the Aeromexico in-flight team that they can access high-speed WiFi. Clients can then open their browser and login for free. Passengers will then be prompted to either login to their existing Netflix account or to create a new, 30-day free trial account, after which they will then be connected to the Netflix service up in the air, just like they would on the ground. Existing account holders onboard Gogo 2ku Aeromexico aircraft will be able to access Netflix at no additional cost through October 17th, while new members can sign up to enjoy a 30-day free Netflix trial – good for use both in the air, on Aeromexico 2Ku-equipped aircrafts, or on the ground.”

Gogo told IFExpress: “Netflix offering is available to everyone flying that has an account. For those passengers that might not have an account, they are able to sign up for the free 30-day trial to take advantage of this partnership. In terms of bandwidth, we are confident that 2Ku can handle the amount of people on an aircraft that will choose to stream.” – Morgan Painter

Here is another release you might find interesting – Gogo Inc. Announces Launch of $500 Million Senior Secured Notes Offering – Jun 9, 2016

2:  IFE manufacturers might just have to consider a new baggage use for a totally new application – World’s First Passenger Drone to Begin Testing

3:  You might want to check out the 35th DASC in Sacramento CA, Sept 25/29, and here are just a couple reasons: MA1: Modern Avionics Architectures – Tim Etherington, Rockwell-Collins and MM2: Aircraft Systems, Safety and Cyber-security: RTCA DO-326A guidance – Laurent Fabre, Critical Systems Labs –www.dasconline.org

4:  Here is a new IFE & Connectivity Show in the US – IFE and Connectivity USA. And, it is co-located with Innovative Aircraft Seating – USA, June 27 – 28 in Seattle, WA!

5:  From an article in ArsTechnica on creating VPN lists, we found this interesting comment – “The best use case for consumer VPNs is local network security, especially on public Wi-Fi networks in airports, hotels, cafes, and even on airplanes (especially since GoGo has been caught issuing fake HTTP certificates for YouTube, which could expose all user traffic—including users’ YouTube passwords—to the inflight broadband provider).” Here is the story

  • Leo the robot speeds up bag drop by collecting passengers’ baggage before they enter the terminal

Geneva | May 17, 2016– Passengers arriving at Geneva Airport in the past few days have received help with their bag drop from Leo, an innovative baggage robot developed by air transport IT provider SITA, which is being trialed outside the airport’s Terminal 1.

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 the passengers themselves.

Leo – named after the Italian Renaissance inventor and engineer Leonardo da Vinci who built what is now recognized as the world’s first robot – 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. The doors of the robot can only be reopened by the operator unloading the baggage in the airport.

The use of robots such as Leo means that in future fewer bags and trolleys will enter the airport terminal, reducing congestion and making airport navigation easier.

Dave Bakker, President Europe at SITA said: “Through the innovative work of the SITA Lab we are able to tackle some of the key challenges that face airports today. Leo demonstrates that robotics hold the key to more effective, secure and smarter baggage handling and is major step towards further automating bag handling in airports. Leo also provides some insight into the potential use of robots across the passenger journey in future.”

Massimo Gentile, Head of IT at Genève Aéroport, said: “In a busy airport such as Geneva Airport, the use of a robot such as Leo limits the number of bags in the airport terminal, helping us accommodate a growing number of passengers without compromising the airport experience inside the terminal. Leo also proves the case for increased use of robotics to make passengers’ journey a little more comfortable, whether it is checking in baggage, providing directions or helping them through the security process.”

Leo, which was built for SITA by BlueBotics, is part of SITA’s showcase of technology at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit taking place from 24-26 May in Barcelona.

To watch Leo in action at Geneva Airport click on the following link: www.sita.aero/baggagerobot

  • New WorldTracer® interface provides cost-effective solution to tracing delayed baggage

Cologne, Germany | March 16, 2016– German airline group Lufthansa will speed up the repatriation of delayed or mishandled bags to passengers after it launches easy-to-use baggage tracing technology jointly developed with global air transport IT specialist SITA.

The new-generation WorldTracer® system provides Lufthansa agents access to a new, user-friendly desktop interface that makes it easy to record delayed baggage and trace the missing bags no matter where in the world they are. The new interface allows ground handlers, airport operators and airlines to access WorldTracer’s global baggage data while integrating it with their own reservation or operations systems, providing a rich data set that helps quickly trace a missing bag.

The new WorldTracer desktop application will be available to all agents across the Lufthansa group in 2016. Given SITA WorldTracer’s global presence with 450 airlines and ground handlers at more than 2,500 airport locations, the new system makes deployment of the new interface across a global network easy and cost-effective.

Guenter Friedrich, Vice President Commercial & Passenger, at Lufthansa said: “Every passenger wants their bag to arrive at their destination and Lufthansa strives to ensure that each passenger is reunited with their baggage at the end of their journey. However, in those rare situations where baggage is delayed, this new, user-friendly version of WorldTracer makes it possible for agents to quickly trace a bag and return it to its owner. This will have a powerful impact on customer satisfaction.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President Europe said: “Technology has played a vital role in reducing the number of mishandled bags, saving the industry $18bn since 2007. However, unforeseen situations such as weather delays can still result in a bag being mishandled. This new, easy-to-use application of WorldTracer speeds up the process of tracing and recovering mishandled baggage and provides further cost savings for airlines, airports and ground handlers.”

While the development of this new application was funded by Lufthansa and SITA, it will be made available to the broader air transport community as part of SITA’s ongoing investment in WorldTracer. SITA also recently launched the WorldTracer Tablet which allows mobile agents to roam the airport, helping passengers to report mishandled baggage and trace their status.

Last year we wrote in our first issue: “Happy New Year to our readers and thank you for another year of IFE change and growth. We are always excited to write up our predictions, in fact, we have been researching for a couple of weeks now to bring you the latest in prediction news. Based on technology change, we are in for a ride this year, and beyond. Everything from drones to privacy is at risk to become a new item in 2015, and as we move into the world of change, we hope you find our view a bit different… and a bit useful.” The sentiment still holds so let’s get started on 2016. Here are a few of the big market and changes that we might see (or need) in the techno-world to come with aviation as our focus.

Messaging:
While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non interruptive.

Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase and has done so for each year for the last 5 years. To a greater extent, these behaviors are clearly a dominating trend and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Further, as folks ‘cut’ their cable TV, products are rising up in the wireless world to support streaming TV via the Internet for portable devices. Check out this FierceCable article for more information on this subject.

On aircraft, we also expect to see this increase, after all some 97% of passengers (notes SITA) have devices with Facebook Messenger, What’s App, and WeChat. These devices (and apps) and limited connectivity channels are there, all we need are more lower price solutions (free or flat fee)… and yes, there are a few on the horizon and we will discuss them this year, but we digress for now. If anything will be a big deal in inflight lifestyle changes, it will be more messaging!

Audio:
From an audio perspective, our daily life is a good predictor of what we want, and will do, on airplanes. Streaming audio is not new on the ground, with some predictors noting 4 hours of each day in that pursuit. On planes it is usually a ‘canned’ experience because connectivity to the ground is not cheap. However, with the demand of services like google Play, Amazon, MP3, NPR, Apple Music, Spotify and many more, there may be a future for advertised, real-time, streaming… if for no other reason than news. Today it’s the ‘under 17’ that spend the most streaming time but they do get older and will replace the ‘over 55’ who rely mostly on AM/FM – something to think about for your next IFE system.

Bags/Baggage:
Perhaps the past year has been better (data not out yet), but in the previous year (2014), the passenger count that lost a bag reached 24.1 million and, we note, the trend has been dropping (2007 – 18.9 lost bags per thousand pax, down 61.3% to 2014 – 7.3 lost bags per thousand pax). However with increasing load factors, increased seating and increasing traffic, it will be a real challenge for airlines to keep up. In 2014 it cost the airlines over $2 Billion for mishandled bags so the airlines are ahead of the $4.22 Billion in 2007. We also note that half of the issues were caused by transfer mishandling. Perhaps the new personal Bluetooth and Wi-Fi bag finders in conjunction with the new self bag tag programs, and the eventual electronic bag-tag programs (NFC and RFID) will reduce the loss even further in 2016. In fact, SITA has been making inroads with their BagManager baggage tracking service in 2015 and we anticipate this feature to take off in 2016.

Beacons:
We have shown a number of beacon devices in pictures from the IFE trade shows but basically we are talking about mobile location, mobile intelligence or mobile sales communication devices. These are small battery free or line powered devices that communicate with your device over Bluetooth (4.1) and Wi-Fi. The folks at SITA have been developing a lot of airport related solutions and it remains to be seen when they will come aboard planes. Developed at Apple, the iBeacon Registry is their effort to get this technology started in airports and here are their services: It allows beacon owners (airlines, airports or 3rd parties) to manage their beacon infrastructure and track where they are placed in an airport. The technology enables airports to monitor beacon deployment to prevent radio interference with existing Wi-Fi access points. It provides beacons owners with a simple mechanism to set the ‘meta-data’ associated with beacons. Also, it has an API for app developers who want to use these beacons for developing travel and other related apps. Notes SITA: “The aims of the registry are to promote the use of beacons in the Air Transport Industry and reduce the cost and complexity of deployment. This can be achieved with the following design goals:

  • Promote shared beacon infrastructure to reduce cost and complexity of deployment.
  • Introduce standard beacon types and data definition to encourage reuse.
  • Provide a simple to use API to discover beacons and get meta-data about beacons.
  • Provide tools to airport operators and beacon owners to visualize and track beacons.
  • Be vendor agnostic – the service should work with beacons from any vendor.”

Furthermore, ABI Research notes: “Research data shows that, from a beacon shipment perspective, most vendors are shipping multiple contracts in the tens of thousands. This is a major upgrade from 2014, indicating that a lot of retailers are ramping up to deploy in 2016. Although not public yet, several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) completed funding rounds, which will enable them to grow in 2016. Sensoro is emerging as a major market player, with more than 110,000 beacons deployed in China and some major orders lined up for 2016.”

More on Beacons here

Security:
This topic is massive and we will cover it for many times to come but we wanted to share one thought from an article in informationsecurotybuzz.com – titled: Human Behavior as the Biggest Threat to Company Security. “People were reported to be ‘almost universally’ the biggest weakness in information security, ahead of technology and processes. Of the respondents that reported to have an insider threat or policy, 70% offer employee training to minimize risk.” “The company employs intelligence teams that study different aspects of communications, user activity, social media, suspicious activity and other details,” said one respondent. “We’re seeing a lot more hands-on training, employee monitoring, and testing to address the issue,” said Ari Kaplan, security researcher. In fact, this human focused trend will be the number one item at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, the show of new things:#1 Say Goodbye to Cool, Hello to Security and Safety. At CES we have come to expect the latest new shiny gadgets. There will be plenty of those this year, but that will not be the show’s main theme. The prevailing stories will center on security, safety and health services that help consumers in their daily lives.” The world is changing and aviation will be focused on this subject this year. Just consider how many folks touch technology that plugs into planes!

VR:
Don’t get too excited about virtual reality for aircraft applications. In fact, here is the view from Rick Merritt in EE Times who seems to agree: “Some people will claim virtual and augmented reality will be the next big thing in the run up to the debut of a handful of major platforms in the spring. But by fall the heat will start to fade as consumers, chilled by their high price tags and underwhelming performance, give a pass on them as gifts for Xmas 2016.” Some airlines have been flirting with the concept of VR for a number of years and have even featured the technology in their airline lounges, but we believe this technology has a long way to go before it can migrate successfully to the airborne environment, especially if motion sickness is taken into consideration!

Other:
We probably don’t need to say it but economy class will get more crowded, competition will drop air fares as competition ‘crams’ uppossibly a new ‘mini or micro’ class, there should be more mergers as more airlines take on the Delta World concept, deals and freebies will exist for the frequent fliers while the rest of the travelers will pretty much just exist inflight (if that’s possible), you will need better pre-boarding ID, Airbnb and Uber concepts will tempt a new US airline concept but the idea will be killed (this is a tough one in the US), and in the end VR may be needed after all to blunt the reality of coach class.


NEWS

Women In Aviation Intl: Tracey Curtis-Taylor successfully completed her United Kingdom to Australia flight on January 1, 2016, recreating a pioneering 1930 solo flight by Amy Johnson. Tracey departed Farnborough airport on October 1, 2015, on her solo flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman named the Spirit of Artemis. The flight covered 13,000 miles, including 50 legs, crossing 23 countries. Tracey is a keynote speaker at the 2016 International Women in Aviation Conference March 10-12 in Nashville, TN at the Friday morning general session, expected to be attended by nearly 4,500 participants.

IFPL just announced the delivery of a one millionth peripheral to Panasonic Avionics (see the News Releases section for the full story).

We told you so…

Lastly, we are working on a few surprises for 2016, but more on this later…

Abu Dhabi, UAE | January 5, 2016– Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with global IT provider SITA to introduce its latest technologies across Abu Dhabi International Airport’s (AUH’s) three terminals. The technology transformation is part of Abu Dhabi Airports’ preparations for AUH reaching a capacity of 45 million passengers by 2017.

The investment in SITA’s latest innovations will bring the airport’s entire IT infrastructure in line with the systems that SITA is already implementing in the new Midfield Terminal Building, currently under construction. These new technologies will help improve the airport’s operational efficiency while providing a seamless passenger experience across all terminals.

As part of the five-year contract, SITA will provide a range of advanced and fully integrated airport systems. One of these includes their Airport Management solution which will allow Abu Dhabi Airports to proactively manage the operation of AUH by providing real-time information from across all facilities. This will enable the operations team to plan for events before they happen, while ensuring resources are fully optimized.

Other key products from SITA include AirportConnect® Open, which enables airlines to share check-in areas, kiosks and boarding areas while still having access to their own data, and BagManager which allows bags to be tracked in real-time, providing a clear status on any bag no matter where it is in the baggage system.

In addition to these three systems, passengers will also enjoy new automated boarding gates and flight information display systems.

Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to experience double-digit passenger growth and therefore we are investing in new airport facilities that will allow us to accommodate the forecast future increase in passengers. In order to achieve this we require a trusted technology partner, such as SITA, to provide one-stop, integrated IT solutions across the airport.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa, said: “We have long admired Abu Dhabi International Airport’s ability to meet the rapid growth it has experienced over the past few years without compromising the great service offered to passengers. We have worked alongside the team at the airport to provide the technology to manage everything from check-in and airport management systems to self-boarding gates, across the existing terminals. Abu Dhabi Airports has recognized the value we bring as an IT partner who can deliver not only improved operational efficiency, but also an enhanced passenger experience.”

Abu Dhabi International Airport currently serves over 103 destinations in 56 countries and in 2014 accommodated over 20 million passengers.

  • 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.