SITA eyes airport infrastructure boom, expands in India

Updated on Feb 08, 2008 09:27 PM IST
The massive airport infrastructure growth in India has opened up vast business opportunities for SITA, reports Lalatendu Mishra.
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Hindustan Times | ByLalatendu Mishra, Mumbai

The massive airport infrastructure growth in India has opened up vast business opportunities for SITA, among the world’s leading service provider for IT solutions and communication services for the air transport industry.

In the last two days, SITA has bagged contracts to upgarde passenger check in facilities at 14 airports in India, including the busiest Mumbai airport and 13 non-metro airports run by Airports Authority of India.

SITA officials refused to divulge the terms of the revenue sharing agreement and the quantum of investment they would be putting in here.

On Friday, SITA signed an agreement with Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) to install and manage Common Use Self Services (CUSS) kiosks and Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) check-in systems for a period of five years. This will help airlines expedite the passenger check-ins, thus reducing the turnaround time at the airport. In the new system, airlines will use common IT infrastructure provided by SITA for completing the check ins, rather than doing it individually.

“We chose to partner with SITA since they have specialised expertise in providing airport technology services, which in turn will translate into better facilities and an enhanced experience for both passengers and airlines at the Mumbai airport,” said Sanjay Reddy, managing director, MIAL.

“As our requirement evolves over a period of time, we will have SITA as our long term technology partner,” Redy added.

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said, “ The full SITA range of self service capability will transform Mumbai into an IT technology show case for the region. For the first time, we will have remote deployment of self service kiosks at hotels and other places for an airport in India.”

He added, “It will also allow for the first time in India complete integration of overall airport management system with check in platform being used by airlines.”

In agreement with 45 airlines operating out of the Mumbai airport, SITA will deploy its AirportConnect Open technology across 150 check in counters at the airport and 50 kiosks which will include 20 located in prominent hotels in Mumbai. The self-service kiosks will reduce check in time by more than half and will also able to print baggage bags.

On Thursday, SITA tied up with AAI to introduce AirportConnect Open at 13 non-metro airports including Ahmedabad, Goa, Trichi, Calicut, Trivandrum, Combatore, Amritsar, Varanasi, Srinagar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Dabok and Lucknow.

AAI went for this solution as passenger traffic at these airports is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 37 per cent over the next five years.

Last year, 7,350,000 passengers passed through these airports. As passenger traffic grows steadily and airlines get bogged by delays due to congestion, the introduction of these cutting edge technology would be crucial for the success of any airport and airline according to experts.

SITA currently manages some 30,000 CUTE workstations for 285 customers in more than 200 airport locations worldwide, checking-in an estimated 580 million passengers a year.

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