SITA, the technology provider for the travel and transport industry, secured a landmark deal with the Airports Authority of India to support one of the biggest growth markets globally, providing technology to 43 of India’s biggest airports.
India’s Civil Aviation is among the fastest-growing aviation markets globally and will be a major growth engine to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.
The deal will see improvements over 2,700 passenger touchpoints, paving the way for the adoption of new-age solutions to meet the modern passenger’s expectations. Initially deployed across 43 airports, the technologies are scalable to an additional 40 airports over the next seven years. Over 500 million passengers are expected to be processed during this period.
The rollout of new cloud technology will enable Indian airports to shift to common use passenger experiences where multiple airlines can leverage the same infrastructure, such as check in counters, self-service kiosks, and boarding gates.
The adoption of cloud solutions also brings new agility and flexibility to scale airport operations efficiently as passenger numbers grow. The cloud first approach enforces better security and offers airlines a platform to host new progressive technologies and move away from native applications. Centralized cloud hosting of all servers means reduced on-premise infrastructure costs and results in centralized control, enabling proactive monitoring and control of services.
Sumesh Patel, President, Asia Pacific, SITA, said: “We’re excited to partner with AAI on this large-scale deployment of leading passenger processing solutions. The number of airports in India is expected to increase from 148 today to 220 by 2025. The new airports will bring closer together India’s almost 50 cities with populations exceeding one million people, creating substantial economic value in the long term. By connecting these cities better, air travel and transport will help unlock the full potential of India’s economic growth too. Ensuring efficient and fluid operations and a seamless passenger experience at these airports will be critical to delivering on India’s air transport industry opportunity.”
The solutions will give passengers more control over their journey, offering a low-touch, efficient check-in, bag drop, and collection process through assisted and self-service mechanisms. The airports will benefit from a reduced infrastructure footprint and increased operational efficiency. At the same time, airlines will see service charges drop and can take advantage of an agile technology platform to build bespoke passenger experiences on.
Under the agreement, SITA will deploy its state-of-the-art solutions, including SITA Flex, CUPPS, SITA CUSS, and SITA Bag Manager. These IATA-certified platforms offer airlines and ground handlers the benefits of common use technologies, enabling scalable operations to meet their specific operational requirements.
The Baggage Reconciliation System ensures a high level of baggage accountability, preventing losses and security concerns, which is critical to industry recovery amidst a spiraling baggage mishandling rate.
This project represents a significant shift towards adopting cutting-edge technological platforms, enhancing operational efficiencies, and paving the way for the future adoption of biometric passenger processing. Additionally, real-time dashboard-based information will be made available to governing agencies, promoting transparency and informed decision-making.
AAI officers at the airport and headquarters now have access to online real time dashboards, replacing the monthly service availability reports. The solution ensures they are better informed and know the availability of systems across all airports at every point in time, optimizing efficiency and promoting smooth operations.
The project commenced in May 2022 and involved a comprehensive revamp of existing services without disrupting ongoing operations.