SITA partners with SUTD on pax processing


Aviation Festival AFA 728 x 90Global IT aviation provider SITA is partnering the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to create new offsite passenger processing solutions that would provide airline passengers with a fresh experience of checking themselves and their luggage in from almost any location – even before they arrive at the airport. 

By providing SUTD with access to its SITA Flex solution, SUTD researchers will now have the necessary technology to turn their current physical, digital, and experiential off-airport designs into workable prototypes. When fully integrated and completed, passenger processing procedures – passport scanning, luggage weighing, and printing of luggage tags and boarding passes – which are usually done at airports, will be available offsite using these prototypes.

In fact, tourists could experience a reimagined processing procedure right at their hotel room door, with their luggage being sent to the airport in advance. This will eliminate the need for them to leave their luggage with the hotel concierge should their flight depart hours after checking out of the hotel. They can simply carry on with their activities and head straight to the airport just an hour, instead of the usual two hours, before their flight departs – luggage free.

The SUTD-SITA off-airport processing project kicked off in March this year and will run for a year. As the hardware and service design requirements are ironed out and the solution takes shape, the off-airport concept will be tested for seamless integration and optimal performance with various SITA partners, including airlines, airports and ground handlers.

Sumesh Patel, president of Asia-Pacific for SITA. (PHOTO: SITA)

Singapore-based Sumesh Patel, SITA’s President for the Asia Pacific region, is upbeat about the tie-up. “This exciting partnership underscores our proactive stance when it comes to developing pioneering innovative solutions to take the air transport industry into the future. By exploring new off-airport solutions, we remain at the forefront of technology while actively meeting emerging market demands,” says Patel. SUTD’s designs break away from a traditional approach to off-airport touchpoints, and powering it will facilitate innovation and our ability to continually transform the passenger experience. It will also demonstrate the existing versatility of our solutions, which can be deployed both in- and off-airport and on non-SITA platforms,” explains Patel. “We will also advise on the most efficient way to reach and connect to the departure control systems of airlines, to bake in seamlessness from the start.”

The dynamic nature of the aviation industry, with its multiple moving pieces all working in sync to support the 7.8 billion passenger journeys projected by 2040, presents an ideal canvas for SUTD’s expertise.

SUTD President, Professor Chong Tow Chong, said: “We are designing the first fully integrated offsite solution to be powered by the SITA Flex solution. It will have the ability to scan passports, weigh luggage as well as print tags and boarding passes just like any in-airport check-in system but with a completely redesigned physical and digital experience – anywhere, anytime. This will reshape and elevate global air travel with greater convenience and efficiency. We look forward to validating our designs in trials with airport and airline operators, cruise centers as well as hoteliers in the months to come.”

SITA works with ITA on new tech
SITA also announced a new partnership with ITA Airways to transform the company’s global network infrastructure. The partnership will include the migration from the airline’s Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network to SITA’s recently launched Connect Go SASE platform. SITA will supply a future proof software defined networking (SDN) and secure service edge (SSE) solution.

SITA Connect Go is the only integrated networking and security solution designed specifically for the air transport industry. It aims to help the industry transform its network capabilities to meet evolving bandwidth, resilience, security, and automation needs, while being cost competitive. ITA Airways’ network upgrade is expected to cut costs by around 20% globally, while also delivering a host of new capabilities.

The partnership marks the first implementation of SITA Connect Go as the single solution covering the overall network requirements. This means, that for the first time, SITA Connect Go will integrate a customer’s entire network, delivering streamlined management, operations, and security.

Sergio Colella, President, SITA Europe, said: “There is a clear need in the market for more efficient and cost-effective solutions that help overcome the constraints of legacy wide-area network (WAN) networks. This new partnership with ITA Airways showcases both their commitment to optimize their network operations and our ability to adapt to the evolving demands across the sector. We continue to work towards creating future-proof solutions that support the ongoing digital transformation of the air transport industry.”


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