Airports across the country are adopting state-of-the-art technology to enhance passenger satisfaction

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) recently announced joining hands with global IT provider for air transport sector — SITA — to equip 25 airports across the country, including Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Chandigarh, Tirupati and Madurai with its highly advanced common-use passenger processing system to improve passenger experience.

The announcement comes close on heels of the successful implementation of SITA’s passenger systems at 13 AAI operated airports, which was part the first phase of airports modernisation plan of AAI.

In total, 38 airports managed by AAI will now enjoy the benefits of improved and technologically advanced check-in, boarding and new self-service facilities. The agreement will be for seven years and SITA will provide AirportConnect Open, the common-use passenger processing system which allows airports to maximise the use of check-in counters and gates.

Under the agreement, SITA will supply 700 work stations together with multiple common use self-service (CUSS) kiosks across the 25 airports, including at Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.

SITA’s CUSS kiosks offer multiple services to the passenger and will allow these airports to increase capacity during surges in traffic. This flexibility avoids the need to invest in fixed check-in areas. With the CUSS kiosks, SITA will provide an end-to-end managed solution complementing other airport check-in services available at the 25 airports.

“For more than 50 million passengers that use these 25 airports annually, this means that they will enjoy more efficient check-in and boarding and have self-service kiosks available. This strategic partnership with SITA is part of our airports modernisation plan which includes the state-of-the-art terminals at Chennai, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Indore, Chandigarh, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Bhopal, Rajkot, Indore, Leh, Silchar, Jammu, Patna, Raipur among others,” AAI chairman V.P. Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, a software — Intelligent Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) — developed by IBM India has become an important tool at Indian airports lately to immediately notify relevant airport stakeholders of any delay in flight arrival timings, enabling them to start executing standard operating procedures to provide mitigations “in-time”.

Another key aspect is the visibility into the ramp operations. After the flight comes to the stand and before it leaves the stand there are about 30-40 milestones or tasks which are performed by various teams such as baggage handling, fuelling, catering, etc.

There is no way to track the exact times when those tasks are performed and analyse what contributes to the delay on the ramp. By mobile enabling the ramp supervisors, it is possible to get the real-time ramp status and measure the compliance to On-Time-Performance of the flights.

It is important that such congestion is detected in real time and responded to immediately with automated standard operations procedures such as alerting the area managers, to make sure congestion is cleared.

The less time a passenger spends in the queue, the more time he spends in retail stores and hence contributes to the airport revenue.