India’s third largest airport, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB) is known as the ‘Gateway to South India’. As India’s fastest growing airport and its busiest, KIAB serves over 18 million passengers annually.
Kempegowda is connected to 67 destinations in India and across the globe, and accommodates 44 airlines (33 internationally and 11 domestic). It’s the ‘airport of choice’ for both international and domestic travelers.
The city of Bengaluru (or Bangalore) itself has become the world’s second-fastest growing start-up ecosystem and India’s main technology hub. This rapid expansion is reflected by the 25.2% growth in overall traffic recorded at KIAB over the past year from both domestic (27.4%) and international travel (15.8%).
With ever-increasing passenger numbers, the airport operator, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), was faced with the challenge of serving new airlines (including AirAsia India, Air Pegasus, Air Costa and Vistara), while boosting profitability. They soon realized the best solution was to overhaul the airport passenger processing IT services.
Key to the IT transformation at Kempegowda includes:
- Scaling up and upgrading the common-use check-in infrastructure (CUTE)
- Adding common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks with baggage tag printers
- Upgrading the baggage reconciliation system (BRS)
Providing the best possible experience for passengers was paramount but BIAL also aimed to change the way it provided airport services to its stakeholders. So, BIAL signed a seven-year multi-million dollar contract with SITA to drive efficiency, profitability and transform its business relationship with stakeholders and suppliers.
SITA's winning solution
SITA has a wealth of experience in airport technology and is already a trusted supplier to 40 airports in India. SITA knows how complicated it is to run an airport and realizes that smart technology is the foundation of smart airports. SITA is the only ICT provider that can deliver a totally integrated, seamless self-service passenger experience. SITA’s innovative technologies have helped airports and airlines offer passengers more choice and greater control of their journey, both on and off airport. It’s these credentials that left BIAL in no doubt when choosing their ICT partner for the Kempegowda International Airport contract.
The services covered by the KIAB contract include:
- SITA AirportConnect® Open – a common-use platform enabling airports, airlines and handling agents to access their IT applications in real time
- AirportConnect Kiosks – common-use self-service check-in kiosks
- BagManager – application for loading, reconciling, tracking, tracing and managing baggage operations
Beginning in January 2015, SITA deployed a total of 180 common-use workstations and added 30 new common-use self-service kiosks to the previously deployed 18 – all running on the SITA AirportConnect® Open platform.
Migration to the new system was completed in October 2015 with no disruption in services to airlines or passenger flow. All airlines based at KIAB are now able to use any common-use check-in desk, boarding gate or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in. This ensures optimal use of the airport infrastructure. The self-service kiosks also include baggage tag printers, which is a first at any Indian airport. Passengers can now complete all of their check-in procedures before dropping their luggage at the bag-drop counter.
Business benefits and results
As well as providing the physical infrastructure at the airport, SITA’s expertise has helped BIAL significantly reduce its IT costs and transform how it provides IT services to stakeholders and tenants. Previously, BIAL subscribed to CUTE, CUSS and BRS services from multiple providers, with internal IT staff being responsible for operating and supporting them. These services were then extended to airlines as part of their relationship with the airport.
SITA now manages all of these services on a turnkey basis on behalf of BIAL. SITA’s historical relationship with multiple airlines is a key advantage as it has already achieved the certifications required for delivering services with committed uptime.
This simplified management of services ensures 24/7 availability, 365 days of the year. By outsourcing passenger processing technology to SITA and unifying it under a single platform, BIAL has no additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) to make.