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Taking Zambia airports into the future

The pressure was on for us to deliver with this project. We faced the tight deadline of the WTO event and needed to be sure that both construction work on the new terminal and also the IT systems would all be complete, giving us the required world class standard. ZACL chose to work with SITA as the only expert partner who could deliver all the technology upgrades our new airport terminal needed on time.

Mr. Prince Chintimbwe, Zambia Airports Corporation Limited
Published
21 April 2015
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Zambia’s travel and tourism industry is growing rapidly, comprising over 5% of GDP. It now ranks as the 13th fastest growing tourism market in the world. Tourists are being attracted to the country’s natural wonders such as the Victoria Falls, the River Zambezi and safaris on its great plains.

To support tourism development, the Zambian government required its airport infrastructure to be modernized to enable more flights and offer travelers a better service. As the tourist capital of Zambia and gateway to the Victoria Falls, Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport was of particular interest. The airport’s terminal was built in 1950 and capacity was limited to 250,000 passengers a year.

State-owned company Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL), which operates Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, had ambitious plans to develop the airport with a new terminal, runway, apron and lights. Together, these would increase capacity at the airport to 1 million passengers annually.

ZACL selected a construction partner to develop the new terminal but it also recognized that it needed an IT partner that understood all aspects of airport operations, from passenger and baggage processing through to security, border controls and ground handling.

SITA already had a good relationship with ZACL having provided CUSS and CUTE services in the existing terminal building. It was a natural choice to invite SITA to take a prominent role in the development of the new terminal. SITA was contracted to provide master systems integration on all aspects of technology deployment – leveraging its own world-class technology with best-of-breed third party systems.

The challenge

ZACL had set a tight deadline: it wanted the new international terminal to be online and operational in time for the annual assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) in 2013. This high-profile event would demonstrate that Zambia is a major player in tourism within Africa.

SITA’s task was to ensure that when the construction was complete, the IT systems within the terminal were also available - everything from state-of-the-art passenger processing systems, a shared network infrastructure which could be used by all tenants to security management systems. It was SITA’s responsibility to bring all these systems together so that they worked seamlessly and cost-effectively.

In addition, the project would allow greater commercial development at the airport by enhancing tenant satisfaction and creating new revenue opportunities. The airport’s new IT systems gave an opportunity to turn a cost center into a revenue generator.

The solution

Tailoring the solution, powering change

SITA Airport MSI (Master System Integration) is a customizable blend of integrated professional services and technology, tailored to meet the needs of a new terminal or airport construction. Airport MSI includes a range of SITA and third party airport terminal IT and communications technologies along with a single program management and master system integration capability to deliver them.

The solution provides a one-stop shop for the operators as well as construction companies looking for a proven, low-risk partner to design and deliver the technology for their airport or terminal, on time and on budget.

Market-leading technology, expertise and experience

The SITA Airport MSI team assessed the requirements for Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport and specified a mix of SITA and third party solutions. The team were responsible for the production, design, supply, delivery and integration of special airport systems (SAS) in the new terminal. SAS are products and services specific to an airport construction program, comprising five key components of passenger processing, baggage management, airport management, security and airport infrastructure management.

Among these were SITA in-house developed solutions for Common use Passenger Processing (CUPPS): Airport Connect Open platform with 13 check-in counters and four boarding gates. It also included AirportVision with Flight Information Display System (FIDS) installed in the check-in, general concourse, arrivals and boarding gates.

The IT infrastructure was enhanced with latest communications technology including IP Telephony, an AiportHub® platform and shared LAN and wireless networks. In addition, security was improved to the highest standards, with CCTV, access control for secure areas, fire alarm and fire extinguishment in the data center.

True transformation of airport operations

SITA Airport MSI ensures ZACL’s new terminal can benefit from improved passenger management, enhanced airport operations, upgraded network infrastructure and increased security management. And because more airlines can check passengers in at the same time, a higher number of passengers can be processed, which can help accommodate seasonal fluctuations. Ultimately this reduces delays and improves the overall customer experience.

Passengers are also benefitting from better information about flights and gates thanks to the enhanced public announcement system, plus details available through the next generation Flight Information Display System and Master Satellite TV.

By taking control of the IT delivery side of the ZACL new terminal project, SITA was able to help lead Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport into a new era.

George Fenergi, Senior Manager Business Development Airports for SITA Middle East, India & Africa, said: “There is an overall element to working with SITA – we know how to turn buildings into airports. It is what we do and specialize in. We engage with all airport stakeholders, consider their priorities and imperatives and then design our technology solution based on that. We also work closely with airports and construction companies to ensure that we provide added value to both.”

“Our Airport MSI solution is designed specifically to help airports transform their operations and communications and become more efficient entities that deliver a great passenger experience. With such an objective in the WTO seminar deadline it was imperative that ZACL made the right choice of partner – SITA has worked with ZACL for 20 years now and so we were proud and delighted to help,”
said Mr. Eta Motlhabi, Sales Director for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), SITA.

The results

Taking the airport to the next level

Following completion of the project, the new terminal enjoys high levels of security thanks to fire alarms, enhanced CCTV and access control, while the data centers in the new terminal benefit from automated fire extinguishing systems. Communications have been enhanced throughout the airport via IP Telephony, fixed and wireless LAN.

SITA designed the LAN so that all airport tenants, from airlines to duty free outlets, can rent connectivity from ZACL. This turns the network into a revenue generator.

SITA once again proved that it remains the number one Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provider to all airports by delivering the project in record time. Passengers can now look forward to world-class service, communications and experience at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport.

Key benefits

  • Increase operational capacity for passengers, baggage and aircraft
  • Maximize airport operational efficiency
  • Increase services to stakeholders
  • Improve the passenger experience
  • Preserve and benefit the local economic ecosystem

Why SITA in Africa

SITA has decades of experience working with African airlines and airports, helping them to improve operations, passenger experience and service to tenants. SITA smart technology and know-how are the foundation of smart airports.

Combining innovative program management and technical integration methodology, SITA Airport MSI is unique in the industry. This expertise has been gained over numerous terminal construction projects and is based on industry best practices.

SITA offers the most comprehensive set of pre-integrated modular airport technology solutions available from a single supplier. No other provider in the aviation industry has the depth of knowledge and relationships with the key stakeholders in Africa and everywhere in the world.

SITA solutions

To take operations to the next level in Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport, SITA deployed and integrated a number of solutions throughout the airport including:

  • Airport MSI, which takes responsibility for the production, design, supply, delivery, and integration of the passenger terminal IT and telecommunications technology to help optimize the rapidity and efficiency of all airport processes
  • AirportConnect Open, a platform enabling Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) so that airports, airlines and handling agents can access their respective IT applications in real time
  • AirportHub®, a resilient and shared platform simplifying connectivity at airports for airlines and tenants, with Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless LAN
  • IP Telephony, efficient and flexible communications technology reducing communication costs while improving employee’s productivity
  • AirportVision, a Flight Information Display System built on a reliable foundation providing dynamic displays of information, improving the passenger experience

Third party solutions

  • Master Satellite TV
  • CCTV
  • Access Control
  • Fire alarm and automated extinguishing system Public Announcement System
  • Master Clock

Related solutions & services

Airport MSI

Technology integration for new airports and terminals

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