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Passenger thumbs up for wearables

Passengers are relaxed when it comes to technology in air transport, says the 2014 Passenger IT Trends Survey by SITA and Air Transport World.

The vast majority of them would be comfortable with airline or airport staff using wearable technology, such as smartwatches and glass, to help them on their journey.


Passengers want to use technology at every point of the journey, and many already do, the Survey says. It found passengers expressing a desire for more personalization.

At the same time, they have greater expectations of aircraft connectivity, enabling mobile device use in-flight.

See ‘The tech savvy passenger’ 

Smartwatch boarding

Airlines can now offer ultra tech-savvy passengers the option of boarding their flight with a simple flick of the wrist and scan of their Smartwatch.

It’s thanks to a SITA Lab innovation and boarding pass API.

Also read 'SITA gets smart boarding passes' and 'Mobile evolution'.

Beacon breakthrough

Miami International has become the first airport in the world equipped with a complete and open deployment of beacons.

Available to users via SITA’s Common-Use Beacon Registry, they cover entrances, check-in, gate, baggage claim and valet parking zones throughout the airport.

Each beacon broadcasts an identifier that can be used by airlines, retailers and other partners’ apps to trigger content for passengers or staff.

Common-use registry

“This is a fantastic move and a great model for the industry to follow,” said Jim Peters, SITA Chief Technology Officer.

“By installing the beacons and registering them on the SITA Common-Use Beacon Registry, the airport has set the standard for being truly open and collaborative with its partners.

“Miami has made it easy for airlines, and other partners working at the airport, to take advantage of iBeacon technology and provide information that’s relevant to the passenger’s location or stage of the journey.”

Beacons can also be used for staff notifications and to beam operational information – such as temperature, noise levels and vibrations – from throughout the airport to allow efficient operational management.

For more, go to See also 'Mobile evolution'.

Indian Airports modernization drive

More than 50 million passengers at 25 airports across India can now use common-use self-service technology to check in at the airport quickly and easily.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) collaborated with SITA to deploy the new SITA technology as part of its ongoing airport modernization program.

Go to SITA press releases for more.

SITA wins Air India award

SITA’s CEO Francesco Violante has received an Excellence Award at a landmark event to celebrate the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines prior to entry into the Star Alliance.

The award recognizes SITA's close partnership with Air India, as well as SITA’s contribution to the airline’s transformation – specifically Air India’s Star Alliance entry.

See ‘Air India’s alliance entry

Air China's $8M fuel cost cuts

Air China, one of the world’s largest airlines, is set to save around US$8m a year in fuel costs, thanks to payload and live weather update technology from SITA.

Lu Yun-Guo, Senior Manager of Operation Technology, Air China, said: “We started trialing SITA’s FMS (Flight Management System) Wind Uplink service in early 2013 and have already significantly lowered our fuel bills.

“In just six months, we saved close to US$2 million, and that was with implementation across only part of our fleet.

“We anticipate that our annual savings across our entire fleet will be in the region of US$8 million. Crew feedback has been excellent as well.

“I’m proud to say that Air China is the first airline to use this technology in China as part of our continuous innovation efforts.”

Less burn

With SITA’s Wind Uplink service, the aircraft’s FMS can constantly analyze weather conditions on the route ahead to determine optimum altitude, fuel burn and arrival-time predictions. This helps reduce fuel consumption.

SITA’s AIRCOM ACARS Services provide the backbone for the automatic Wind Uplink service. SITA has also installed hardware in Air China’s offices to ensure the data provided to the crew is totally under the airline’s supervision.

Unleashing the potential of e-AircraftTM

OnAir takes connectivity beyond the cabin

OnAir has taken a major step in bringing connectivity into airline operations with its launch of OnAir Plug.

The new service provides in-flight Internet access for the airline over a secure dedicated wireless network.


Airlines can use OnAir Plug to exchange real-time data between cabin crews and the ground, to optimize their Inflight and ground operations.

OnAir Plug is agnostic, neutral and secure: the wireless network can be accessed by any Wi-Fi enabled device and supports all crew member applications.

World first

Launch customer for OnAir Plug is Philippine Airlines – the world’s first airline to provide mobile phone, Wi-Fi and wireless in-flight entertainment for passengers.

It now has access to a range of services previously unavailable to crew. OnAir Plug can connect the airline’s point of sale devices, for example, to enable real-time credit card transactions onboard.


A secure connectivity channel is a major move towards enabling a ‘nose-to-tail’ communications for airline operations, as set out in the SITA and OnAir e-AircraftTM program.

See ‘Revolution in the air’.

ISO14001 for SITA

SITA’s London Gate UK office has been awarded ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System - EMS) certification by the British Standards Institution.

Applying ISO 14001 helps organizations identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve environmental performance.

CSR strategy

SITA’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Amber Harrison said: “Achieving certification for our EMS is an important step in our overall CSR strategy, and shows our commitment to being a responsible business.

“We’re working on extending our certification to other SITA offices around the world over the coming year.”

Go to SITA Corporate Social Responsibility for more.

Common-use helps Sharjah growth

Sharjah International Airport, home to Air Arabia, one of the Middle East’s fastest-growing low cost airlines, has selected SITA to provide its AirportConnect Open passenger processing technology for another five years.

SITA is supplying 230 workstations for check-in and boarding, double the number the airport had when it first introduced common-use.

7.5 Million people

Sharjah International is the third largest airport in the United Arab Emirates, processing more than 7.5 million people a year.

SITA’s AirportConnect Open is a world-leading technology that ensures the most efficient use of the airport to process passengers by allowing airlines to use any self-service kiosk, agent desk or gate position for passenger check-in, bag drop, and boarding.

Azerbaijan transforms operations

SITA will provide the IT infrastructure, passenger processing platform and airport operations systems for Heydar Aliev International Airport’s new Terminal 1 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The new technology will transform operations, both for the airport and for Azerbaijan Airlines. It will enhance the passenger experience with new self-service options and enable the airport to handle double its current capacity.


As part of the new agreement, SITA is providing consultancy services in the areas of IT infrastructure and passenger processing, along with a full range of industry-leading solutions. These include AirportConnect Open, BagManager, WorldTracer and AirportResource Manager.

SITA has also provided 145 new digital display screens and an advanced audio system throughout the airport terminal to keep passengers up-to-date on flight information.

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