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Heading to Miami?

Published on  05 June by Jim Peters , Chief Technology Officer, SITA
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Innovations at Miami Airport deliver an improved experience

If you’re going to the IATA AGM next week, you’ll be using Miami International Airport (MIA) – one of the best examples of an airport using technology to improve the airline and passenger experience. It’s running a major long-term investment program focused on frontline passenger services, including check-in, baggage handling and boarding. SITA is proud to be Miami’s partner in many of these developments.

On your way through the airport, you may notice the results of two of the three major IT projects SITA has delivered.

Last September, MIA became the first airport in the world to deploy a complete and open suite of beacons. Beacons recognize when a phone is close by and initiate activity on relevant apps in the phone. They can be used to provide passengers with information about their journey and what’s going on around them at a given time.

The beacons at MIA are registered and available through SITA’s Common-Use Beacon Registry. This allows them to be used by everyone in the airport. Airlines, retailers and other service providers can provide beacon-based services without incurring the cost of installing beacons themselves. In addition to cost-cutting, the IT is simpler and eliminates the need for everyone to manage their own beacons.

The other project you may notice is MIA’s Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosks. So far, the airport has installed 72 of them – and more are on the way.

Average wait times for US citizens at Miami have decreased by 40%, thanks to the APC kiosks. In March 2013, there were over 50 instances when average waiting times exceeded 60 minutes. By March 2015, there were zero instances. The APC kiosks are making a real difference for passengers and helping the airlines as well.

The third project is more behind-the-scenes, so you may not have noticed it. Two years ago, MIA was the first airport in North America to implement AirportConnect Open, SITA’s passenger processing platform. It allows airlines to seamlessly operate at any desk, gate or work station throughout the airport, meeting the latest industry standards for common-use passenger processing systems (CUPPS), making highly efficient use of the airport infrastructure. SITA technology runs more than 750 workstations and 60 common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks throughout the airport.

Keep an eye out for these developments as you travel through Miami Airport this weekend and again on your way home. What new technology can you spot at MIA?

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