Saudi Arabia’s international airports simplify passenger check-in and boarding and improve baggage handling with SITA’s state-of-the-art departure control, passenger check-in and baggage reconciliation services.
General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has more civil airports than any other country in the Middle East. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) manages all 26 airports across the Kingdom.
GACA’s mission is to build, manage, provide and develop all major equipment and infrastructure both for the civil airports and the country’s air navigation systems, based on the latest international systems and standards. The organization is also responsible for developing and applying procedures that guarantee the safety and security of the country’s air transportation systems, controlling operations and maintenance standards, encouraging investment opportunities and developing new revenues at Saudi Arabia’s airports.
Since the late 1970s, Saudi Arabia has achieved both unprecedented growth and giant leaps in quality in the fields of civil aviation and general industry.
This has generated major developments in the country’s passenger, air cargo and air navigation and control systems.
The business challenge
In 2006, GACA was facing a number of challenges in managing its international airports. This included improving and simplifying the passenger experience, reducing airport queues and tightening flight security. GACA was looking for flexible and proven IT systems that would enable it to integrate and automate operations at the country’s airports in a cost-effective manner – providing benefits for both airlines and passengers.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always aspired to achieve an excellent quality of life for its citizens,” said Mr. Mohammed Ali Alhaddad, Director Business Development & Properties – KAIA, GACA. “The aviation sector is an important focal point for us because it generates important benefits for the country as a whole.”
After investigating three potential solution providers, GACA chose SITA. “SITA proposed a well-balanced solution that satisfied our technical aspirations, IATA’s regulations and recommendations and our financial expectations,” said Mr. Mohammed Ali Alhaddad. “SITA’s worldwide experience, its local presence and its large international market share in our regions of interest were also important factors in our decision.”
Since 2007, SITA has helped drive business transformation at all of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s international airports – King Abdul – Aziz, Jeddah; King Khaled, Riyadh; King Fahd, Dammam; and Prince Mohamad, Medina – through a five- year, US$16.8m IT solution focused on departure control systems, passenger check-in and baggage management.
This includes SITA’s state-of-the-art airport IT systems such as AirportConnect Open for check-in, MaestroDCS Local (Departure Control System), and BagManager for automated passenger and bag reconciliation.
SITA’s AirportConnect Open serves as an IT airport platform that enables airlines operating from all four Saudi international airports to have their own proprietary applications running on CUTE (common-use terminal equipment). The most popular airline check-in and boarding system in use today, AirportConnect Open helps reduce pressure on airport space and provides airlines with greater flexibility in how they operate within the airport environment – particularly in meeting seasonal traffic demands, such as Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
SITA’s MaestroDCS Local is a fully automated check-in, boarding control and weight and balance system for aircraft departure control. Designed for airlines, airports, ground handlers and charter companies, MaestroDCS Local provides low-cost, easy-to-use check- in and departure control for the Saudi airports.
Finally, SITA’s BagManager, the industry’s leading baggage reconciliation system (BRS), provides Saudi international airports with tighter security, improved customer service, and better baggage control by tracking and recording the location of every bag within an airport and across multiple airports. It also ensures that passengers and their baggage travel together. This enables the four Saudi airports to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) security recommendations.
Using the new solution, Saudi international airports have streamlined and improved the passenger travel experience, reduced waiting times and improved security. The solution has also benefitted the airlines serving Saudi Arabia’s international airports.
For more information on GACA visit www.gaca.gov.sa .
H.E. Abdullah Ruhaimy, President, GACA said: "Our five-year agreement with SITA has transformed the international airport environment here in Saudi Arabia through the smart deployment of IT that automates and streamlines the check-in process in order to avoid delays. Security is enhanced by ensuring passenger and bag reconciliation at all times."