SITA takes on $16.8mn Saudi project

SITA will drive business transformation at all four of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s international airports over the next five years through a $16.8 million IT investment program focused on departure control systems, passenger check-in and baggage management.

SITA has signed an agreement with the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to automate passenger and baggage processing at the International Airports of King Abdul-Aziz, Jeddah, King Khaled, Riyadh, King Fahd, Dammam, and Prince Mohamad, Medina, to handle all foreign airlines’ departure passengers using these airports.

H.E. Abdullah Ruhaimy, GACA President, said, “We were facing a number of challenges in managing our international airports and recognised the need for flexible and proven IT systems that will enable us to integrate and automate our operations in a cost-effective manner to the benefit of both airlines and passengers.

“Our five-year agreement with SITA will transform the international airport environment here in Saudi Arabia through the smart deployment of IT that will automate and streamline the check-in process in order to avoid delays. Security will be enhanced by ensuring passenger and bag reconciliation at all times.”

The deal includes state-of-the-art airport IT solutions: AirportConnect CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) for check-in, BagManager for automated passenger and bag reconciliation to reduce mishandling rates, and Maestro Local DCS (Departure Control System).


SITA’s AirportConnect CUTE Open is an integrated solution with network, software and hardware components. It serves as an IT airport platform that enables airlines to have their own proprietary applications running on CUTE (common-use terminal equipment). It is the most popular airline check-in and boarding system in use today, reducing pressure on airport space and providing airlines with greater flexibility in how they operate within the airport environment, particularly in meeting seasonal traffic demands.

SITA’s BagManager, the industry’s leading baggage reconciliation system will also be implemented to provide customers 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, as well as ensuring that passengers and their baggage travel together. This will allow all four Saudi International airports to meet International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recommendations on security.

The SITA MaestroDCS (Departure Control System) 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 a low-cost, easy to use check-in and DCS.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA Regional Vice-President, Middle East & Turkey, said, “The award of this Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) contract is a major milestone for SITA and strengthens our overall ability to serve the Saudi air transport community. All the airlines using the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s airports will experience a number of direct benefits including the use of their own departure control systems and improved security standards governing their baggage operations.”