Kansai airport picks SITA solution

Kansai International Airport’s airline community has selected SITA’s AirportConnect CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) IT solution to provide a shared and web-enabled communications platform for its major operators.The multi-million dollar contract is the first contract SITA has signed with the Kansai CUTE Club, building on business developed with individual customers at Kansai. The decision was based on future operational and business considerations and SITA’s solution received the backing of the Kansai CUTE Club which comprises 16 leading airlines and one ground handling company, after an intensive and competitive evaluation process.

Work on the project started in June for commissioning and handover in October 2007. Essentially, the project will merge the current arrangement of three different communications systems into a single, unified network, covering nearly 100 check-in counters in the north wing of the airport terminal. This should improve passenger flow through what is one of the world’s longest terminals, with a frontage stretching 1.7km and catering to 17 million passengers each year.

Hitoshi Isaji, Kansai’s CUTE Club Chairman and Cathay Pacific Station Manager, said, “As a growing international airport with 17 million passengers, check-in and boarding systems are a high priority for Kansai International. SITA is partnering with us to bring innovation to the air transport community here through the latest IP enabled version of AirportConnect CUTE which will help us to manage future growth.”

The Java-based, IP-enabled AirportConnect CUTE system offers end-to-end IP connectivity from host to the airport desktop, providing airlines with access to their own systems on an industry-open platform. Each CUTE workstation uses a pre-integrated browser and is connected over IP to support the individual airline needs on an integrated common platform.

Paul Dalton, SITA Regional Vice President for North Asia and Pacific, said, “We are very pleased to be implementing AirportConnect CUTE in such a busy airport environment. Kansai International Airport can handle over 700 flights per week and the smart deployment of this IT solution will support airline needs in an efficient manner and improve their profitability.”