Thursday, November 29, 2007

SITA to run Bangalore Intl Airport’s baggage system

SITA to run Bangalore Intl Airport’s baggage system

Deal struck for 5 years; BIAL to make monthly payments

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Nov. 28 Bangalore’s greenfield international airport will be the first airport in India to use an integrated automated passenger baggage reconciliation system (PBRS) when it begins operations in March next year.

Air transport services major SITA will deploy and manage its own bar code-based solution at the airport, according to top officials of the two companies.

The PBRS will serve a common goal of the aviation industry – which is to convey baggage efficiently back to the passenger and cut the huge $3.8-billion global cost (2006) due to mishandling or loss.

Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) and SITA have struck a five-year managed services contract by which the airport will make agreed monthly payments to SITA, BIAL’s COO, Mr Marcel Hungerbuehler, said.

“Nothing is more frustrating than being separated from your bags. We intend to reduce this risk to the minimum possible” through an integrated central infrastructure, he told a news conference here. SITA engineers stationed at the airport will manage the system.

Mr Elyes M’Rad, SITA’s South Asia Regional Vice-President, said the $1.4-billion company generated a significant 40 per cent of its business from this segment. It was also in the race for similar contracts at other upcoming airports in the country.

The baggage reconciliation system developed by SITA, which tracks baggage in 220 countries, combines bar codes, wireless LAN and global connectivity. It enables quicker offloading and saves aircraft delays when passengers do not show up and automatically redirects bags that missed their connection on to alternative flights.

Of the two modules being used at BIA, BagManager works through check-in, baggage sorting up to integrating with flight information systems. It also allows for high security screenings for explosives and other devices. BagMessage offers latest bag information on demand.


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