SITA, the specialist airline IT provider, and Appear, the leader in context-aware software infrastructure, announced a partnership which will shortly implement the first-ever context-aware mobile platform for the air transport industry (ATI).
Uniquely, this new platform will provide common-use access to ATI applications “on demand” over wireless and mobile networks, tackle information overload and allow airlines, ground handlers and other airport customers to escape dependence on manual processes, voice communications and back-office reporting for a wide range of critical operational functions, on an unprecedented scale.
Pilot projects are scheduled with three airlines in Sweden, Portugal and the Netherlands, which will see SITA and Appear, deploy a hosted context-aware test platform, able to support multiple mobile application scenarios (including passenger and baggage processing, aircraft and airport operations).
For example, the mobile workforce concept enabled by handheld devices allows aircraft turnaround with one duty manager for 4-5 aircraft rather than the present “norm” of one duty manager per aircraft turnaround. One airline is projecting double-digit reductions in aircraft line maintenance intervention time and critical work-process improvements.
Similarly, ground handlers will save on fuel bills and benefit from workforce efficiency gains thanks to remote management of diesel-powered aircraft heaters and other ground service equipment. They will also increase revenues thanks to more accurate usage reporting.
Greg Ouillon, SITA VP for Innovation, said: “As mobile devices, networks and applications became ubiquitous, the last and most important piece of the technology ecosystem required by SITA was to provide a common-use platform to enable on-demand mobility services at any airport. Appear’s context-aware middleware is a fundamental building block of this new offer.
“Context-aware technology enables SITA to provide a range of wireless applications to different stakeholders over a single common-use multi-service architecture. Appear has the most robust enterprise platform on the market, with existing deployments for over 10,000 mobile workers in the transportation industry.”
Context-aware technology revolutionizes how information is delivered, received and presented on mobile devices. No longer do the users need to know what they are looking for: The Appear Context Engine analyses each user’s situation (context) and determines what information the user needs, what data, voice or video needs to be delivered in real time, on the job. The technology is tightly integrated with SITA’s back-end applications and business process modeling tools.
Xavier Aubry, CEO Appear, said: “The SITA mobile platform, powered by Appear, is the most significant technology development yet related to airport mobile workforce enablement. For the first time, an entire industry will be able to deploy on-demand mobile workforce services, anywhere in the world, in order to significantly reduce IT costs and optimize business processes. From day one, the solution will be able to reach out to over 250 airports where SITA infrastructure is already in place and to support tens of thousands of users”.