India has been at the forefront in embracing advanced technology, which will be vital for addressing operational challenges and providing a seamless passenger experience at the airports, a senior IT industry executive has said.
Sumesh Patel, SITA’s President for the Asia Pacific region, said the Indian government is keen to have a wide range of IT-based systems across all airports, both new and those being upgraded.
SITA, Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, is a multinational information technology company specialising in providing IT and telecommunications services to the aviation community.
The Geneva-based company has been providing services at Airport Authority of India (AAI) airports for over 50 years, and has worked with Air India since the 1950s, Patel said.
SITA considers India as one of the most promising markets globally, he said, pointing out that the company has been providing network infrastructure for all airlines in India, starting with Air India in 1952.
“But with rising passenger volumes and rapid industry growth comes a significant risk of operational turmoil leading to congested airports, flight delays, and cancellations,” he said.
Patel sees an immense challenge in managing such a huge volume of passenger traffic at airports and said SITA is set to meet new and advanced technology demand.
“The industry must now become laser-focused on operational efficiency, agility, and delivering a modern, seamless passenger experience,” he said.
“Focusing on delivering digital travel and a seamless passenger experience, maximising operational efficiency, and future-proofing operations with smart, agile cloud solutions, India has a unique opportunity to lead the way with truly world-class infrastructure,” he said.
India is expected to have 220 airports by 2025 compared to 148 today.
SITA signed a contract with AAI in July this year to implement technologies at an additional 40 airports over the next seven years. Over 500 million passengers are expected to be processed during this period.
The company recently implemented IT systems at 43 AAI airports, Patel said.
New airports would connect almost 50 Indian cities with populations exceeding one million people each, creating substantial economic value in the long term.
“Ensuring efficient and fluid operations and a seamless passenger experience at these airports will be critical to delivering on India’s air transport industry opportunity,” Patel said after briefing the media on SITA’s lab-based hub in Singapore this week.
The global and Indian air travel industry is set to work on more advanced technologies, such as the use of Artificial Intelligence to cover biometric passport travel, management of supplies for Maintenance and Repair Organizations, as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers.
The range of the company’s work in India includes a contract with Noida International Airport (NIA) which has selected SITA’s Airport Management System to help automate and streamline the operations of the airport, said Patel.
SITA will support NIA’s integrated approach to airport operations, focusing on maximising efficiency to serve passengers and airlines.
The group has Global Competency Centres in India to support its operations.