Air travel IT specialist SITA has formed the SITA Border Automation User Group to help airports improve the efficiency of their border systems and to ultimately raise passenger satisfaction levels. The group’s inaugural meeting was held on May 20-21, 2015, at Orlando International Airport in Florida, USA.
The meeting brought together airlines, airports and government representatives from across the USA, along with experts in border technology, to explore ways to improve the passenger experience while maintaining security. The two-day session included discussions on best practices for integrating next-generation technology such as beacons, mobile apps and wi-fi, as well as on how to optimize Federal Inspection Station (FIS) design.
Paul Houghton, SITA president, Americas, said, “SITA is committed to working together with our customers and early adopters of border automation technology to deliver the best passenger experience. Our automated passport control (APC) kiosks, which are already widely used in the US, and our automated border control gates, are part of an end-to-end suite of solutions designed to facilitate and provide a more secure passenger journey throughout the airport and across borders.”
The most recent SITA Passenger Trends Survey found that US air travelers rank time-consuming security procedures as one of the top two areas for improvement. This frustration is likely to worsen, as international travel to the US is projected to grow by up to 6% each year over the 2014-2019 timeframe.
John Newsome, director, information technology, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), the operator for Orlando Airport, said, “GOAA began processing international travelers from visa waiver countries with Phase 3 SITA APC Kiosks more than a year ago. We reduced the time required to complete the immigration process for those travelers to 90 seconds, or often much less, reducing stress for our travelers and impact on our facilities. Since the launch and based on the measured improvements, GOAA has added kiosks to both of our FIS facilities, and we are eager to continue improving the experience for international travelers by partnering with SITA to drive further border automation innovation.”