The Kilimanjaro International Airport is getting more 'cute.' KIA is in the process of becoming the first air terminal in the country to be installed with the state-of-the-art, Common Use Terminal Equipment system, which will reportedly be the ultimate upgrade to the aviation industry's best practice so far.

The Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company (KADCO) which manages KIA, has selected SITA for the provision of the latest Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE®) system for its check-in and departure desk environment. SITA is said to be the world's leading service provider of IT business solutions and communication services to the air transport industry, with over 55 years experience.   Captain Phillemon Kisamo the Managing Director for KADCO explained that it was high time the airport got latest technology in order to be more competitive in the aviation industry. "KIA may be the first terminal to acquire SITA's IT system in Tanzania but a number of airports in Africa including our neighbor, the Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta airport have already adopted it."

The Other Air terminals that are operating through SITA's CUTE system on the continent, include, South Africa's Johannesburg International Airport; Egypt's Cairo Airport and Ethiopia's Addis Ababa International Airport. Kilimanjaro International Airport intends to become the fifth.

According to Sam Munda, the SITA's Sales Director for Sub-Saharan African region, his company manages complex communication solutions for its air transport, government and Global Distribution System (GDS) customers over the world's most extensive communication network, using VSAT (Very Small Apparatus Terminal), complemented by consultancy in the design, deployment and integration of communication services. SITA's CUTE systems maximize airport space by reducing the need for dedicated check-in areas, and providing the best facilities for passengers using existing KIA airport buildings. SITA developed the first ever workstations, and its terminals are now used by some 285 customers at over 220 airport locations worldwide, checking-in over 580 million passengers annually.

"By selecting the latest Java based, Internet Protocol (IP) enabled CUTE terminals, the Kilimanjaro International airport, once fully installed, will reportedly reduce costs, increase flexibility, optimize resources and facilitate the flow of passengers through the airport." Added, Marc Lumley the SITA's Airport and Desktop Business Development manager for Africa.

Lumley explained that, SITA's CUTE technology is compatible with the latest Internet protocol standards, preparing the airport for web-based check-in applications, which are increasingly being used by airlines. Once implemented, the system will be running over SITA's CUTE/XP platform and enable airlines and third parties to construct their own CUTE-compliant applications for Windows XP, NT, 3.1 and Java.

This will enhance the number of applications at the airport that can be integrated into the CUTE system - whether new or old - all operating on the most extensive, stable and expandable common use system available.

But won't this make a number of employees at KIA lose their jobs? "Hardly, in fact once we upgrade, the Airport may need to employ even more people." assured John Cassian, KADCO's IT and Communications Officer.

(SOURCE: Arusha Times)