Saudi Arabia’s aviation regulator, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), has selected SITA to support the modernization of the country’s airports, starting a major upgrade of airport and communication technology across 26 sites.

The new technology will help prepare the airports for an expected surge in passenger numbers over coming years. Passenger traffic across Saudi Arabia’s airports climbed to 92 million in 2017, 7.7% up on 2016.

“GACA has mapped out a clear future for Saudi airports, enabling us to meet our continued passenger growth while maintaining the world’s best airport facilities,” GACA president Abdulhakim bin Muhammad Al-Tamimi said.

As part of the technology upgrade, SITA is implementing its AirportConnect Open platform, which allows airlines to use common facilities to deliver a self-service experience from check-in to boarding.

AirportConnect Open will enable the implementation of solutions such as biometric single-token travel and common-use payment systems.

In addition, SITA will provide GACA with a modern baggage management solution. SITA will help airlines track and capture baggage data at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and on arrival.

SITA’s Airport Management system and Flight Information Display System will be deployed at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, providing real-time information critical in helping GACA manage its resources across the airport.

The Airport Management solution is being rolled out in an additional 21 GACA airports before the end of the year.

“Our solutions will help GACA reap the full benefit of the tremendous growth they have experienced across all Saudi Arabian airports in the past few years,” SITA president-Middle East, India and Africa Hani El-Assaad, said.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com