Cairns Airport, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, has announced that it is the first airport in Australia to fully operate a terminal with bar coded boarding passes (BCBP), a year ahead of the IATA industry deadline.

BCBPs replace magnetic strip boarding passes and are extremely convenient for passengers as they can be printed from home, allowing web check-in or even paperless boarding using mobile phones. Because they can store information for multiple segments and multiple carriers on a single pass, only one document is required for an entire journey. When 100% BCBPs are in use, IATA estimates that the industry will save $1.5 billion every year.

Using the AirportConnect Open technology from aviation IT Specialist SITA, Cairns has enabled airlines in its newly re-opened domestic terminal to issue BCBPs even if their departure control systems (DCSs) have not been upgraded to handle them.

Kayleen Collins, executive general manager of Cairns Airport, said, “It is an exciting time at the airport as our AU$200 million domestic terminal redevelopment project continues. Our upgrade has given us the opportunity to lead the country in this latest passenger processing technology, which eases the departure for both passengers and airlines. We are proud that Cairns Airport’s domestic terminal is the first in Australia to be fully set up for the new boarding pass technology.”

Paul Dalton, regional vice president for North Asia and Pacific at SITA, said, “This development at Cairns’ domestic terminal will simplify the check-in and boarding process for the three million passengers who will use it each year. Passengers leaving from this terminal can now print their own 2D bar coded boarding passes at home, at the office or at kiosk or check-in counters at the airport, and proceed directly to baggage drop off and security and on to their boarding gates. Cairns Airport is investing for the future and assisting its customer airlines to fully implement the IATA ‘Simplifying the Business’ objectives, which aim to improve customer service while delivering considerable industry savings.”

SITA, which acts as Cairns Airport’s managed service provider, has delivered the ability to support these new developments at the airport while providing a full campus network and airport information management system across both domestic and international terminals.

Cairns Airport is Australia’s leading regional airport serving as the gateway to tropical North Queensland, home of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests. The airport provides air links to a range of domestic and international locations and is Australia’s seventh largest domestic and fifth largest international airport with 3.9 million passengers last year. It is expected that by 2020 passenger numbers passing through the airport will reach 5.9 million.