Ink Innovation (Ink) is a travel technology provider and a winner in the Innovation and Product Launches categories in the 2024 Airport Technology Excellence Awards, for developing a Disaster Recovery System (DRS) that is capable of mitigating the impact of large-scale system failures at airports and for launching a Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) with a novel business model.

The Airport Technology Excellence Awards celebrate the greatest achievements and innovations in the industry. The programme provides a platform to recognise the people and companies that are driving change and is powered by the business intelligence of GlobalData.

Streamlining airport operations with Ink CUPPS 

The Ink CUPPS Platform, certified in December 2023, makes common use more affordable to airports as well as airlines that pay for its usage. The platform enables the sharing of workstations and peripherals among multiple airlines, removing the need for dedicated hardware and leading to substantial savings in both operational costs and IT maintenance. Its backward compatibility ensures simple certification for airlines with legacy systems, while the open architecture invites all CUPPS-compliant airline applications to integrate smoothly.

Furthermore, the Ink CUPPS Platform allows operators to convert specific parts of a terminal rather than overhauling entire desks or terminals. Its flexible pricing model is one of the standout features of the platform as Ink offers a subscription-based model benefitting airports that are looking to minimise capital expenditure.

Ink’s innovative Disaster Recovery System is a safety net for airline operations

In the airline industry, system outages can spell disaster, triggering chaos across airport operations. Recognising this critical vulnerability, Ink Innovation developed the Disaster Recovery System (DRS), which has been recognised with an Innovation award for its ability to mitigate the impact of large-scale system failures.

Recognising the high sensitivity of airlines to operational disruptions, Ink DRS offers a robust backup to primary Departure Control Systems (DCS). Ink DRS is designed to function independently, ensuring that airline operations can continue with minimal interruption in the event of a DCS failure, catastrophic host failure, communication breakdown, or even power outage.

Ink DRS is available in three configurations: Cold, Warm, and Hot backup, each offering varying levels of integration and data synchronisation to suit different operational requirements. The system’s mobile redundancy sets it apart, enabling it to maintain schedule integrity, process passengers and baggage, and interface seamlessly with passenger service systems (PSS), load control, and scheduling systems after a single initial integration.

Ink offers a wide range of passenger-handling solutions within the Ink Ecosystem through a cloud-based infrastructure to complement its CUPPS. Airlines could easily obtain a turnkey DCS with functionality beyond basic check-in and boarding. This includes handling ticket modifications, ancillary service payments, document verifications and more. At airports with unstable operational environments, Ink’s Disaster Recovery System backs up its primary DCS to ensure business continuity and prevent data loss. 

The cloud-based infrastructure allows for straightforward integration, promising compatibility with any DCS within a mere four weeks. With an intuitive user interface, the system promises virtually zero training costs. 

Proven effectiveness: Ink DRS at JFK Terminal One 

Ink DRS was put to the test at JFK Airport’s Terminal One, where a trial was conducted in partnership with the JFK Terminal One Group Association (TOGA). Amidst a major redevelopment programme at the John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport Terminal One, the need for a reliable backup system became evident. The trial demonstrated that Ink DRS could provide a quick, stable, and efficient alternative to manual processes during system failures.

The trial’s success was marked by the efficient processing of passengers and baggage, even during peak times, with impressive transaction times and minimal training required for agents. The trial confirmed Ink DRS’s potential to significantly reduce congestion and improve on-time performance at one of the world’s busiest airports.

Embracing the award, Janet Richards, Chief Commercial Officer, Ink Innovation, said, “Winning the Airport Technology Excellence Awards for our innovations in Disaster Recovery Systems and our newly approved CUPPS platform really highlights how dedicated we are to advancing airport tech. It feels great to get recognition for all the hard work we’ve put in.”

Company Profile

Ink Innovation is a travel technology provider. Their first Departure Control System was designed to compete with paper-based processes. Since then, Ink has developed a range of web-based, cloud-integrated systems for the aviation industry. Their solutions include biometrics, mobile and cloud systems, and self-service devices, which help airports, airlines, and ground handlers improve their operations.

Ink is known for integrating legacy solutions into newer digital systems and offering innovative alternatives to airports and airlines looking for greater choice. Their goal is to empower companies to connect journeys, ultimately leading to a better travel experience.

Headquartered in Spain, Ink operates worldwide, partnering with clients such as Copenhagen Airport, JFK Terminal One, Jet2, TUI, BermudAir, Marabu, Lift, Menzies Aviation, and Sabre. Ink holds ISO 27001 certification and is an IATA Strategic Partner and an ACI Partner.

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