Schiphol Airport

An organisation of 80 airlines and ground handlers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has selected IT provider SITA to provide the ‘AirportConnect Open’ passenger processing platform for an additional five years.

The Schiphol CUTE Local User Board (CLUB), which represents the airport’s common-use technology users, has extended the contract for SITA’s AirportConnect Open; a platform that helps to streamline journeys for the airport’s 52 million annual passengers.

As SITA specialises in near-field communications (NFC), the renewal of contract makes Schiphol the first airport in Europe to future-proof its passenger processing platform with NFC technology.

The new technology allows passengers with NFC-enabled smartphones to quickly and easily pass through a special boarding gate at the airport with a simple tap of their phone.

The NFC equipment at the gate automatically reads the passengers’ boarding passes, even if their phones are switched off or out of battery.

The same equipment is also capable of reading the traditional two-dimensional boarding passes that are generally used at the airports.

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"More airlines will start asking for this technology."

Schiphol CLUB chair Jan Bruns said: "We’re currently celebrating more than 25 years of collaboration with SITA. During this time, we’ve worked together on many innovations to improve the passenger experience including common-use technology, self-service solutions and now NFC.

"As more smart phones incorporate NFC, more airlines will start asking for this technology. That’s why we have already equipped a gate with NFC and connected it to our common-use passenger processing system, and we’re inviting airlines to try it."

SITA president Europe Dave Bakker said: "AirportConnect Open helps improve operational efficiency and flexibility, while maximising airport real estate.

"Combined with NFC, it will help the airport future proof its passenger processing technology and enable passengers to board more quickly."

The renewal of contract covers nearly 700 positions at check-in desks, transfer and reclaim, and also includes 90 common-use, self-service kiosks, which passengers can use for check in.

The virtualisation also allows the airport to run the latest technologies and incorporate upgrades to its system efficiently and cost-effectively, while allowing airlines to seamlessly operate at any desk, gate or work station throughout the airport.

Image: SITA technology makes Schiphol first airport in Europe to future proof passenger processing with NFC. Image: courtesy of Cjh1452000.