Sita is on track to modernise Zambia’s Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport as part of a deal to automate all airport operations and provide world-class service to the country’s growing tourism market.

Under the new deal, Sita will modernise the airport’s passenger processing, network infrastructure and security management solutions, and act as the master systems integrator to ensure that all new solutions work together seamlessly.

National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL), the company that manages the airport, has initiated this transformation project as part of the airport infrastructure development master plan, which covers four of the country’s airports.

Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport is the first airport to be upgraded, with the project expected to be completed by early 2014.

NACL Airport Services director Prince Chintimbwe said that Zambia’s tourism industry is experiencing year-on-year growth of 10%, and the airports are absolutely critical in providing a good first impression.

"SITA has been instrumental in helping us build and integrate our new airport operations solutions, with a focus on improving customer service. And they’ve done it in record time," Chintimbwe added.

In the first three months of the project, SITA provided its AirportConnect Open passenger processing platform, which all airlines can use.

The company also delivered its new AirportVision flight information display system throughout the airport and a new public address system to provide timely information to the passengers.

In the next phase, SITA will implement an integrated system including a Local Area Network, WiFi, Internet Protocol TV, Closed Circuit TV and fire alarm systems, throughout the airport.

"Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport is the first airport to be upgraded, with the project expected to be completed by early 2014."

The company will implement the system in partnership with third-party network and security suppliers.

Sita vice president Sub Sahara Africa, Bahrain, UAE & Kuwait Paul Murphy said that by the end of this transformation project, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport will become an intelligent airport.

"Management will be able to share real-time information with all airport stakeholders, which will improve operational efficiency and facilitate superior service throughout the airport," Murphy added.

Sita’s AirportConnect Open allows airports, airlines and their handling agents to access their respective IT applications in real time on shared equipment.

It also allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop, which in turn helps save airlines money as they can share applications and equipment, while also helping airports to optimise real estate and improve operational efficiency.

Sita’s AirportConnect Open is being used by more than 300 airlines across 360 airports around the world.