Airlines seek tech to curb emissions: Sita

New Delhi: Indian airlines are in discussions with aviation technology service provider Sita to adopt solutions for reducing carbon emissions and increasing fuel efficiency, said Sumesh Patel, president of Asia Pacific, Sita, in an interview.

“We are in discussions with Indian airlines to look at various solutions, which can help them in operational efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. Discussions are at an advanced stage and are likely to be finalised in a month or so,” he said.

Highlighting a recent collaboration, Patel said: “So just as an example when we piloted with Singapore Airlines for 20 aircraft, you can save 5,000 tonne of carbon dioxide annually and save close to $1 million.” The tie up with Singapore Airlines led to utilization of artificial intelligence and data to understand each aircraft’s capabilities and suggest the angle and speed for takeoff, to save approximately 5% fuel costs.

While the airlines seek technological solutions to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions, Patel said Indian airports are also actively working on sustainability solutions.

“We just launched a solution at Hong Kong airport, which helps them to monitor carbon footprint for each stakeholder, be it restaurants, or duty-free shops. Discussions are underway even with Indian airports on such steps.”

The company is involved in deploying biometric-enabled travel programme, Digi Yatra, along with all stakeholders at Bengaluru, Varanasi, Kolkata Pune and Vijaywada airports.

“No other country is looking at implementing biometrics to such a large scale. India is currently looking at domestic passengers but with this technology you can leverage even for international travel,” he said.

Sita is working with Star Alliance to offer biometric-enabled seamless travel experience to flyers across member airlines and destinations. Under this, a passenger will be able to use the same biometric token to travel on Star Alliance airlines’ network without any physical document. Besides, it has signed up with European train network, SNCF, for the biometric token.

In India, Sita has tied up with the Airports Authority of India to facilitate cloud solution at 43 airports for more efficiency at kiosks, and curb carbon emissions as the core server rooms get replaced on cloud.

“Since it is on cloud, today we do check in and baggage, tomorrow if you want to do Digi Yatra the infrastructure is already there and you will not need to rebuild,” Patel said.

The company also did a pilot of digi yatra at Mumbai airport for digi yatra rollout.

The company is also prepared with better backup plan in case of server challenges at airports. In Dec 2022, a cable cut during construction caused server outage and passengers had to wait for over an hour to claim baggage.

“Unfortunately three different fibres got cut due to construction… that time 5G was not there now you can have 5G as a backup at that time we tried but 4G had limitation on bandwidth and load,” he said.

Last week, the company also signed an agreement with Noida International Airport for its Airport Management System to help automate and streamline the operations of the airport.

Geneva-based SITA provides technology solutions to around 55 Indian airports, nearly 1000 airports globally and is also associated with all Indian airlines. The company counts Air India as its first Indian customer in 1952.

The company offers a variety of services across aviation stakeholders such as technology solutions for check-in, baggage drop, airport management system, aircraft parking, biometrics for airports, and also offers air to ground communication for airlines under its programme called SITA for aircraft. It also has data-enabled services as nearly 60% of the global air travel data goes through its platforms. Separately, it also offers services such as e-visas and aids in digitalising borders.

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Updated: 09 Jul 2023, 11:47 PM IST

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