Success Story

Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

IT helps Sabiha Gökçen International Airport manage booming passenger growth through operational efficiencies

Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is one of the world’s fastest growing airports with a 74% increase in passenger traffic from 2009 to 2010 and a 29% increase in passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2011 alone.

Istanbul’s second airport, SAW built in 2001, currently hosts more than 45 different carriers and manages more than 11 million passengers annually.
By 2023, SAW expects to manage approximately 25 million passengers annually - more than double its current traffic. To help support this continued growth, in October 2009, the airport inaugurated a new environmentally-friendly, modern international terminal complete with:

  • Four-storey cark park
  • 128-room hotel
  • 400 square metre conference centre
  • 5,000 square metre food court
  • Duty Free shopping
  • 112 check-in counters

All terminal buildings, car parks, ground handling operations, cargo and aircraft refuelling operations, hotels and Commercial Important Person facilities at the airport are operated by Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Investment Development and Operation Inc. (ISG). Over the years Sabiha invested more than €336 million into the facility to continue expanding and modernizing the airport.

The business challenge

Managing the complex, day-to-day IT needs of an airport such as SAW is a tremendous challenge: with passenger traffic expanding so quickly the airport needs to evolve continuously to manage airport capacity and operational efficiency. ISG’s main challenge is to anticipate the evolving needs of passengers, airlines, airport tenants, and other stakeholders while operating efficiently and effectively.

In 2008, ISG decided to integrate and automate operations further and in particular wanted to automate its Resource Management System (RMS) using a capacity planning tool. ISG also wanted to access and share accurate, real-time information with various stakeholders across the airport campus with an integrated Airport Operational Data Base (AODB).

Therefore, in November 2008, ISG chose SITA Airport Management Solutions (AMS). This suite of core applications streamlines operations, reduces congestion and improves the airport experience for all using SITA’s AirportCentral (AODB), AirportResource Manager (RMS), AirportVision flight information display system (FIDS) and public address system.

"Over the past 10 years, SITA has provided us with reliable, flexible IT solutions to meet our specific needs. When we started thinking about further integrating and automating our operations, we knew SITA could offer the end-to-end systems we needed to support our continuous passenger growth."

- Gökhan Buğday, CEO, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Investment Development and Operation Inc.

SITA’s solution

SITA has supported ongoing IT transformation at SAW as part of a seven-year, US$ 4.2 million IT project focused on automating SAW’s Resource Management System, acting as both the service provider and the systems integrator of the AODB, the RMS and FIDS.
SITA has installed 350 AirportVision (FIDS) screens, 50 gate positions, eight transit counters and 30 Hand Held Terminals for the baggage reconciliation system (BRS), using the following products:

  • SITA AirportResource Manager (RMS) is a system which manages fixed assets such as stands, gates, carousels, counters, and parking slots.
  • SITA Airport Passenger Communication provides accurate information to facilitate efficient processing through airports with advanced FIDS, including directory information (terminal, desk, gate and carousel numbers), airport layout and routing information, as well as check-in and boarding alerts.
  • SITA BagManager, the industry’s leading BRS, which provides SAW with tighter security, improved customer service, and better baggage control by tracking and recording the location of every bag within the airport.
  • SITA AirportConnect Open helps reduce the pressure on airport space by enabling airlines to run their own proprietary applications on CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment).
  • SITA MaestroDCS Local is a fully automated check-in, boarding control and weight and balance system for aircraft departure control. Designed for airlines, airports, ground handlers and charter companies, MaestroDCS Local provides low-cost, easy-touse check in and departure control at the airport.
  • WorldTracer is the industry’s leading automated service for tracing lost and mishandled bags.

"We have helped SAW optimize its workforce so they have the right people in the right place at the right time to make the intelligent airport a reality. At the same time, they now have better integration among airport systems, to move further from accurate billing to real-time reporting."

- Hani El Assaad, Regional Vice President, Middle East & North Africa, SITA

Business results

Since implementing SITA AMS, SAW has realized a number of important benefits including:

  • Automating its resource management has allowed SAW to better manage its capacity planning and asset utilization leading to a 16% reduction in baggage processing.
  • Enhancing the passenger travel experience by providing real-time flight information and other data throughout the airport and improving baggage handling and tracing services.
  • Improving collaboration with real-time information about all aspects of airport operations from a single, consolidated database - its AODB.
  • The ability to plan better and track real-time operational data, flight displays, feeding information to aeronautical billing and reporting across the entire airport.

"As we continue to grow, our new resource management system and our improved integration across the airport will help us enhance our overall operations. This, in turn, will enable us to provide passengers, airlines and other airport stakeholders with the best possible customer experience."

- Berk Albayrak, COO, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Investment Development and Operation Inc.

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