Techbytes June/July 2012

June 28, 2012

Advanced Passenger Processing

Ultra Electronics, Airport Systems announces a key partnership with MATERNA, a supplier of passenger processing systems and services, to facilitate the delivery of enhanced CUPPS, CUSS, Bag Drop, and Mobile solutions to airports. The new partnership will see Ultra Electronics Airport Systems and Materna working in close collaboration to deliver integrated passenger processing projects across the EMEA region;

AIR Boss

The AIR Boss from Trex, a digital airfield management system, is an interactive part 139 airfield inspection system with additional features to help airport leadership manage trend analysis and safety risk assessments (SRM). Lost revenue from aircraft fuel/oil spills can now be recovered with documentation and chain of custody from detailed photos and tracking data. A key tool for minimizing risk increasing productivity of inspection personnel, says the company. View a video of the solution here:

Airport AVATAR

AVA, the airport AVATAR created by, was unveiled as the next generation in wayfinding, public guidance, and advertising, says the company. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has retained to produce airport virtual assistants to enhance customer service at airport welcome centers by answering basic and routine questions asked by arriving passengers. The avatars are lifelike virtual mannequins that are effective in attracting passenger attention and delivering a clear and consistent message. Initially, three prototype airport virtual assistants will be placed at the JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia airports; www.

Airport Interactive Map

As a new customer service initiative, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has launched SANmap, an interactive map of San Diego International Airport and its environment. SANmap allows passengers to discover shopping and dining options, locate rental car facilities, and find amenities like valet parking — all before entering the airport. Now, from a single location, travelers can access critical travel information including flight status, weather, and parking rates. Icons identify restaurants and shops, as well as bus stations and restrooms. Videos of 360-degree panoramic views help travelers become familiar with the terminals;


Since re-launching in November 2010, the CLEAR lanes at Denver International Airport and Orlando International Airport have been used more than 500,000 times. CLEAR has a base of more than 200,000 members across the U.S., including some 40,000 in San Francisco. San Francisco International (SFO) introduces CLEAR's biometric technology to enhance passengers' travel experience; it also means 85 new private sector jobs, enhanced security, and new revenue for the airport, relates the company. CLEAR membership costs $179 for one year with unlimited use; members can add their spouse or partner with the Family Plan for an additional $50;


Navtech Inc. announces a partnership with GlobalNavSource to provide Navtech iCharts and Navtech iCharts Enroute via the GlobalNavSource Electronic Flight Bag platform, EFB v2.0. Together, a broader collection of international aeronautical charts is being offered to GlobalNavSource business and general aviation customers through the in-flight EFB app, supporting paperless operations and giving pilots more convenient access to charts, plates, weather, and other data. The iCharts and iCharts Enroute subscriptions can be purchased online at

NFC-Enabled Passenger Processing

Access IS has become an IATA strategic partner in order to participate with the development of a standard to assist the air transport industry in accelerating the adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology for secure, efficient passenger processing. Major airports and airlines worldwide use Access boarding gate (BGR) and passport readers; the company has recently announced that all of its BGRs can now be upgraded for NFC operation by changing the bases of the units for NFC-enabled versions. The physical footprints of the BGRs and their existing functions are unaffected by the change;

Travel Information Solutions

Innovata and FlightStats will collaborate in the development of products and services that blend Innovata's flight schedules database with FlightStats' flight status database. Travelers, application developers, and any travel and aviation-related company that needs accurate and flexible Web services and Web-based tools for travel planning and status updates will benefit from the Innovata-Flightstats combined effort, say the companies. The first product release is a Schedules Connections API. The API gives developers access to worldwide scheduled flights by airport, route, carrier, and flight number. Search results can include flights that are non-stop and codeshare for direct flights;

Virtual Assistants 

Washington Dulles Int'l Airport unveils its first next-generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant. Located at the International Arrivals Building, the custom-designed virtual assistant captivates passengers with its 3D look and feel and provides welcome messages, essential Customs and Border Protection information, guidance for connecting flights, and historical information about the airport in celebration of Dulles’ 50 Year Anniversary, says the company;

About the Author

Brad McAllister | Editor