technology team, SITA Lab, has invited airlines and developers to
join trials of developer.aero, the API (application programming
interface) developers’ portal which SITA Lab is now moving into
its next phase of development.
The platform is being designed to enable
airlines, airports and other industry players to extend existing
IT processes by harnessing the application developer community to
provide new apps for the industry and world travelers.
“API-client architecture is the
key enabler that is driving new-gen app development and allowing
apps to be developed for virtually any platform. Exposing data or
processes through APIs allows developers to create features that
will benefit everybody. It opens the possibility of solutions
being created that the companies might not have the resources to
develop or for which they might not have even anticipated a
consumer need,” said Jim Peters, CTO, SITA. “In the airline industry, for
example, allowing developers access to data on checked bags as
they pass through various checkpoints on their journey, can power
a useful API for self-service baggage tracing. This is just one
area on which our team at SITA Lab is focusing.”
successful, this platform will open the door for application developers to access vast amounts of industry data enabling them to create applications for
use on multiple devices, including mobiles and tablets.
“We expect that our research with developer.aero will promote
innovation across the industry. Relationships with the developer
community, both within and outside of the air transport industry,
will be expanded and strengthened while the design of the portal
will maintain control of data and infrastructure,” Peters added.
SITA plans to have several APIs available on developer.aero. The
first of these which SITA wants to trial with airlines is BagTrac,
an API which exposes
data on the location of individual checked bags as they are
scanned during the journey. SITA manages BagMessage which handles 1.2
billion bag messages every year. These include more than 400
million bag processing messages which give details of the exact
location of a piece of luggage, for example, on a carousel at a
particular airport, on the plane, in the baggage sortation area,
etc. By exposing this data, SITA will be allowing developers to
quickly and easily create niche solutions.
those airlines interested with working with SITA Lab on BagTrac,
developer.aero will enable the relevant data and business
processes to be exposed so that developers can produce solutions
that can track a bag like a parcel around the world. These
solutions could also allow passengers to file a report from their
mobile if something were to go wrong, providing updated routing
instructions – a passenger self-service feature with potential
huge cost savings for airlines.
Another API which SITA has made available is the
Mobile Boarding Pass. No departure control or check-in system today provides a
complete 2D, IATA-compliant, mobile boarding pass image creation
and customizable message delivery process, to any mobile device.
SITA is now exposing its solution so that airlines don’t have to
create their own. This is a community offering which will work
with any check-in system and is compatible with upcoming
technologies such as Apple’s Passbook for iOS 6.
73% of passengers would like to use 2D bar-coded boarding passes,
according to the SITA Passenger Self Service Survey, yet to date only the major airlines with considerable IT
resources have been able to deploy mobile boarding passes; other
airlines are left struggling on how to deploy this in a
cost-effective manner. This API gives airlines the opportunity to
offer their passengers the convenience of these passes.
The APIs are only available to trial by airlines
directly or developers who are authorized by that airline.
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