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42 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports Issues to Consider Some airlines think common-use CLUBS are problematic, given that most airlines are try- ing to cut costs rather than bolster the system, resulting in unacceptable service conditions. On the other hand, airports tend to care about maintaining and improving the system. Technology This section addresses technology issues and opportunities that should be considered when evaluating common use. The technologies and resources that may be required to support those technologies are discussed as well. Emerging technologies are presented briefly--these new technologies will have an overall effect on common use. As with many technologies, over- arching industry effects also apply, so there is a discussion on PCI, sustainability, and business continuity. Airline concerns and opportunities are noted first, followed by concerns and opportunities drawn from the experience of airport operators. A critical concern for the airlines is that imple- mentation of common-use technologies often results in loss of airline-specific functionality in the equipment replaced. This loss can be both customer-facing functionality and operational func- tionality. To the extent these issues cannot be resolved, the "costs" to the airlines can be very sig- nificant. For example, some airlines have invested in developing ticket readers or gate informa- tion display systems that are not supported by most common-use installations. The airport operator should work with the airlines in identifying the potential for lost functionality and estab- lish a mutual resolution. Airport areas of impact include the following: · Common-Use System Software--Agent Facing · Common-Use System Software--Passenger Facing · Airport Communications Infrastructure · Common-Use Supporting Systems and Software · Emerging Systems/Software and IT Issues · Business Continuity, PCI-DSS, and Environmental Concerns · IT Maintenance Note: Detailed information on each of these areas can be found in Appendix B8. Common-Use System Software Agent Facing Description The first widely used and accepted common-use system software was IATA's Common Use Ter- minal Equipment (CUTE). It is known as an "agent-facing" system, because it is used by airline agents to manage passenger check-in and boarding. Whenever an airline agent logs onto the CUTE system, the terminal is reconfigured and connected to the airline's host system. From an agent's point of view, the agent is now working within his or her airline's information technology (IT) network. CUTE was first implemented in 1984 for the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games (Finn, 2005). It was at this point that IATA created the recommended practice (RP) 1797 defining CUTE. From 1984 until the time of the research, approximately 400 airports worldwide have installed some level of CUTE. Since 1984, several system providers have developed systems that, given the vagueness of the original CUTE RP, operate differently and impose differing airline
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 43 system modifications and requirements. This has been problematic for the airlines, which must make their software and operational model conform to each unique system. Making these mod- ifications for compatibility's sake has been a burden for the airlines. Given the deficiencies of CUTE, IATA developed a new standard of RPs for agent-facing common-use systems called Common-Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS). The first draft of the RPs and associated Technical Requirements (TR) are complete and received unani- mous approval at the Joint Passenger Services Conference (JPSC), conducted jointly by ATA and IATA. In addition to IATA, the CUPPS RP was adopted by ATA (RP 30.201) and ACI (RP 500A07), giving the RP industrywide endorsement. In the current common-use environments, using CUTE applications, where system configu- rations differ from airport to airport, airlines tend to have more configuration management requirements on the back end. A prime purpose for CUPPS is to address this issue from a tech- nology standards perspective, allowing airlines to manage only one configuration for all common- use airports in which they participate. From the airline perspective, having to deal only with the systems they implement greatly simplifies their operations. Subsequent IATA plans are that the CUPPS RP will fully replace the current CUTE RP in fall of 2009. This action will eliminate airline concerns about continuing system compatibility to manage multiple system/vendor compatibility. As of the writing of this Guide, CUPPS is under- going proof-of-concept testing at selected airport sites in the United States and other locations throughout the world. It is expected that this testing will be completed during the summer of 2009. Following completion of testing, IATA will update the TR and release it for use by the sys- tem providers. The Common-Use Self-Service (CUSS) Management Group is monitoring the progress of the CUPPS committee to assess future migration with CUPPS. Issues to Consider · Airline Issues and Opportunities. Many of the airlines, which oppose CUTE, have stated that once CUPPS is proven to meet expectations, these airlines will support CUPPS installations. Grace period to move from CUTE Applications. Costs, timing, and convenience of the certification and recertification process of CUPPS. The ability to use airline proprietary systems at common-use locations. Costs and effort to add an entrant airline to an existing CUPPS airport site. Airlines have different needs for different types of paper stock. · Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. CUTE-to-CUPPS Migration/Phasing requirements are as follows: As with airlines, airport operators are anxious for and optimistic about the approved release of CUPPS. Recognizing the near-release of CUPPS, IATA has developed recommended statements (see Table 3-8) for inclusion in Airport Request for Proposal Packages. These statements will help the migration of a CUTE-to-CUPPS platform. Printers are critical for an agent-facing common-use system. · Physical Considerations. Millwork can be affected by the installation of an agent-facing common- use system. Such equipment needs to be readily accessible for support and maintenance. In order to support multiple airlines, the amount of equipment installed at the check-in counters and the gates may differ from the amount of equipment installed with a proprietary system. · Staffing Considerations. Staffing issues are discussed in the technology maintenance section later in this chapter. · Accessibility. The airport operator needs to consider accessibility issues to support airline staff who may be using the equipment.
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44 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports Table 3-8. IATA CUPPS RFP Guidelines (Sept 17, 2008). Source: CUPPS 2008. "IATA CUPPS RFP Guidelines," Sept 17 Retrieved May 16 2009 from http://www.cupps.aero/documents. Common-Use System Software--Passenger Facing Description In 2003, IATA published the Common Use Self Service (CUSS) Recommended Practice for multiple airlines to provide a check-in application for use by passengers on a single [kiosk] device (Simplifying the Business Common Use Self Service, 2006). CUSS devices run multiple airlines' check-in applications, providing the ability to relocate the check-in process away from traditional check-in counters. Passengers can check in and print boarding passes for flights in places that heretofore were unavailable. CUSS kiosks are typically located either at or near the check-in coun- ters, or within queuing stations in the check-in areas, but other examples of kiosk locations include parking garages, rental car centers, and even off-site locations such as hotels and conven- tion centers. Approximately 80 airports worldwide have CUSS installed. CUTE has existed since 1984 while CUSS has existed since 2003. Only 60 airports worldwide have implemented both CUSS and CUTE. IATA recently updated the CUSS specification to CUSS 1.2, which addresses many of the airline-related concerns with CUSS 1.0 and 1.1.
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 45 Issues to Consider 1. Airline Issues and Opportunities. Typically, airlines tend to have more objections to CUSS than CUTE. Issues noted by the airlines include the following: · Airport operators may install CUSS kiosks in locations where an airline agent cannot see the equipment. · The costs of CUSS kiosks are expensive, starting at $12,000 per kiosk. · Airlines have developed software work-arounds for the different ways platforms operate. 2. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. CUTE and CUSS are not always installed together. In the United States, many airport operators are hesitant to install CUSS, primarily for two reasons: · The focus for U.S. airports has been on common-use gates. Only recently have airport operators begun to investigate common-use self-service seriously. · The airlines have already installed proprietary kiosks. Airport operators should determine if airlines will be permitted to use proprietary paper stock or be required to use the common-use paper stock. As with agent-facing common use, paper stock and printers are essential to a successful CUSS installation. Airline connec- tivity back to the host is required for CUSS kiosks. CUSS kiosks are becoming popular for remote check-in, both on the airport campus (e.g., at rental car centers and parking garages) and off the airport campus (e.g., at hotels, convention centers, and cruise ship terminals). 3. Physical Considerations. Placement of CUSS kiosks is important. Airport operators should work with the airlines to ensure that the placement of kiosks does not prevent airlines from using kiosks. Some airlines require that the kiosks be within sight of their agents for customer service/satisfaction considerations. Other airlines permit kiosks to be installed farther away so as to reduce passenger congestion in and around the check-in counters. 4. Staffing Considerations. Staffing considerations are addressed in the Technology Mainte- nance section. 5. Accessibility. Accessibility is a key issue for self-service kiosks. Several states are addressing accessibility, as well as the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although self- service kiosks can be designed to accommodate accessibility issues (e.g., height, reach range, and other mobility challenges), the software provided by the airlines must also be designed to use any non-standard input devices added to the kiosk for better accessibility. Airport Communications Infrastructure Description Wired and wireless networks (often referred to as premises distribution systems [PDS]) are the backbones of all other technology systems. The PDS allows technology systems to be interconnected throughout the airport campus and, if necessary, to the outside world. Although a PDS is not necessary in a common-use environment, it allows for the manage- ment of another finite resource--the space behind the walls, under the floors, in the ceilings, and in roadways. Issues to Consider 1. Airline Issues and Opportunities. Airlines state that network connectivity in a common-use environment causes poor application performance and hampers trouble-shooting. When imple- menting common use in an airport, the airport operator often does not have an upgrade pro- gram in place to ensure that the technology solution remains current. Airport operators need to work with airlines to ensure that a technology refresh in a common-use environ-
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46 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports ment does not adversely affect airline business. Airlines noted that airport operators should work to ensure that the common-use system has the necessary redundancies to ensure uptime is kept at acceptable standards. 2. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. Airport operators that provide a common communications infrastructure can better manage the pathways, resources, and space within the airport. Both passenger-and agent-facing common-use systems have exhibited latency issues when using a wireless connection. Support of system connectivity back to the airline host system and support of connectivity from airline back-offices to airline point-of-presence loca- tions on the airport campus must be addressed early on. Network configurations--the actual configuration of the network, and the protocols that an airport operator's network uses, seri- ously affect the ability to connect the common-use system to the airline host system. 3. Physical Considerations. IT infrastructure is supported and routed through telecommuni- cation closets, main distribution rooms, and core network rooms. Effective design of room spacing. Common-Use Supporting Systems and Software Description This section presents and discusses other technology solutions which may be used to support common use. These solutions will vary by airport, depending on the decisions made by the air- port operator, as well as factors such as airport configuration and operational decisions. Issues to Consider 1. Airline Issues and Opportunities. Most U.S.-based airlines do not need a local departure control system. This makes the business case for purchasing such a system very difficult. Air- lines tend not to use airport-operator-supplied baggage reconciliation systems. Airlines pro- vide many applications to their agents for conducting business. Airlines today have to create data feeds for each airport specific to flight information. Airlines generally are concerned with problem reporting and resolution. 2. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities: · Local departure control systems · Gate and Resource Management Systems · Baggage Reconciliation System · FIDS / BIDS Information Displays · GIDS Gate information Displays · RIDS · Operational Database. As shown in Figure 3-15, the AODB can facilitate data sharing, reduce data entry, and ensure that the data integrity throughout the airport operator's systems is more maintainable. · Dynamic Signage--airline information, wayfinding · Telephony · Wireless 3. Accessibility. According to the U.S. Access Board, dynamic displays are a key item to support accessibility. Emerging Systems/Software and IT Issues Description This section discusses some of the emerging technology solutions coming to the aviation industry over the next several years. These technologies focus on the passenger processing expe-
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 47 Figure 3-15. Air operations database (AODB). rience and are designed to reduce the overall cost to the airlines of processing a passenger. Because these technologies focus on passenger processing, any common-use implementation should keep these emerging technologies in mind, as well as how they may affect various busi- ness processes. Issues to Consider 1. Electronic boarding pass scanners are now being installed in several airports to support the bar coded boarding pass initiative by IATA. 2. IATA and ACI have created working groups to explore a common bag drop solution. 3. Self Tagging is currently in limited use outside of the United States. 4. AIDX, a subset of CUPPS, is a new data exchange standard that aims to simplify the exchange of flight data from airlines to airport operators.
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48 Reference Guide on Understanding Common Use at Airports Business Continuity, PCI-DSS, and Environmental Concerns Description This section discusses key business initiatives from an IT perspective that affect common-use implementations. Issues to Consider 1. Business continuity is the process of ensuring that the business can operate should a disaster occur that affects IT systems. This is especially important for common-use implementations, given that the airport operator now owns IT systems that are key to the airlines business operations. 2. Sustainability is a key component in today's aviation environment. Sustainability can range from turning off monitors and computers when not in use to full integration of building management systems to reduce power consumption at low-use times. Sustainability is also key in the design and construction process. ACI has created a working group under the Business and Information Technology Committee (BIT) which is addressing sustainability issues for IT. 3. The payment card industry (PCI) security standards council, an assembly of major credit card companies (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, and American Express), was formed to manage the ongo- ing evolution of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS). Information Technology Maintenance Description This section discusses issues and opportunities associated with providing maintenance on common-use systems installed in airports. For common-use systems, maintenance support is either provided by airport operators or by third-party companies contracting directly with the airline(s). Airport-provided maintenance support typically includes a combination of airport staff and third-party contractor support. Issues to Consider 1. Airline Issues and Opportunities. Airlines want the maintenance services provided to meet airline business requirements. Airline preference as to who provides the service varies depending on the specific airline business model. Some airlines stated that they have found airport operators are not always entirely knowledgeable about the systems and, therefore, the services provided may not be adequate. A primary concern voiced by airlines is that the Ser- vice Level Agreements are often negotiated between the airport operator and the service provider with little airline input. Some airlines noted that when implemented properly, air- port operators provide very good maintenance service. Airlines noted that communication is important. Because each airport can have unique policies as to how maintenance is provided, it can be difficult for airlines to stay current with how and what changes are going to be made. Airlines also noted not having good communi- cations with the airport operator regarding problem issues that may be between airline applications and airport-provided technology systems and infrastructure. 2. Airport Performance Issues and Opportunities. Establishment of a maintenance program presents the following issues and opportunities for the airport operator: · Determine whether the maintenance model will be an airport- or airline-controlled model. · Establish the goals of the maintenance program in coordination with the airlines. · Determine responsibilities of support levels, where different support levels indicate a spe- cific extent of technical assistance. · Determine requirements for a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
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Analysis and Implementation Considerations 49 · Establish the Change Management Process in support of the SLA. (Appendix A5 contains further information about change management processes and procedures.) · Implement a continuous improvement program. Table 3-9 shows the frequency and type of problem calls. Note the excessive printer issues. 3. Staffing Considerations. Various IT support staff members may be required as follows: · Technology Liaison with airlines · Level 1 Technician Support--Helpdesk Technician · Level 2 Technician Support · Training--The airport operator will have to provide ongoing training as staff members migrate in and out of support roles. The actual number of staff may vary, depending on the size and type of installation. Table 3-9. Frequency and types of problem calls. Common-Use System Problem Calls - Issue Classifications (12-month Period)