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‘Why MMA2 is passengers’ delight for air travelling’

By Ibe Uwaleke
15 May 2015   |   4:22 am
TECHNOLOGY is going to make it possible for us to be able to say things with more clarity.
Self check-in kiok and e-gate at MMA2

Self check-in kiok and e-gate at MMA2

TECHNOLOGY is going to make it possible for us to be able to say things with more clarity.

Therefore what we have seen today (last week Thursday) with the launch of the Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) in MMA2 by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited is a step in the right direction; and it is no surprise that it is coming from the airport Nigerians have voted as the best in the country”.

The above were the precise words of the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, at the inauguration of state-of-the-art facilities installed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two, (MMA2) in Lagos, last week Thursday while commissioning the new devices.

To explain the point further he continued: “Having said that, what is needed is not about having somebody like me or someone that is better than me to run the affairs of the aviation industry, I think MMA2 has offered the template about how government should go about the issue of the operations of airports in the country.

Feelers from the stakeholders in the industry including the pilots, grand handlers, etc also gave it to MMA2.

“This technology is wholly welcome, and MMA2 is putting us into it and we want to believe that the improvement in passengers’ experience in MMA2, the continuous quest for improvement; the continuous quest for excellence will be sustained.

This continuous improvement is something I would like other managers of airports in Nigeria to begin to emulate. If they cannot truly capture it, all they need to do is just copy and paste since the template is already there.

“So it is my very good pleasure to congratulate the management of Bi-Courtney and MMA2 in that you have continued to be worthy partners in the aviation sector. What you have done today is a major boost to the nation’s aviation industry.

It has once again promoted the concept which I have termed: ‘World Aviation’, which literally means when you suffer any problem in any of the airports-Lagos Airport, Enugu Airport, etc- it impacts the whole aviation sector.

Whether it is fuel scarcity or whatever, the impact is all over; it affects the passengers; the pilots; the airlines’ sales will drop, and everyone gets affected.

“This is, indeed, one more step in the aviation industry to make the airport customer-friendly. What MMA2 has done today is to show that what passengers and other airport users see in Dubai, Paris, UK and US can be eminently replicated here in Nigeria.”

The technology innovations include: the CUPPS, the self-service check-in kiosks, automated access gates and the Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS). And MMA2 is the first and only terminal to deploy such in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
These facilities, which are entirely customer-focused, offer various benefits to airlines, ground handlers, security officials, terminal managers and most importantly air travelers.

For instance, the CUPPS offers improved service and enhanced security through integration of e-gates for access control into passengers’ waiting lounge and other restricted areas. The system does this by automatically generating boarding passes and bag tag coupons, which facilitate and hasten passenger processing through the use of 2D barcode scanners to check-in.

Once checked-in, passengers can make their way to the boarding gates by simply swiping their tickets at the e-gates and then, proceed to board. The e-gates also stores information about each passenger, making it absolutely impossible for any unauthorised person to gain access to sterile parts of the terminal

This technology also allows self check-in by passengers via strategically positioned self-service kiosks, limiting the need to interface with airlines’ officials at check-in counters. Using the self check-in kiosks takes just a few seconds, therefore, saving passengers precious time to do other important things.

Besides, this technology allows the terminal to maximise the utilisation of check-in counters and gate resources. This will, invariably, enable airlines to expand and easily meet seasonal traffic demands.

Another feature of these innovations is the PAXTRACK, which is an automated passenger tracking system. PAXTRACK is a complete five-module system that tracks passengers throughout the terminal. It provides triple quality service for airports, passengers, airlines and handling agents.

The system collects passenger information, stores it in a database, and allows airport administrators to view, search and analyse the actions of passengers at the airport.

The system also verifies that boarding passes are valid and personalised at the various terminal checkpoints, specifically at the security screening stations.

It also verifies that passengers are in the right place, thereby, enhancing the effectiveness of security controls.

A unique feature of the PAXTRACK system is that it manages priority access for frequent flyers or business class passengers.

It’s now easy for passengers to get information that helps them find their way around the terminal. These include flight information, boarding gate information and how long it takes to reach the gate with the PAX GUIDE on the interactive self-service kiosks.

MMA2 is also now equipped with BAGERA, an ICAO-compliant comprehensive reconciliation and tracking system that uses the latest technology purposely designed to track passengers’ bag from check-in to loading.

BAGERA not only meets all security requirements, it also provides enhanced quality of service to passengers. Key features of BAGERA include: It matches bags to boarded passengers; travelers are now sure their bags will not be left behind and ensures they are fewer lost and misrouted bags

Also speaking at the occasion, the chairman of BASL, Dr. Wale Babalakin, summed up the philosophy behind MMA2 as: “Considerable cerebral input into very modest resources”, while adding: “And I make bold to say today that if you combine an intellectual leadership in governance with the phenomenal private sector, you will grow the infrastructure of this country beyond the imagination of the people. My belief is that money should follow strategy.

Strategy should not follow money. It is not the best. MMA2 symbolises how money has followed strategy and not the other way.

He further noted: “It is my belief that there is nothing called local aviation. Aviation is international. There is nothing called Nigerian aviation. Any time you say Nigerian aviation or Nigerian tendencies, we diminish ourselves. We must seek to comply with international standards and if we wish to make a good impression, we must exceed those standards.

The Honourable Minister has shown me here that if you appoint as minister of aviation, somebody with international perspective, someone who is considerably knowledgeable, and who is upright in his ways, aviation will go very far. I hope this is noted by those in position of authority.”

On his own part, the Chief Executive Officer of BASL, Mr. Christophe Penninck, outlined the challenges the company confronted in its bid to offer an entirely new and worldclass template to the aviation industry in Nigeria.

According to Penninck, from the first idea of installing the new system till its eventual inauguration, it took the relentless efforts of the board, management team, various departments in BASL; the airlines; the ground handling companies, and the system providers in the past 18 months to achieve this objective.

He further stated: “We at BASL didn’t want to do things halfway. We could have just installed a new system on the existing computers, original check-in desks, and limit ourselves to a basic check-in system. But based on extensive research of what best system is available abroad, we selected RESA to be our system provider.

The system we are inaugurating today is the same as installed in major international airports like Charles De Gaulle, Bangkok International; the brand new airport terminal in Mauritius and over 200 airports worldwide. We went the whole nine yards.”