The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has installed a new Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) in Lagos and Abuja airports to facilitate easier passenger travel.
Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS) are services or technologies implemented to enable multiple airlines, service providers, or other users to share physical check-in or gate podium positions using a uniform electronic interface.
According to local media, this new CUPPS is a vastly upgraded version compared to the earlier system which shut down four months ago.
Early in June, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) awarded a $25 million (N10 billion) contract to Arlington Security Nigeria Services (ASNS) for the installation of the automation of Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) in five international airports –Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano.
The new CUPPS was acquired after Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques’ (SITA) withdrew its facilitation services in June after its contract expired in May, causing downtime of automated check-in systems at Lagos and Abuja airports.
According to local sources, SITA’s contract was extended for another six months pending the move to ASNS, however, SITA shut down its operations at the beginning of June over FAAN’s inability to meet its financial obligations, which the FAAN, noted that the outbreak of the pandemic led to about five months delay in payments, but assured that all outstanding payments would be settled.
According to the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, SITA’s withdrawal disrupted facilitations and causing delays in outbound flights where some foreign airlines had to rely on their system with some resorting to issuing handwritten boarding passes.
The new CUPPS would be deployed in the five international airports, in addition to self-service kiosks, departure control and baggage reconciliation systems, and Flight Information Display System.
“We went for an upgrade – the Common User Passengers Processing system (CUPPS). This is the new technology since 2009 and now, 11 years later, Nigeria is using the CUPPS system,” says Capt. Rabiu Yadudu.
About seven foreign carriers have already switched over to the new system, and within the next few days, all foreign airlines are expected to be integrated into the check-in system for seamless facilitation of passengers.
FAAN Manager of South West Airports, Victoria Shin-Aba, said the “bad experience passengers” had a few months ago would soon be a thing of the past, as some foreign airlines have already been integrated into the new system.
Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said progress has been recorded, after inspecting the new technology being installed, while the General Manager, Customer Service FAAN, Dr. Ebele Okoye, said the self-service kiosks would cut down the number of queues and time limit.