SITA launches open platform for airline app developers

Aviation IT giant SITA has launched an open platform for app developers at airlines.

SITA hopes the platform will speed up development of mobile apps for air passengers.

It is making data on checked-in bags and mobile-boarding passes available initially, but intends to use to encourage app development in other areas following an initial “incubation period”.

SITA launched the platform at the Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels this week and hopes to see apps emerge for self-service baggage tracing.

Chief technology officer Jim Peters said: “ is an API [application programming interface] portal exposing data or processes to allow developers to create solutions that companies might not have the resources to develop or for which they might not have anticipated a consumer need.

“If successful, the platform will open the door in a secure manner for app developers to access vast amounts of industry data, enabling them to create applications for use on multiple devices.”

The first APIs available are BagTrac, which provides data on the location of checked bags, and Mobile Boarding Pass.

SITA points out no check-in system can currently provide an IATA-compliant mobile boarding pass for every mobile device.

The APIs are only available to developers authorised by airlines.

Peters said: “There could be all sorts of data [on the platform] but we are starting with bag and mobile boarding pass data. One of the great things is you don’t know what people are going to do with the data.”

However, he insisted: “The platform is not that open. We can turn people off. We won’t present some data, but there is enough. The platform allows us to do this securely.”

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