KV Consulting Blog

Is CUSS/CUPPS really a mandatory technology for an airport? Has CUWS become a mature alternative?

In some cases we are being asked about options for Common Use platforms. A number of large airports still believe that CUSS/CUPPS standards are the best possible approach. In most cases they have a history of using SITA CUTE and other platforms – the only change they see in most cases .. is about Microsoft operating systems and hardware refresh.
We’ve met customers who demanded Common Use platform to be .. “IATA certified”. 
Let us explain here:  there is no such thing as IATA certification for Common Use Platforms. Based on IATA site content (www.iata.org), and extensive experience cooperating with IATA we can absolutely surely state that such certification is against IATA nature and principles itself.
IATA is a vendor-neutral organization, financed by member airlines. IATA employees are strictly not allowed to recommend (or not recommend) any kind of solution. IATA is initiating and driving specific initiatives and programs (listed on their web in Programs section) like “Fast Travel”, “Passenger Facilitation” and “One ID”.  We are extensively supporting all these IATA Programs in our solutions.  In other words, such a requirement as “IATA certified” in an RFP can be even challenged in a court of law.
The following standards are known in the World of  Common Use Platforms:
CUPPS: Introduced in 2009 and was developed to simplify common use implementation by promoting a model whereby airlines would have a single application that could run on any CUPPS certified platform. The aim was for CUPPS to replace the Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) standard. After 11 years, still less than ~30% of airlines adopted the standard and developed CUPPS applications.
CUTE. Common Use Terminal Equipment, is the sharing of traditional check-in desks and the software platform to generate the bag tags for baggage handling systems. Introduced by SITA in 1984(!!!)
CUSS is Common Use Self Service, for the sharing of check-in self-service kiosks. This enables airport operators to take the space that has previously been exclusive to a single airline and make it available for use by multiple airlines and their passengers
CUWS is an emerging standard based on Web services. CUWS simplifies CU platform architecture and minimizes efforts from airlines required to develop and certify applications. CUWS is a threat to SITA because of CU platform revenue losses.

They are all originated by IATA Common Use Group (CUG). The CUG develops and maintains common use standards allowing airlines or other handling agents to process passengers using shared technology typically at an airport.
•      Bar Coded Boarding Pass Group of Experts (BCBP)
•      Technical Solution Group Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (TSG-CUPPS)
•      Technical Solution Group Common Use Self Service (TSG-CUSS)
•      Technical Solution Group Common Use Web Services (TSG-CUWS)
•      Technical Solution Group for IATA Technical Peripheral Specifications (formerly AEA Technical Specifications) (TSG-ITPS)

There are alternative cloud-based Common Use platforms that use Common Use Web Services (CUWS) standard instead of CUSS/CUPPS. Such platforms allow customers to provide Common Use functionality even for smaller regional airports with few check-in counters.
Such an approach can provide all necessary functionality for Passenger Processing and deliver VERY substantial cost savings compared to legacy vendors (like SITA).  We are ready to share more information about CUWS platform option. Please contact us using info@kvconsulting.pro or fill out the request form.