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Tue, Jan 27, 2009

ARINC's New CUPPS Platform Went Live January 15

Used To Check In First Passengers At LAS

Hundreds of WestJet Airlines passengers boarded their regularly scheduled flights from Las Vegas, NV to Calgary, Alberta, on January 15, without noticing anything unusual.

That was very good news for WestJet, for Las Vegas McCarran Airport, and for ARINC Incorporated. Everyone involved had just participated in the world’s first live test of the next generation of passenger check-in technology, Common Use Passenger Processing Systems, known as CUPPS.

By introducing a new worldwide electronic standard, CUPPS promises to save millions of dollars for airlines and airports. Software developers at all airlines will now have a universal standard detailed enough to eliminate the variations that previously made interoperability next to impossible to achieve.

The first test at Las Vegas McCarran is continuing, and will include Continental Airlines and American Airlines. It is the first of six pilot tests scheduled around the world to prove out the new CUPPS technology. A total of six airlines, six airports, and six platform suppliers are participating.

CUPPS makes airline check-in applications fully portable, generating savings in reduced ongoing development and support costs. It can bring further savings to both airports and airlines through more efficient printing of boarding passes and baggage tags.

ARINC has been instrumental in the leadership and technical development of CUPPS, working with the international IATA/ATA/ACI CUPPS team to develop the CUPPS Technical Specification published in 2008. The company fast-tracked its deployment of the vMUSE CUPPS platform now installed for the CUPPS Pilot Project at Las Vegas McCarran. The CUPPS team is led by Samuel Ingalls, the airport’s Assistant Director of Aviation, Information Systems.

"CUPPS is a much-needed worldwide effort to replace the CUTE technology that has served airports and airlines very well for over 30 years," stated Ingalls. "We are very pleased with the first results from our CUPPS pilot test. Las Vegas McCarran continues to champion and embrace innovative technology that brings significant improvements in functionality, coupled with cost reductions for all stakeholders."

Common-use systems allow multiple airlines to share the same computer systems at airport check-in desks and boarding gates. The previous generation of common-use check-in systems -- known as CUTE -- lacked the detailed technical specifications in CUPPS that assure interoperability and portability.

"This is a true breakthrough for the aviation industry," said John Belcher, ARINC Chairman & CEO. "CUPPS represents a major investment by ARINC that will give the industry tremendous savings. ARINC's vMUSE platform is now being enhanced to simultaneously run legacy CUTE applications, newer CUPPS applications, and airlines’ native applications—a capability we launched in Singapore in November 2007."

FMI: www.arinc.com, www.westjet.ca

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