Investigating Common-use Passenger Processing Systems

The choice of common-use passenger processing systems available to airlines and airport operators was significantly broadened four months ago when ARINC’s established vMUSE product achieved CUPPS 1.1 certification.

Common Use Passenger Processing Systems

Common Use Passenger Processing Systems

Endorsed by global organisations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing System) is the key industry standard designed to promote uniformity in passenger processing platforms. Compliance reduces the time, effort and cost associated with deploying individual airline applications for check-in and other functions at the airport.

vMUSE received the CUPPS 1.1 stamp of approval in September 2010 following a successful beta test programme at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and extensive formal compliance testing by renowned independent software validation provider Lufthansa Systems. “Independently proven adherence to the specification will assure the success of CUPPS,” says Lufthansa Systems’ Dietrich Hasselhorn, who oversaw the work. “ARINC’s vMUSE successfully passed compliance testing to prove it can successfully run any airline application written to the CUPPS 1.1 standard.”

ARINC installed the world’s first live operational CUPPS platform at Las Vegas in January 2009. Since then it has handled over 250,000 passengers, successfully running multiple airline applications .

Rob Sutton, ARINC global product manager, worked closely with IATA during development of the CUPPS standard and subsequently on the Las Vegas pilot programme and final certification testing.

“CUPPS is the first joint industry recommended practice to have been backed by IATA, ACI (Airports Council International) and ATA the US Air Transport Association,” he says. “It was formally released in November 2009, though our pilot programme at Las Vegas had been running to the initial CUPPS 1.0 standard since January of that year. Lufthansa Systems completed its testing of vMUSE/CUPPS 1.1 in a single week last March, and we have been offering a completely compliant product to the market for the past four months.”

There is at least one other compliant offering on the market, but Sutton is confident that the prospects for many more vMUSE/CUPPS 1.1 implementations are bright. “vMUSE can support both CUPPS and legacy airline applications simultaneously. If an airport operator chooses vMUSE it is covered for all possible scenarios: whatever the application selected by each individual carrier, the airport can be confident that vMUSE will support it.”

The CUPPS standard continues to evolve. Version 1.2, was agreed in 2010, while Version1.3 , which will be released early this year, will focus on printing, with a particular emphasis on Windows spooling and printing. “We’re already working to apply the new versions to VMUSE,” says Sutton. “CUPPS is the future of passenger processing, and we are determined to keep our products aligned with this industry recommended practice.

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