Multinational information technology provider for the aviation industry SITA is officially celebrating the 25th anniversary of its border management business.
Its involvement in the border management industry began in 1996 in preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and today more than 60 governments around the world use SITA’s border solutions to help process 2 billion border crossings each year.
“We’re immensely proud to celebrate this 25-year milestone for our borders business,” said Jeremy Springall, VP of SITA AT BORDERS. “We started our journey in 1996 in Australia and since then our border solutions have processed over seven billion transactions. Our business is focused on the safe movement of people. Whether it is major events such as the Olympic Games in Sydney, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, or a family going on holiday, we have been there to make it easier and more secure.”
SITA’s experience includes delivering solutions and services for airlines, airports, and on aircraft themselves, and has allowed it to grow and diversify its portfolio over the past few decades to include border management and security for governments worldwide.
This expertise is something SITA leveraged in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many new challenges it has presented to the air travel industry.
“We managed to bring Health Protect to market at great speed because of our substantial experience and knowledge of the industry’s challenges,” Springall said. “We leveraged our existing and proven products to deliver a flexible solution that incorporates the new requirements for health with existing passenger processing systems while maintaining safety and security.”
Following the success of the electronic travel authorization (ETA) system it developed for the 2000 Sydney Olympics — the ETA system gave authorities the ability to screen the millions of visitors that crossed the border and helped to reduce bottlenecks at security and immigration — SITA went on to deliver similar solutions for the 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix Formula 1 race and at many other major events, such as the FIFA World Cups in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.
To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, SITA’s more than 4,500 employees are running, walking, cycling, or swimming as part of an Olympics-themed wellbeing challenge, with the goal to collectively reach 50,000 kilometers while virtually traveling the globe and passing through some of the countries using SITA’s border technology.
If the 50,000 km goal is reached, SITA plans to make a donation to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which gives over 90 lower-income economies access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“On behalf of the company, I would like to sincerely thank our employees all around the world, past and present, for their commitment and hard work, which has been critical to our longevity and success,” added Springall. “As well, we are hugely grateful for the continued support and confidence of our members, customers, and partners.”
May 13, 2021 – by Tony Bitzionis