Ras al-Khaimah International airport (Rak Airport) in the UAE has signed a technology contract with US-based Arinc.

The multimillion-dollar, 10-year deal will include the design, supply and installation of Arinc’s common-use passenger processing systems (CUPPs) and boarding operations, all designed to improve the speed and efficiency of passenger traffic passing through the northern emirate’s airport. 

The contract will also see the development of the Middle East’s first off-site hotel check-in and bag drop solution. This is expected to be introduced over the course of the next few months. The solution will allow Rak Airport passengers to have their luggage checked in and tagged at their hotel.

During the lifetime of the contract, it is expected the number of CUPPs workstations and services at the airport will increase, not only in the existing terminal, but also in the planned new passenger terminal dedicated to charter activity under development. 

The need to improve the flow of passenger traffic through Rak Airport has become more acute as throughput grows. In the first half of 2012, passenger numbers rose by 67.2 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Tony Lynch, regional director for the Middle East & Africa at Arinc, says the use of Arinc’s technology will help airports meet current passenger demand more efficiently.

“There are great expansion plans, but they take time. While you are waiting for these new terminals and concourses to come online, you still have the growth of passenger traffic to date. So it is how you manage that growth and improve passenger experience at the same time.

“You can’t do that when you have limited space and a limited number of check-in desks. So this gives you another option to push it outside the airport and enhance the journey rather than have frustrated passengers.“