ANA Brings Innovation to Kyushu
Saga International Airport
- •Airline partners with regional government to apply the latest smart technology at the airport.
- •Trials and data collection will result in a futuristic airport that is "Simple & Smart."
TOKYO, March 27, 2019 - All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's largest and 5-star airline for six consecutive years, is partnering with Saga prefecture to transform Kyushu Saga International Airport (hereinafter referred to as Saga Airport) into one of the world's smartest, best-connected airports. The move will make Saga Airport a proving ground for the latest connected technologies, turning it into a hotbed of innovation and a premier logistics hub in the region.
Saga Prefecture and ANA will collaborate to modernize Saga Airport in response to changes across the aviation industry. The modernization drive aims to make Saga Airport a model airport that serves as a platform to showcase labor-saving technological innovation on the world stage. As a prominent testing ground, Saga Airport will collect data on the effectiveness of new technology featured at the site, acting as a template for future "Simple & Smart" airports.
"We seek to innovate and reimagine how the travel experience can be improved by harnessing the potential of technological innovation," said Shinzo Shimizu, Senior Executive Vice President of ANA. "The on-the-ground tests that ANA will be conducting at Saga Airport will lead to important breakthroughs that streamline and improve service on the ground. This will allow us to complement our exceptional in-flight service with a similar level of logistical support."
"We aim to set the standard for modernization at Kyushu Saga International Airport through our partnership with ANA," said Yoshinori Yamaguchi, Governor of Saga Prefecture. "Saga has a history of innovation, serving as the base of Japan's industrial revolution, and has leveraged its creativity to build a strong legacy of global leadership in manufacturing. I hope to continue building on these achievements and making Saga a transmission point for the fourth industrial revolution: AI and IoT."
New technology to be featured in the first round of trials at Saga Airport includes a wearable robotic exoskeleton, remote-controlled aircraft pushbacks, automatic baggage loaders and automated towing tractors. The robotic exoskeletons for heavy duty loaders entered service in February, while the first autonomous towing tractors are set to roll out between late March and early April. The latest pushbacks will start the trial in mid-April, with the automated baggage loaders being the last of the first batch to undergo testing sometime in the FY 2019.
Officials at Saga Airport and ANA will monitor the performance of these devices closely, using the data gained from these trials to improve efficiency across the airport. This information will also be instrumental in the implementation of other innovations at Saga Airport in the future.
Contact: ANA Corporate Communications, TEL +81-3-6735-1111, email@example.com
Following the "Inspiration of Japan" high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation six years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as "Airline of the Year" three times in the past 10 years - 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.
ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 80 international routes and 118 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.
ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
Besides the full service and award winner carrier ANA, the ANA Group has two LCCs as consolidated subsidiaries, Vanilla Air Inc. and Peach Aviation Limited. The ANA Group carried 53.8 million passengers in FY2017, has approximately 39,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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