SITA enters partnership with Stratech (iFerret)

Stratech press release

Singapore, 8 July, 2008 – Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”) signed an agreement to appoint SITA, the world’s leading air transport communications and IT solutions provider, as its global value-added reseller for its iFerret™ airfield/runway surveillance, and foreign object and debris (FOD) detection system.

Under the agreement, SITA will market, sell and deploy Stratech’s iFerret™ at the commercial airports operated by its members or customers. Four airport runways are targeted for the first year, with another twelve targeted for the subsequent year.

This partnership is significant for both parties as Stratech will leverage on SITA’s sales and marketing prowess to market its award-winning and innovative iFerret™ globally. SITA, on the other hand, will have a breakthrough runway surveillance system to bundle with its other solutions for early deployment at the commercial airports. Both parties are looking at the potentially huge market of over 3,800 International Air Transport Association-listed (IATA) airports. This does not include the military airbases and aircraft carriers around the world which will benefit from the iFerret™ system tremendously.

The synergy of Stratech & SITA’s expertise will bring greater contributions to the aviation industry, specifically in the context of airfield/runway safety through FOD detection and runway incursions prevention. This is in line with the continuous effort of aviation regulatory authorities, such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in raising the standard of runway safety.

The agreement will enable the partnership to leverage on Stratech’s proprietary intelligent Vision expertise and SITA’s engagement with the global air transport industry (ATI). The agreement also provides a global platform for introducing Stratech’s award-winning iFerret™ as the ideal airfield/runway surveillance and FOD detection system for airport operators.

“We are delighted to appoint SITA as our global value-added reseller for Stratech’s state-of-the-art iFerret™ system. SITA’s global footprint offers Stratech tremendous leverage in penetrating the worldwide ATI market for airfield/runway surveillance and FOD detection systems which are crucial for airport operations,” said Dr David K.M. Chew, Executive Chairman of Stratech.

Incidents arising from FOD on runways have cost the aerospace industry an estimated US$4 billion in aircraft repairs and maintenance every year. An all-weather system, iFerret™ is the world’s first intelligent Vision-based system that detects, analyses and identifies FOD in real-time. It can be scaled for airport runways and taxiways of any length, and can also be deployed on airport aprons, airport hangars and even aircraft carriers.

Mr. Bruno Frentzel, Senior Vice President, Application Services, of SITA said: “Foreign objects and debris on runways is not only a major safety issue but also causes flight delays. SITA is very pleased to enter into this strategic partnership with Stratech which will enable us to offer our airport customers worldwide, the possibility of using this outstanding technology for real time detection of FOD. This will minimise flight disruption, improve safety and aircraft landing slot yield at airports. By reducing damage to the aircraft blades which impacts engine efficiency, the iFerret™ system will also help airlines to reduce their fuel bills and carbon footprint.”

SITA is a specialist provider of IT and telecommunications solutions to the world’s air transport industry including airports, airlines and ground handlers. It provides communications services across the world’s largest global network in over 220 countries and territories supporting more than 1,800 customers. An estimated 600 million passengers are checked in each year at more than 200 airports worldwide using SITA check-in systems. The Stratech FOD solution matches well with SITA’s existing airport and flight operations portfolios.

“The collaboration between Stratech and SITA is a win-win arrangement for both parties to penetrate the untapped market for foreign object detection. SITA provides the domain expertise and global access to the air transport industry, while Stratech offers their proven creativity and innovation in iFerret™,” said Mr Lim Soon Hock, an Independent Director of Stratech who brought the two companies together.

Mr Lim is the Managing Director of PLAN-B ICAG, a boutique corporate advisory firm. He was also the President of SITA INC Asia Pacific from 1999 to 2003.

At the Singapore Airshow in February, Stratech announced a contract to deploy iFerret™ for both runways at Changi International Airport. Separately, the Center of Excellence in Airport Technology (CEAT) of FAA is currently working with Stratech to pilot iFerret™ at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

In 2006, the system was awarded the Research and Development prize at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards in Macau.

Leave a Reply