CUTE and CUSS – How does Common Use Equipment Give Airport Operators More Flexibility?

CUTE (Common Use Terminal  Equipment) and CUSS (Common Use Self Service) are priorities for the aviation industry, as airlines and airports invest in sharing assets that create more efficiencies for passengers and operators alike. What exactly are CUTE and CUSS, and how can they create efficiencies?

What are CUTE and CUSS?

Similar to the pooling of Ground Support Equipment (GSE), CUTE and CUSS refer to the sharing of equipment by airlines. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment and applies to the sharing of traditional check-in desks and the software platform to generate the bag tags, and CUSS is Common Use Self Service, for the sharing of check in self-service kiosks. They enable airport operators to take space that has previously been exclusive to a single airline and make it available for use by multiple airlines and their passengers.

Traditionally, check-in desks are owned and operated by the airline. Each airline check-in agent uses its own software to check-in and to generate the bag tags. CUTE technology allows all airlines to use their individual apps on the common platform for check-in, and the airport owns the units and equipment.

What are the advantages of CUTE and CUSS?

There are many advantages to airports implementing CUTE and CUSS, including:

  • Asset optimisation and greater flexibility
  • Process time reduced and throughput increased
  • A free flowing terminal, benefitting all airlines/airports by contributing to passenger satisfaction.
  • Resiliency for operators.
  • Creating opportunity for future growth, keeping pace of the growing demand and preventing future investment costs.

Engaging stakeholders can be seen as a stumbling block for implementing CUTE and CUSS, as this reorganisation of assets can only be done with the agreement of many stakeholders. However, AiQ Consulting work with airports and their stakeholders to highlight the benefits of these improvements, through data analytics and modelling simulations.

CUTE and CUSS Recommendations

We worked with Leeds Bradford Airport to provide guidance on optimal implementation of new technologies like CUTE, CUSS and Self-Service Bag Drops (SSBD). We looked at their impact on current operations, identifying their choke points and constraints, highlighting improvement opportunities throughout the passenger and bag journey, and making necessary recommendations to improve operational efficiency.

Despite the constraints of the terminal floorplate including a limited departure hall capacity, our recommendations enabled Leeds Bradford to provide an enhanced passenger experience, improving overall passenger flows and maximising resource utilization by implementing CUTE and CUSS. At the same time, these recommendations also deferred unnecessary investment costs.

We also worked with stakeholders to incorporate their views on the phased development of the airport without compromising live operations. By being sympathetic to the airport’s needs, our holistic view and operational experience delivered real value to the client, allowing them to increase capacity significantly and optimise their current operations.

For more information on how to implement CUTE and CUSS technology in your airport, contact us today