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The SITA Beacon Registry is a registry of common use iBeacons for the Air Transport Industry (ATI).

The registry is a SITA initiative and provides the following services:

  • It allows beacon owners (airlines, airports or 3rd parties) to view their beacon infrastructure and track where they are placed across multiple airports.
  • It provides beacons owners with a simple mechanism to set the 'meta-data' associated with beacons.
  • It provides a standardised API specification for app developers who want to use these beacons for developing travel and other related apps.

The aims of the registry are to promote the use of beacons in the Air Transport Industry and reduce the cost and complexity of deployment. This can be achieved with the following design goals:

  • Promote shared beacon infrastructure to reduce cost and complexity of deployment.
  • Introduce standard beacon types and data definition to encourage reuse.
  • Provide a simple to use API to discover beacons and get meta-data about beacons.
  • Be vendor agnostic - the service provides a standard interface which allows beacons from any vendor to be shared.


How it Works


Who is this service for?


Airports that are currently deploying beacons or are planning to deploy beacons can use the registry to store, track and make available information about the beacons to airport development teams and 3rd parties, such as airlines and ground handlers.


Airlines will want to use beacons to improve passenger services, but will not, and realistically cannot, manage a deployment of beacons at all the airports they operate out of. Airlines can use the registry to leverage existing common use beacons deployed at airports.

App Developers

App developers can reuse an existing public beacon infrastructure to provide proximity information for passengers in airports.


Example uses for iBeacons at airports

This is a list of just some of the things you can do with iBeacons at airports. Remember - the iBeacons on their own do nothing. You need an app as starting point, but the real magic happens when you can contextualise location, intent through itinerary, determine next logical step with available operations data and visualise this on a map.

  • Contextual Messages : upon arrival to beacon zone trigger an appropriate message based on other known information such as the itinerary data, passenger profile and flight data.
    • Welcome to the airport, bagdrop for your flight is at Desk 50
    • Welcome to the airport, the wait time at security is 20 minutes. Would you like to purchase fast track?
    • Welcome home, your bags will be on carousel 7 in 18 minutes
    • Welcome to the Lounge - the WiFi password is 'Hello!'
    • Welcome to the airport, your flight does not depart for 3 hours. Would you like to purchase lounge access for $20?
    • Your flight is on-time to depart at X.XX hours from such and such gate and terminal
  • Beacon Assisted Kiosk Check-in : The passenger app detects that the passenger is standing immediately in front of a kiosk and either prompts the kiosk to pre-populate with passenger information for transaction completion, and/or offers mobile check-in
  • Closing Gate Agency Tool : Enterprise app that automatically monitors and polls for passengers who have check-in but not yet arrived at gate to determine their location within airport. This aid will help agents determine if seat should be forfeited or other actions (e.g., paging) is best.
  • Lounge Agent Assist : a network of beacons densely placed within a airline lounge guides agent to zone where passenger of interest can be addressed with a personal message.
  • Airport Trains : beacons at stations trigger an app to display time to next train
  • Airport Art or General Exhibits : beacons at airport exhibits trigger an app to display additional information about the subject from a CMS web service.
  • Zonal context (includes where is my passenger) : If passenger is supposed to be in beacon zone X @ YY:YY am/pm and they are in another zone THEN trigger a message with instructions where they need to be.
  • Walk times : connecting passenger deplanes at Gate X in Terminal X and whose connecting flight is at Gate Y in Terminal Y, surface current walk time to departing gate.
  • Asset Tracking : place beacons on airport infrastructure and track its location within the building.
  • Crowd Source Wait Times : use data from staff/passenger apps to crowd source wait/dwell times to further refine how to guide passengers (e.g. if Security A is very busy, prompt passenger to go to Security B).


What are Beacon Types?

One of the key benefits of the Common Use Beacon Registry is that it provides not just a list of iBeacons deployed at an airport, but provides classification details so you understand the context of where your passenger is when he/she comes into proximity of a beacon. It does this by dividing the airport up into zones that are relevant to a passenger journey. When a beacon is registered in the system, it is given a classification. These are listed below.


  • CheckinDesk: These beacons are to identify a check in desk, or a check in hall
  • Waypoint: This is a general purpose waypoint beacon. It can be used to indicate which terminal, concourse, floor of the airport a passenger is in. These are typically placed in the long walkway areas in airports.
  • Gate: Gate beacons identify a boarding gate at the airport.
  • Retail: Retail beacons are used to identify a single shop, or if a passenger is in the general retail area of the airport.
  • BaggageHall: These beacons are used to identify that a passenger is in the baggage hall, or at a specific baggage carousel.
  • Lounge: The lounge beacons are used to identify an airline or airport lounge.
  • SecurityZone: These beacons are placed in the security check point between landside and airside.
  • CarPark: These beacons are the airport carpark.
  • EntryExit: These beacons identify the main entrance/exit doors at the airport (landside).
  • SalesOffice: This beacon is for an airline sales office.
  • Restaurant: Retail beacons are used to identify a single restaurant/cafe, or if a passenger is in the general food hall area of the airport.
  • Other: A general purpose beacon.
  • TransitZone: This beacon identifies the airport transport areas, such as transit trains from one terminal to another.
  • ArrivalsHall: This beacon identifies the arrivals hall in the airport.
  • Kiosk: This beacon identifies a kiosk at the airport, such as a self service check in kiosk
  • Ramp: This beacon identifies the passenger boarding ramp between the aircraft and the airport terminal
  • CarHire: This beacon identifies the car hire area
  • Plane: This beacon identifies the entry/ exit point of an aircraft


This beacon classification means that app developers can provide a consistent user experience through iBeacons regardless of the airport. A gate experience at one airport will be the same as the gate experience at another airport.

Moving through zones

While it is early days for apps using iBeacons, it is expected that an app will monitor for a combination of both UUID and majorID. Given that all beacons of the same zone have the same majorId, this approach will notify your application as the passenger moves through different zones - from check in through security to retail to gate.


UUID, majorId, minorId

iBeacons can be identified through their UUID, majorId and minorId. In the registry, each airport has its own UUID, and each beacon zone has its own majorId.

An iOS app can scan for beacons when the app is active (called 'ranging') or scan for beacons when the app is not active (called 'monitoring'). In both cases the app needs to specify which beacons to scan for by specifying a combination of UUID/majorId/minorId. So, for example, an app can register an airport UUID as a region to monitor and the app will be woken up by iOS when the passenger enters the airport (assuming there are beacons in that airport of course!)

An few important limitations to understand about background monitoring for beacons:

  • Your app will only be woken when the passenger enters a region, and when the passenger exits the region. So if you monitor for a single UUID, your app will be alerted when entering the airport, and when exiting (assuming a blanket coverage of the airport - which is by no means assured).
  • There is a limit of 20 regions you can monitor for (a region includes both geographical region, and iBeacon region defined by UUID and/or majorId and/or minorId

What this means is that you generally can't monitor for every beacon in the airport (you'll exceed the 20 region limit), and also it probably isn't sufficient to monitor for just the UUID of the airport (your app will not get activated enough as the passenger moves through the airport).


Beacon Meta-Data

When querying details of an individual beacon the registry will also return what is referred to as 'meta data'. This meta data can be set by the iBeacon owner, or it can by dynamically generated. Typically, meta-data for Gate, Baggage, Security, CheckIn beacons is dynamically generated from airport operations data.


Beacons API Response Attributes


Beacons API response attributes
Parameter Description


The unique id number of the beacon.


Beacons name from provider system


The airport is divided up into zones that are relevant to a passenger journey. When a beacon is registered in the system, it is given a classification which is called the beaconTypes. More details at: /beacons/1/beaconTypes


The airport UUID. This can be found using the /airports API


Each beacon zone has its own majorId. More details at: /beacons/1/beaconTypes


Unique identifier number for a beacon in a particular airport zone.


IATA airport code where the beacon is installed


Terminal where the beacon is installed


The term refers to the area of a terminal with its boarding gates


Floor where the beacon is installed


This meta data can be set by the iBeacon owner, or it can by dynamically generated. Typically, meta-data for Gate, Baggage, Security, CheckIn beacons is dynamically generated from airport operations data.


Singal Radius in meters


longitude where the beacon is installed


latitude where the beacon is installed


Beacon signal power setting


Beacon advertising interval


Whether the beacon is in alerting status


Beacons Owner organisation information


Is the beacon exposed to the Public


Atmosphere temperature (in celsius) surrounding the beacon.


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