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What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:32 am

What is an airline's SITA?

Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:16 am

What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:37 am

It's a communication tool - basically like an email address but it's a standalone system that's very widespread in the travel industry. Airlines and other aviation related companies (from handling agents to the organisation responsible for controlling runway slots) will have a SITA address (starting with the IATA code of the airport they are based at - if based at an airport) and they can basically communicate with each other via it.

That's the way I understand it anyway. Perhaps someone else might be able to shed some more light. I'm not entirely sure why email isn't used instead - at a guess it's because SITA has been around for some time and was probably before email became very big when there was a need for a type of email system for fast communication

What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:36 am

Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeriennes -
Is an IATA telex system linking airlines.
IATA addresses consist of 7 letters -
XXXYYZZ, where XXX is the 3 letter code of the airport -
YY is the internal (company or airline) department -
ZZ, is the two letter airline code -
As an example - EZEOOAR is the address for
EZE - Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport
OO - Is flight operations desk (internal address for Aerolineas)
AR - Is the designator for Aerolineas Argentinas...
If I want to send a message to our Aerolineas address in Madrid,
I type: MADOOAR -
Madrid, operations, Aerolineas Argentinas...
If I want to send a message to our Aerolineas maintenance in Miami,
Miami, maintenance, Aerolineas...
What are SITA messages used for:
Airline communications, passengers lists, sending flight plans, schedule info, delays, departure/arrival messages, anything that deals with commercial operations of the airlines...
There is another telex system (besides SITA) in use...
The AFTN system (Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network) -
This is organized by ICAO - not IATA
The address consists of 8 letters -
XXXXYYZZ - XXXX being the 4 letter ICAO code of the station,
YYZZ is an internal designator (or department) of a service...
AFTN is used for communications between ATC or Gov't aviation entities -
Such as ATC Gander Oceanic, control towers, etc...
Example: CYQXZQZX is address for Gander (CYQX) Oceanic ATC control -
i.e., sending a message for flight plan estimates -
Airlines do not communicate with AFTN among theirselves, they use SITA.
But the airline sends flight plans (ATC) with AFTN circuits...
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper

[Edited 2004-02-19 21:38:16]
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What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:25 am

So if Sun Aire had an operations office in Alturas California the SITA address would have been


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
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What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:52 am

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Skipper! I was wondering after reading about this, how is it done the other way around? How does the flight operations desk for example contact you when they need to share something with you?

Does each aircraft also have a unique number to where they can send messages or is it done completely different?

Thanx in advance for any replies,

Every landing is a controlled crash

What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:56 am

Be aware that with the advent of email/internet, a lot of communications are no longer done with SITA, at least at the airline level...
With Aerolineas, all crewmembers have a company issued laptop, each of us have our own company email address, and wherever we are in hotel, the laptop is connected and ready on line for scheduling changes, flight plans and any communications.
During flight, using our SAT phone, we get messages, such as weather update or new forecast, on a cockpit laptop and printer/fax system.
Unknown to all of you, I have actually read and wrote A.Net text messages using the SAT phone system aboard... while over the Atlantic between Europe and South America - hope the company does not fire me for abusing of the communication system - enough of my wife calling me abeam Canarias to ask me to buy the newest Dior perfume in duty free while in Madrid.
So there is still SITA, and AFTN... but there is the world wide web...
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2003 1:00 am

What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:32 am

Thank you for your reply Skipper! Haha I doubt if they would fire you for that, most airline news can be found here earlier than anywhere else so you have a good excuse  Smile...

Kind regards,

Every landing is a controlled crash
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What is an airline's SITA?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:06 am

Nice to see you around Skipper...  Big grin
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 9:18 pm

What is an airline's SITA?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:57 am

The nice thing about sita address are that you can build it even if you don't know the exact address. E.G. The operation office of BA in JFK will be:

JFK: where they are
OO: it's a operation/dispatch office. Sometimes they use also OW or WW instead of OO
BA: it's the specific airline or company.

another example: VIEAPXH
WW), Austria">VIE: where they are
AP: airport operations office. Other letter can be also SO SE ST KO KW
XH: means that it is not a airline office but another company. The exception are globeground they use LH, so the globeground address in CDG are CDGSELH

The fourth and fifth letter are very important because they explain what job they to in that office.

What is an airline's SITA?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:02 pm

If you do not know the specific address, but know the airline (or company) and the location, you type the ABC (airport) then letters QQ, then the 2 letter airline code... example for defunct Sabena, Brussels -
Address: BRUQQSN - is litke writing "to whom it may concern"...
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper

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