Aviation Emoji’s, Astronics, Thales, Gogo, and So Much More!


OK, Aviation Emoji’s are not the biggest news … probably not news at all, but we thought it would make a nice IFExpress rectangle so  here is where you can find them if your iMessages need them, and be sure to type “airplane” in search.

Next, we should mention that when we last reported on the forthcoming WPA3 Wi-Fi standard we received another input, this one  from Joe Winston, Senior VP Engineering at Zodiac Inflight Innovations and he told IFExpress: “Yes, we will see this on inflight Wi-Fi. The most important reason is that most inflight WiFi systems wish to be open so that any passenger can connect without having to know a password. Under WPA2, that means your data is also in the clear (typically, there are exceptions), and even if your data happens to be encrypted (like if you are browsing a web site with HTTPS), the URL that you are visiting was in the clear. Any passenger also connected to the WiFi is able to observe your traffic in the clear. With WPA3, this is fixed by using “individualized data encryption”. Even if you don’t use a password to connect, all of your traffic will be encrypted. Now other passengers can’t snoop on your Internet traffic.” Stay tuned on this one!

Now we will move onto the news.


Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that it was recently selected by Air Esurfing (ARE) to provide supplemental type certificates (STCs) plus associated products and services for aircraft connectivity systems on a variety of aircraft for Chinese airlines. The work will be performed by the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification group. Astronics will provide certification services to generate the antenna STC and the cabin distribution system Validation STC (VSTC) in partnership with ARE and Lufthansa Technik AG, the connectivity service provider for this project. As part of the award, Astronics will also provide adapter plates and installation kits for the aircraft. The initial award is for non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs and trial kits. Once the system is tested and approved, Astronics will support the installation of connectivity systems on up to 300 Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft from its operations center in Toulouse, France. “We continue to serve as the industry’s global, go-to partner for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) certification services and hardware,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “This represents yet another opportunity for Astronics to provide a menu of aircraft connectivity solutions to this growing and evolving market, especially in Asia.”

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (formerly Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace) provides IFEC hardware and certification services for aircraft. Astronics CSC has worked on over 100 projects for industry partners to upgrade and certify commercial and business aircraft with new passenger power systems, IFEC, navigation, communication and flight safety systems. Additionally, Astronics CSC offers proven IFEC hardware systems, flexible design platforms, high customer satisfaction, and long-term relationships with industry leaders to help make the connected aircraft a reality. For additional information on services provided by Astronics CSC, visit Astronics.com. (Air Esurfing is a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group.)

On a further note, the wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), is expanding its CorePower® system product line with a new 28VDC Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit (ECBU). As the newest addition to its successful line of ECBUs, the new unit provides 24 channels of 28VDC power in a lightweight, compact design that simplifies electrical system complexity while improving power system flexibility. The new ECBU incorporates Astronics’ latest solid-state electronic circuit breaker (ECB) technology and offers programmable ECB outputs that can be custom configured to each mission or aircraft.


Gogo Announced Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Financial Results and here a a few highlights:

  • Record quarterly revenue of $188 million, up 18% from prior year
  • Record full-year revenue of $699 million exceeds guidance
  • 2Ku was installed on more than 470 aircraft in 2017 and is now flying on 620 aircraft
  • LATAM Airlines and Cathay Pacific Group selected 2Ku for satellite inflight connectivity


Australia occupies a unique global position in the air traffic management (ATM) domain. The country’s Air Navigation Service Provider, Airservices Australia, manages the largest airspace in the world, totaling over 11% of the globe. Their ambition is to ensure the seamless integration of all civil and military air traffic over an area totaling 53 million square kilometers, approximately equal to the combined surface of North America, Central America, South America and China.

  • Australia announces they will partner with Thales on the OneSKY program to modernize and integrate the Australian airspace.
  • The program will deploy Thales’s four key digital technologies: connectivity, big data, AI and cybersecurity, to manage 11% of the world’s airspace an area totaling 53 million square kilometers.
  • OneSKY is designed to provide quantifiable reductions in travel times, delays and achieve CO2 emission reductions and fuel burn reductions whilst maintaining Australian air sovereignty, thus protecting its citizens, delivering clear economic, environmental and security.


Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes. By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience.

The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global Digital Divide on land and in the air.”

“Easy-to-use, high-speed connectivity is part of the next revolution in aerospace,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “We’re excited to create this seamless experience for our airline customers and their passengers. As we showed with our Skywise aviation data platform, Airbus is committed to innovation that creates value across the aviation industry.”

“We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey” said Gil West, SEVP & COO. “Delta is constantly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience. We are excited to be collaborating with other visionary companies, and that our existing partner Gogo will be joining the alliance as Delta develops a system that not only benefits Delta customers, but the entire airline industry.

“With our 5G network rolling out next year we’re investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile Internet experience possible,” said Dow Draper, Chief Commercial Officer, Sprint. “As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we’re looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint’s high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free.”

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “We are delighted to be an initial member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high speed data services even while they are in-flight. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes LIVE at the earliest.” Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.

Michael Small, CEO of Gogo added:  “As the  market-leader in inflight connectivity, Gogo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the Alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity”

Editor’s Note: If you are wondering why this arrangement is proceeding you should note that it’s formation has a goal to make it easy to deal with installation, certification, maintenance, and customer billing. Watch for others to join this effort! Here is the link


It has just been announced Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) offered SkyLights’ Cinematic VR Entertainment to a delegation of VIP guests traveling between Japan, India and Sri Lanka from 21 to 27 January. JAL selected SkyLights’ solution to demonstrate its innovative spirit and gauge the potential of virtual reality as inflight entertainment. SkyLights is a high-tech immersive entertainment provider, leveraging virtual reality headsets to create cinema quality entertainment inflight. With SkyLights headsets, the 50 VIP passengers were given the opportunity to enjoy a selection of over 30 titles, including 180°/360° VR videos, 3D and 2D feature films and documentaries.


  • Bet you never tied together US airlines, jet fuel prices, and the National Rifle Association! Here is what AXIOS said: “Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) on Monday tweeted that he will block any legislation seeking to provide tax benefits for Delta Airlines, after the Atlanta-based company ended its discount program for NRA members. Delta is seeking to restore a sales tax exemption on jet fuel that expired in 2015, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.”
  • You are probably not going to believe this but drones are now in fashion design! Check it out

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