As always just before AIX Hamburg, it gets newsy and so it isn’t surprising that this week we have a lot for our readers to peruse. And, we fully expect the media to continue to build leading up to AIX and throughout the first few days of the show. As 2017 moves ahead, Boeing and Airbus are increasing their production efforts to catch up with orders (Backlog: Airbus = 6792 planes and Boeing = 5678 aircraft) while airplane purchases are thinning out. The near term IFEC market is looking good but the real question is what happens 3 years from now? Stay Tuned on this one as it will be interesting to see IFEC changes that integrate with a multiplicity of connected carry-on devices and technology innovations. And with that said, lets get started:

Lufthansa Systems

At this year’s AIX Lufthansa Systems will showcase exciting new features of its multiple award-winning IFE solution BoardConnect and its enhanced crew app mCabin. The user experience stands at the heart of new developments. Lufthansa Systems will present a major new release of BoardConnect with a new user interface. “Airlines can differentiate and easily adapt the UI without costly and time-consuming reprogramming. Furthermore, the BoardConnect architecture will become even more flexible – it is easy for airlines to personalize, add or remove features – making it the best platform for the connected aircraft. Our unique container technology allows to integrate applications for cabin, cockpit and crew in addition to IFE and connectivity.”

Lufthansa Systems further expands its existing partner network. Thus, airlines can benefit from this flexibility by tailoring their IFE offer to the needs of their target group, which ensures satisfied passengers and brings in additional revenues. At AIX Lufthansa Systems will announce new partnerships, which will provide additional services and functionalities. “Thanks to our latest technology upgrade BoardConnect becomes kind of a cloud provider in the sky hosting complete applications of third parties within the open platform. Additional services can be included fast and flexible. This enables airlines to enhance the digital experience of their passengers and supports them to complete their digital transformation goals. The new digital platform is available with or without connectivity. Lufthansa Group started the go-live of the new BoardConnect based connectivity service in Europe early 2017. Together with Lufthansa Technik and Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems is currently equipping aircraft of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings. During the show, Lufthansa Systems will give an update on the current roll-out projects for connectivity services and announce new customers.”

The company will also present a whole new mCabin product suite. The mobile solutions for cabin crews are perfect for supporting airlines of all sizes and business models in their process of digitalization. Prior to departure and during the flight, the mCabin crew app provides the cabin team with all of the flight and passenger service information they need. This is an app designed for excellent passenger communication, smooth crew management and optimal processes at every stage of the crew duty day. mCabin is available on Windows and iOS and has been further enhanced in its modularity. Airlines can select modules and thereby tailor mCabin according to their individual needs. mCabin/CityGuide is an exclusive guidebook platform for the crew with local information and tips about the crew’s destinations. Additionally, Lufthansa Systems has developed some great new features for mCabin and another separate app in the mCabin suite which will be presented at the AIX. In general, Lufthansa Systems sees an increased demand for a mobile solution like mCabin in the market with both passengers and crew members expecting a greater digital experience on board. During the show, Lufthansa Systems will give an update on further developments and planned cooperations regarding the mCabin suite. Visit Lufthansa Systems and learn more about BoardConnect at booth no #2E24


Gogo

Gogo has reached a major milestone by installing its 3,000th commercial aircraft with in-flight connectivity. Today, the company has 3,000 commercial aircraft and more than 4,200 business aircraft, totaling 7,200 aircraft installed. More than 130 of the 3,000 commercial aircraft are now installed with Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology that leverages Gogo’s global satellite network. “The demand for in-flight connectivity continues to grow at a rapid pace and we are quickly moving beyond connecting passengers to connecting flight attendants, pilots and eventually components on the planes themselves,” said Michael Small, president and CEO at Gogo. “To meet this demand, Gogo has invested in the best broadband networks to meet the needs of global aviation — no matter the size of the aircraft or where that aircraft flies. “Most of the 7,200 aircraft are connected using Gogo’s North American ground network, but an increasing number of commercial aircraft are now flying on Gogo’s global satellite network.

2Ku relies on the new low profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas that outperform other connectivity solutions in the global aviation market. Since the announcement of Gogo’s 2Ku technology, 12 airlines representing more than 1500 aircraft have signed up for the service. Nearly all of these aircraft are expected to be installed by the end of 2018.

“Whether an aircraft is flying on our global satellite network or on our North American ATG network, we are delivering industry leading performance in terms of coverage, cost, capacity and reliability. With high-throughput satellites being added to our global network and an upgrade being made to our ATG network, both networks will bring even better performance in 2017 and beyond,” added Small.

Gogo, which provides aircraft connectivity, had revenue of $597 million in 2016, expects positive free cash flow in 2019, a year earlier than previous guidance, and expects 2Ku installs on 450 to 550 aircraft in 2017.


Thales

Thales, SES S.A. and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) announced a set of strategic agreements to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVE – Thales’ connected inflight experience solution, offering the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution available in the Americas. Under the agreements, SES contracts capacity on Hughes EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to complement its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network giving FlytLIVE the only redundant coverage network in North America. SES will also purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes to qualify Thales to deploy its FlytLIVE service on Hughes JUPITER Aeronautical platform. This will allow Thales to initiate its next-generation connected inflight experience offering in North America this year. Further, SES contracted Hughes for service on EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX HTS satellites, and combines them with its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network, to provide a four-satellite constellation for the launch of Thales FlytLIVE network. The four-satellite network strengthens Thales’ FlytLIVE network as it enters initial operations in 2017 and in advance of the milestone launch of SES-17 Ka-band HTS satellite, planned for 2020. Further, SES is to purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes and contract ground segment operations to Hughes to bring seamless connectivity to Thales FlytLIVE network. SES will also purchase multiple Hughes JUPITER System gateways to support traffic carried over AMC-15 and AMC-16, as well as SES-17, when it enters service. FlyLIVE’s network will deliver industry leading speed and capacity for support of growing passenger service demands and will comfortably accommodate forecasted traffic increases through the launch of SES-17, which is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and configured with close to 200 spot beams and coverage tailored to aviation and mobility markets. Lastly, we note that Thales selected Hughes JUPITER System Aeronautical platform for its next-generation IFC solution. At the center of the new service is Hughes high-performance JUPITER system that is already in operation for broadband enterprise and consumer services in other major markets globally and will be introduced for aeronautical use on the Thales FlytLIVE network. Unique features of the network include rapid beam-to-beam and satellite-to-satellite switching and DVB-S2x transmission. Thales has already begun service testing using its new Thales Ka-band aero antenna and the Hughes JUPITER technology.


Inmarsat

Inmarsat has announced today that International Airlines Group (IAG) has signed a contract to be the launch customer of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN). IAG plans to equip in excess of 300 aircraft with EAN and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019. Airlines include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling with installation having already commenced on the British Airways fleet, with three aircraft fitted to date. EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity and is the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom.


SITA

Drop&Fly, SITA’s bag-drop unit, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Drop&Fly provides passengers with an easy-to-use interface which makes checking-in bags a convenient and pleasant experience. Its one-step self-bag drop process, which allows passengers to print their tags and check-in their bags at the same time, delivers a fast, customer-centric passenger experience. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and its hybrid functionality enables a switch from self-service to an agent-assisted mode in a matter of seconds. The iF Design Award, recognized as a symbol of design excellence around the world, confirms SITA’s expertize in matching form and function.


Other

  • Stockholders approved the ROCKWELL COLLINS and B/E AEROSPACE merger.
  • Kelvin Boyette’s Latitude Aero did the Aircraft Interiors promo right – he showed us where his booth is located
  • And lastly, Geoff Underwood, CEO of IFPL has a second calling, sorta – Check it out!

IAG the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling will be first to offer this game changing in-flight broadband solution, reinforcing the success of Inmarsat’s aviation strategy

United Kingdom | March 8, 2017–
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced International Airlines Group (IAG) as the launch customer for its European Aviation Network (EAN) high-speed in-flight broadband service, which Inmarsat will jointly operate with its partner Deutsche Telekom. This contract is a flagship achievement in Inmarsat’s strategy to revolutionise the onboard experience for airline passengers with purpose-built next-generation connectivity solutions.

EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance. EAN’s robust and ultra compact technology makes it uniquely qualified for the European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

EAN is the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom.

IAG plans to equip in excess of 300 aircraft with EAN and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The rollout of our European Aviation Network, which we are building together with our partner Deutsche Telekom, is progressing at full pace and today’s contract signing with IAG as our launch customer has reinforced once again how Inmarsat’s aviation strategy is coming together.

“Passenger demand for in-flight broadband has never been stronger and Inmarsat’s cutting-edge technology will remain the market’s gold standard for a long time to come. We look forward to rolling out this ground-breaking service with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, four of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation.”

As we approach Aircraft Interiors Hamburg we are seeing a lot more industry news hitting the airwaves. Let’s start by taking a peak at what to expect from AIX and PEC next month.

AIX & PEC

Polly Magraw, Event Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “Since AIX launched in 2000 it has firmly established itself as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector.  At this year’s event we’re thrilled to welcome more than500 exhibitors including 55 new companies showcasing innovations to some 20,000 attendees expected throughout Passenger Experience Week. This outstanding year on year growth has led to the event becoming a firmly established event in the aviation calendar. We are excited to announce the growth of CabinSpace Live, a theatre style series of seminars where the industry can discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders within the IFEC and MRO sectors. The Passenger Experience Conference, part of the wider Passenger Experience Week, remains a central attraction and key event for delegates who want to get a comprehensive understanding of industry’s current trends and challenges. The packed programme for this year’s conference is rich in thought-provoking and insightful content with speakers coming from both inside and outside the aviation industry.”

AIX Overview: This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 4th-6th April 2017. We are, as always, excited to welcome over 500 showcasing companies to the Messe with 55 new exhibitors, many of whom will be in the IFEC zone. This rapidly expanding zone is now the world’s largest event dedicated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity and content and service providers making it a must-see for visitors to the show. With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show from the supply chain, technology and products industries and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, the event once again promises to be extremely thought-provoking and insightful.

CabinSpace Live, a theater style series of seminars where visitors can learn and be inspired on a variety of pressing issues within the IFEC, Interiors and MRO sectors will also be taking place again this year. The event provides a fantastic networking opportunity for delegates to discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders and disruptors within the IFEC and MRO sectors.

Aircraft Interiors Expo also incorporates the 11th annual Crystal Cabin Awards, which takes place on the evening of Tuesday 4th April, with seven award categories that celebrate the most innovative ideas in cabin design and technology. The winners ceremony takes place at 13:00 within the CabinSpace LIVE seminar theater on Wednesday 5th April.

PEC Overview:  New to this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This is an exclusive event for airline attendees which will kick off with an inspirational keynote speaker from Disney and will offer content that delegates would not experience at other conferences. The event is an opportunity for airline executives to network and debate with their peers about the issues most relevant to improving the passenger experience in their business and to share best practice insights. The discussion will be led by an industry-expert moderator and the key issues for the agenda will be decided in advance by a poll of the participant airlines.

This year’s PEC program features in-depth breakout sessions, focusing on a different element of the passenger experience and providing attendees a further opportunity to discuss the industry with their peers.  The sessions will be split into three streams running in parallel; Generating Revenue, Comfort and Wellbeing, and The Connected Journey.  The new focus of these breakout streams, reflects an increasing convergence of interest among different airline departments.

It will host more than 50 speakers from both inside and outside the industry.  Speakers confirmed include; Delft University of Technology, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide, Gogo, American Airlines, Plug and Play.


Inmarsat

Have you heard about the latest air traffic management research by Inmarsat who is provider of global mobile satellite communications? A new study by Helios and Inmarsat reveals that satellite communication has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits. One single Air Traffic Control benefit mechanism, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely, was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. More importantly, satellite communication (satcom) in the cockpit has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits, according to a study released today by Helios and Inmarsat (ISAT.L). Satcom application reference here is the use of voice and data services via satellite to communicate with aircraft outside the range of conventional ground radar and Very High Frequency (VHF) stations, such as over oceanic regions. It is typically used for air traffic control and airline operations. The inaugural study, conducted by Helios, valued the benefit of satcom to airlines between 2001 and 2016. It found that one single Air Traffic Control (ATC) benefit mechanism – reducing separation minima, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely – was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. Thanks to satcom, planes can now fly within 30 nautical miles of each other because of safe, reliable communication and tracking; previously aircraft were required to maintain a separation of 100 nautical miles. This allows aircraft to fly closer together and means more planes can fly in a given airspace, which is particularly beneficial over the busy skies of the North Atlantic. If an aircraft is not equipped with satellite communication capability, it must maintain the 100 nautical mile separation, and is not permitted to fly in certain areas. Increasing airspace capacity also leads to more aircraft being able to choose optimum flight levels, saving time and fuel.

The US$890 million saving is a major part of the US$1.1 billion total ATC saving identified by the study. Other benefits that satcom provides to ATC include:

  • Individually-tailored flight plans that save time and fuel
  • Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure, which allows airborne rerouting of aircraft when data indicates a more efficient route is available, for example due to a change in weather conditions
  • Tailored arrivals, where arrival times are planned to allow an ideal descent route and to avoid holding patterns
  • Procedures in some oceanic regions to allow aircraft to climb or descend through an altitude that is already occupied by another aircraft

A further US$1.9 billion is saved thanks to the ability of aircraft to communicate with their Airline Operations Centre (AOC). AOC applications use real-time information to help airlines improve flight safety or provide a more efficient service at a lower cost. Delay management and scheduling is improved, fleets and flight crew can be better managed, maintenance can be taken care of and turnaround time on the ground is reduced. Traditionally AOC communication is provided by the exchange of simple text messages between the pilot and the controller. As satcom bandwidth capacity increases, bringing broadband connectivity to the cockpit, there will be an explosion of IP-based AOC applications, allowing airlines to further optimize flight operations and fleet management. For example, an aircraft’s health can be constantly monitored, and any maintenance issue signaled ahead to the ground crew so parts and maintenance staff are ready as soon as the aircraft lands. Until now, most maintenance information was delivered upon landing, with potential for delaying speedy resolution of an issue.

Broadband connectivity will also help with urgent ATC demands, as our skies see ever more traffic. By 2030, there will be more passengers in the sky each year (7 billion) than there are people on the ground right now. They will fly in 40,000 aircraft, the majority of which will be connected.

Further, the Helios study looked at benefits over oceanic regions, but it also highlights how satcom can complement existing ground-to-air data communications over land too. Savings over continental regions could equal those over the oceanic regions. For example, in the congested airspace of Europe, the Iris Precursor project has been established by the European Space Agency with support from Inmarsat and other aviation companies. It uses satcom to allow precise ‘4D’ flight path control, which optimizes flight speed and descent profiles. It is designed to dramatically reduce delays, particularly around large hubs.

Also, in case you didn’t know, Inmarsat pioneered cockpit data with the launch of Classic Aero back in 1990 and is today the leading service provide with 95 per cent market share. SwiftBroadband-Safety, its new IP-based broadband platform for the flight deck, brings aircraft connectivity to new levels. Always-on, always-secure high-speed broadband in the cockpit delivers much faster communication and a host of new safety and efficiency applications.


Panasonic 

The recent lawsuit by CoKinetic against Panasonic caught our eye and Panasonic told IFExpress: “Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic Avionics”) vigorously disputes the allegations made in a lawsuit filed today by CoKinetic Systems Corporation in the Southern District of New York. The allegations are without merit and Panasonic Avionics intends to contest the suit. This lawsuit involves a dispute around the commercial terms of a long-standing business relationship between CoKinetic and Panasonic Avionics. The timing of this suit is suspicious. As recently as October 2016, CoKinetic issued a press release praising its 10-year relationship with Panasonic Avionics. If, as the suit alleges, Panasonic Avionics has engaged in a “decades-long” effort to damage CoKinetic’s business, why did the company make such a public statement? It is important to note that CoKinetic’s counsel in this action, Todd Higgins, is also a former CoKinetic executive himself, which suggests a personal motive for bringing this lawsuit. Panasonic Avionics will seek the immediate dismissal of the suit.”


Boeing Roll-out

Boeing marked a milestone today as the first 737 MAX 9 made its debut in front of thousands of Boeing employees. The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of Boeing’s industry leading 737 MAX family, with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles. The airplane now begins system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line. Once completed, the airplane will begin flight testing in the coming weeks – the final phase of verification of the operational characteristics and overall performance of a new airplane. The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017. The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,600 orders to date from 83 customers worldwide. While the video provided on Boeing’s website is a sales pitch, it is worth the watch.


Other

 

Voice and data links to the flight deck via satellite provide time savings for passengers and reduce environmental impact of air travel, according to new Helios study

March 7, 2017– Satellite communication (satcom) in the cockpit has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits, according to a study released today by Helios and Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications.

Satcom is the use of voice and data services via satellite to communicate with aircraft outside the range of conventional ground radar and Very High Frequency (VHF) stations, such as over oceanic regions. It is typically used for air traffic control and airline operations. The inaugural study, conducted by Helios, valued the benefit of satcom to airlines between 2001 and 2016.

It found that one single Air Traffic Control (ATC) benefit mechanism – reducing separation minima, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely – was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. Thanks to satcom, planes can now fly within 30 nautical miles of each other because of safe, reliable communication and tracking; previously aircraft were required to maintain a separation of 100 nautical miles. This allows aircraft to fly closer together and means more planes can fly in a given airspace, which is particularly beneficial over the busy skies of the North Atlantic. If an aircraft is not equipped with satellite communication capability, it must maintain the 100 nautical mile separation, and is not permitted to fly in certain areas.

Increasing airspace capacity also leads to more aircraft being able to choose optimum flight levels, saving time and fuel.

The US$890 million saving is a major part of the US$1.1 billion total ATC saving identified by the study. Other benefits that satcom provides to ATC include:

  • Individually-tailored flight plans that save time and fuel
  • Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure, which allows airborne rerouting of aircraft when data indicates a more efficient route is available, for example due to a change in weather conditions
  • Tailored arrivals, where arrival times are planned to allow an ideal descent route and to avoid holding patterns
  • Procedures in some oceanic regions to allow aircraft to climb or descend through an altitude that is already occupied by another aircraft

A further US$1.9 billion is saved thanks to the ability of aircraft to communicate with their Airline Operations Centre (AOC). AOC applications use real-time information to help airlines improve flight safety or provide a more efficient service at a lower cost. Delay management and scheduling is improved, fleets and flight crew can be better managed, maintenance can be taken care of and turnaround time on the ground is reduced.

Traditionally AOC communication is provided by the exchange of simple text messages between the pilot and the controller. As satcom bandwidth capacity increases, bringing broadband connectivity to the cockpit, there will be an explosion of IP-based AOC applications, allowing airlines to further optimise flight operations and fleet management. For example, an aircraft’s health can be constantly monitored, and any maintenance issue signaled ahead to the ground crew so parts and maintenance staff are ready as soon as the aircraft lands. Until now, most maintenance information was delivered upon landing, with potential for delaying speedy resolution of an issue.

Broadband connectivity will also help with urgent ATC demands, as our skies see ever more traffic. By 2030, there will be more passengers in the sky each year (7 billion) than there are people on the ground right now. They will fly in 40,000 aircraft, the majority of which will be connected.

The Helios study looked at benefits over oceanic regions, but it also highlights how satcom can complement existing ground-to-air data communications over land too. Savings over continental regions could equal those over the oceanic regions. For example, in the congested airspace of Europe, the Iris Precursor project has been established by the European Space Agency with support from Inmarsat and other aviation companies. It uses satcom to allow precise ‘4D’ flight path control, which optimises flight speed and descent profiles. It is designed to dramatically reduce delays, particularly around large hubs.

Nick McFarlane, Managing Director at Helios, said: “This is the first time that the benefits of satellite communication have been quantified and the results are impressive. The technology has already delivered huge benefits to the industry and emerging applications mean the trend is set to continue, in fact it is set to accelerate.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This study shows how satellite communication has already done so much to improve the safety and efficiency of the skies. With the arrival of IP-based applications and new data-hungry cockpits, secured satcom enables cloud-computing and sensor fusion and delivers a step-change in critical safety data, as well as improved operational performance of today’s fleets. The potential to enhance the safety and efficiency of air travel is unlimited.”

Inmarsat pioneered cockpit data with the launch of Classic Aero back in 1990 and is today the leading service provide with 95 per cent market share. SwiftBroadband-Safety, its new IP-based broadband platform for the flight deck,brings aircraft connectivity to new levels. Always-on, always-secure high-speed broadband in the cockpit delivers much faster communication and a host of new safety and efficiency applications.

This week, IFExpress has a lot of new product/services probably announced as Aircraft Interiors, Hamburg, 4 – 6 April, 2017 approaches. This ‘Big Deal IFEC’ show is the culmination of Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg 3 – 6 April. We will have more on the expo later but let’s return to the topics of this weeks IFExpress:


INMARSAT
Inmarsat has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS). As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers traveling throughout Europe. The SAS is located in the Greek town of Nemea and operated under an agreement with OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece and member of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Engineers undertook rigorous performance and stability tests to verify the SAS’s capabilities to serve as a reliable and robust gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite and the internet. The SAS consists of a 13-meter antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network provided by Inmarsat partner Cobham SATCOM. And if you want to see a video that does a good job of explaining the program, check out the video on  youTube


IFPL
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2017 in Hamburg. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A. Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL is currently developing a range of USB–C 3.1 peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand 2C10, we are told, can see their USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their high power and data USB-A 2.0 and we covered it IFExpress. These are now in-service along with IFPL’s clever reversible option. Recently, IFPL has worked closely with GORE to develop the new USB-A 3.0 module, that combined IFPL USB 3.0 with GORE Aerospace USB 3.0 cables and provides the ideal solution for delivering high power (2A, 5V DC) and data transfer (up to 5Gbps) as per USB 3.0 requirements. This gives passengers the ability to maximize the benefits of both charging their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and interfacing with the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system.

IFPL has also enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand. In addition, IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensure ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly design the USB outlet into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2017 may have.

Editor’s Note: IFPL is based on the Isle of Wight, just off the South Coast of England. Founded 20 years ago by CEO Geoff Underwood, IFPL today enjoys one of the largest portfolio of proven IFEC products and services in its sector.


SITAONAIR
Airline passengers flying to and from the Ivory Coast can now expect a connected experience, as national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire (VRE), signs up for inflight passenger connectivity services from world-leading provider SITAONAIR. The new deal will deliver connectivity solutions to VRE’s brand new A320s, in the form of SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR products. With Internet ONAIR onboard, airlines can offer passengers seamless inflight internet access, connecting their personal devices by opening a browser – just as they would with a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Airlines can use Internet ONAIR to personalize their passenger relationships by developing a portal that can offer an interactive and engaging experience for the passenger. It also offers opportunities for airlines to grow their ancillary revenues. Mobile ONAIR, meanwhile, offers passengers an airborne mobile phone service that enables them to make phone calls, send texts and use their mobile phone data inflight, through an extensive number of roaming partners in Africa and across the world. In June 2017, SITAONAIR’s teams will begin activating Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR on five new Air Côte d’Ivoire A320s equipped with Airbus’ Airline Network Architecture (ALNA) server platform. The services will make use of SwiftBroadband, an IP-based data service from Inmarsat that SITAONAIR, as distributor, will operate as service provider.


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers. Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.


AIRBUS
When Lufthansa’s new long-haul Airbus A350-900 enters service this coming Friday, passengers will experience a cabin lighting concept tailored to the human biorhythm for the first time – 24 different lighting scenarios on board ensure that passengers reach their destination well-rested and with less jetlag than is typical for a long-haul flight. The scientific concept for the new lighting technique originates with the “jetlite” startup, anchored in the aviation cluster, and was brought to market-readiness assisted by the six-month Airbus BizLab accelerator program.


PANASONIC AVIONICS
Effective immediately, Hideo Nakano will serve as CEO of Panasonic Avionics, succeeding Paul Margis, who has left the company. Mr. Nakano is an avionics industry veteran and was most recently the Deputy CEO of Panasonic Avionics. His previous experience at Panasonic includes serving as CFO of Panasonic’s Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, the largest of Panasonic Corp.’s four internal companies, as well as CFO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Panasonic Avionics has also appointed Mark Jennings to serve in the new position of Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Mr. Jennings will be responsible for duties related to operations, engineering, sales and marketing. Mr. Jennings joined Panasonic Avionics in 1998 as Regional Director based in Dubai and most recently served as Vice President of Operations. Additionally, Seigo Tada has been named Chief Financial Officer of PAC. He succeeds Paul Bottiaux, who has left the company. Mr. Tada will maintain his position as VP of Finance and Controller of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Mr. Tada joined Panasonic in 1985 and has held roles of increasing responsibility within the finance function throughout his time with the company, including ten years in the United States. You can read more here.


LUFTHANSA TECHNIC
LT just completed Ka Band connectivity on it’s first VIP A330 and installing similar technology on some 32 Lufthansa A320 planes PER MONTH!


GLOBAL CONNECTED AIRCRAFT SUMMIT
Here is the agenda. The summit happens Wednesday, June 7, through Friday, June 9. this year.


MORE

Advanced technology at satellite access station in Greece successfully validated, bringing passengers closer to unprecedented in-flight broadband on European flights

United Kingdom | February 6, 2017–
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS).

As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers travelling throughout Europe.

The SAS is located in the Greek town of Nemea and operated under an agreement with OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece and member of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Engineers undertook rigorous performance and stability tests to verify the SAS’s capabilities to serve as a reliable and robust gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite and the internet.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “The European Aviation Network offers a broadband experience like no other in the sky by combining satellite coverage with additional capacity from the ground network. Passengers can connect using their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services. There are also important cost and operational benefits for airlines, as the EAN system is highly compact and weighs only a few kilos.

“The results of infrastructure testing at the satellite access station in Nemea, conducted with our partners Cobham SATCOM and OTE using a satellite simulator, have exceeded expectations and reinforced our confidence prior to the scheduled launch of our S-band satellite in the middle of 2017. We remain on track for EAN’s service introduction later in the year.”

The SAS consists of a 13-metre antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network provided by Inmarsat partner Cobham SATCOM.

  • Initial installations already completed for latest airline customer from Lufthansa Group

United Kingdom | December 22, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that Eurowings is the latest airline from the Lufthansa Group to select its advanced new GX for Aviation in-flight broadband solution.

GX for Aviation will initially be equipped on 69 Airbus A320 family aircraft from the Eurowings fleet, with the option to add additional aircraft. The first installations have already been completed by Lufthansa Technik and testing is scheduled to commence in the New Year. All aircraft covered in this agreement are expected to be fitted out by the middle of 2017.

Eurowings will be the first low-cost carrier to offer GX for Aviation, the world’s only in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. The service allows passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with connectivity on par with broadband on the ground.

In addition, Inmarsat’s GX for Aviation service will be integrated with the existing in-flight entertainment system based on Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect platform.

The contract is part of a 10-year strategic agreement between Inmarsat and the Lufthansa Group, which included the selection of GX for Aviation for Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of over 180 aircraft. The ground-breaking service will also be deployed on more than 30 Austrian Airlines’ aircraft from the Airbus A320 family, with installation and testing currently underway. Inmarsat partner Deutsche Telekom will be the Internet Service Provider for Eurowings passengers.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This contract is the perfect way to close an incredible year for Inmarsat Aviation, with GX for Aviation going live and being selected by some of the world’s leading airlines. We look forward to working with Eurowings as our latest airline customer from the Lufthansa Group and the first low-cost carrier that will offer GX for Aviation.

“Airline passengers want to be connected and Eurowings recognises the commercial benefits of committing to GX for Aviation. It is the only high-speed in-flight broadband solution with uninterrupted global coverage powered by a single operator. Our global satellite infrastructure offers a seamless service, allowing us to provide high quality connectivity whenever and wherever it’s needed, even over Europe, the world’s busiest air traffic space.”

Oliver Wagner, CEO of Eurowings, said: “Eurowings has always been one of the industry’s technology leaders: We are the first low-cost airline to offer our passengers a leading in-flight entertainment system paired with broadband Internet. So the cooperation with Inmarsat Aviation regarding Internet access is a logical conclusion: technically speaking, the company currently provides the most innovative and most powerful solution available. Our customers can soon look forward to high-speed Internet on-board our aircraft.”

Eurowings will connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

  • Iris Precursor programme aims to significantly optimise European airspace capacity, leading to overall reductions in flight times, fuel burn and CO2 emissions

United Kingdom | December 20, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has successfully completed the first flight trials for Iris Precursor, a ground-breaking project to enhance and modernise air traffic management over European airspace.

Iris Precursor focuses on the development and deployment of secure satellite-based data link communications to significantly optimise European airspace capacity, leading to overall reductions in flight times, fuel burn and CO2 emissions. Iris Precursor aims to complement existing terrestrial data link communications (VDL2), which are expected to reach capacity in the near future.

Inmarsat is conducting the Iris Precursor programme with a consortium of leading companies from across the air traffic management, air transport, aeronautics and satcom industries, under the European Space Agency (ESA) umbrella. The programme, which is supported by ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES), will deliver services via Inmarsat’s secure next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety platform.

Four test flights were conducted from Amsterdam under an initial phase to validate the use of satellite-based data link for secure communications and surveillance applications, and compare the capabilities to existing terrestrial data link communications. They were operated on aircraft from the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) using a prototype of the Iris terminal developed by Honeywell and connected to Inmarsat’s next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety service through Inmarsat’s aviation partner, SITA, the world’s leading air transport IT and communications specialist.

Each of the flights travelled in different routes, covering all directions to ensure connectivity was maintained as the aircraft crossed satellite beams. The end-to-end connection between the aircraft and SITA’s Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) test ground system was tested extensively and allowed air traffic control messages to be exchanged using Aeronautical Telecommunications Network and Security gateways.

While the Iris Precursor programme will initially focus on continental Europe, it will also benefit air traffic management in other regions around the world in the longer term.

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services, said: “Efficiency improvements are fundamental to aviation modernisation programs in Europe. As air traffic volume continues to increase, the digitisation of the cockpit is one of the ways to alleviate current congestion on traditional radio frequencies and optimise European airspace, one of the busiest in the world. Using the power and security of satellite connectivity through Iris clearly changes the game in comparison to the ground technology in use today.

“The successful completion of these flight trials brings Iris Precursor an important step closer to initial operational capability, which is currently targeted for 2019. It demonstrates that the use of satellite technology for dense continental airspace is not only a long-term solution, but also a reliable system in the short-term to solve air traffic management issues today.”

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said: “ESA’s Iris programme is forging ahead as part of Europe’s long-term goal to modernise air traffic control. A stepped approach and good collaboration between public and private partners is bringing excellent results.”

The flight trials complement a separate test flight that Airbus conducted with Inmarsat and other partners in March this year, as part of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme, which successfully performed initial 4-dimensional/4D flight path control and CPDLC exchanges between aircraft and air traffic control.

Inmarsat is now working toward a second phase of flight trials for Iris at the end of next year. At this point, Iris technology will be considered fully validated. The next phases of the programme include pre-operational validation by flying Iris technology on commercial flights in a real air traffic management environment. The Iris Initial Operational Capability will go live as early as 2019, complementing terrestrial systems and bringing enhanced security, safety and efficiency.

United Kingdom | December 8, 2016– Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has today signed a contract with Arianespace to launch its S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network (EAN) on an Ariane 5 heavy lift launch vehicle. The EAN payload is part of a ‘condosat’ constructed by Thales Alenia Space, which incorporates a second payload for Hellas-Sat. The condosat is scheduled to be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana in mid-2017.

The condosat was originally scheduled for launch with SpaceX. However, following the delay in SpaceX’s launch schedule, Inmarsat and Hellas-Sat took the decision to move the condosat to an Arianespace launch.

Inmarsat will launch Inmarsat-5 F4, a Global Xpress (GX) satellite, with SpaceX. This launch is planned for H1 2017 and Inmarsat is looking forward to continuing to work with SpaceX going forward.

“We are delighted with flexibility that Arianespace has shown in being able to provide a launch slot that enables us to place our European Aviation Network S-band satellite in orbit by mid-2017,” said Michele Franci, CTO, Inmarsat. “This launch schedule supports the introduction of our ground-breaking integrated satellite and air-to-ground network, developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, which will deliver a very high capacity broadband Wi-Fi experience for passengers flying throughout Europe.”

  • Inmarsat Aviation’s high speed broadband a “world-class” solution for one the world’s leading carriers

New Zealand and the United Kingdom | December 7, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced that it has signed a contract with Air New Zealand to provide Global Xpress (GX) connectivity across the airline’s long-haul and short-haul fleets. GX for Aviation, the world’s first globally available high-speed broadband network designed for mobility, will be deployed by Air New Zealand to deliver a reliable, seamless broadband in-flight Wi-Fi experience across the world.

“We’re very excited about working with Air New Zealand. They’re an innovative organisation and have taken a fresh approach to finding the right connectivity partner,” says Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale.
“GX for Aviation is the only in-flight broadband solution that is fast, reliable and truly consistent, with seamless coverage across the world provided by a single operator. Our focus is on ensuring customers enjoy a frictionless inflight broadband experience,” continued Leo Mondale.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer, Avi Golan, said “We wanted a world-class solution that would meet the high expectations of our customers, offering both a consistent and reliable service. We then spent time testing the GX live experience on Honeywell’s B757 test aircraft, as part of Inmarsat Aviation’s global test tour. We‘ve been monitoring the developments in inflight connectivity for some time and with GX, we believe we will be able to offer broadband on-board in innovative ways that will further set Air New Zealand apart as one of the world’s leading airlines.”

For the first time, GX for Aviation connectivity will be integrated with Air New Zealand’s Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system provided by Panasonic. This was specifically requested by Air New Zealand and all parties have embraced the opportunity to come together to meet their needs.

GX for Aviation is the ideal solution for Air New Zealand. The global nature of the GX network means that Air New Zealand’s ultra-long-haul routes, across the Pacific and on to the United Kingdom are covered, whilst the ability to layer-in capacity over Air New Zealand’s key regional destination hubs, such as the East Coast of Australia, will ensure that the customer experience will be of consistently high quality.

The first GX-equipped aircraft are expected to begin proving flights in the second half of 2017, with services progressively available on Tasman, Pacific and long-haul fleets from the end of next year. It is anticipated that domestic routes will be added to the connected fleet from 2018.

Air New Zealand is joining a growing fleet of airline customers who have chosen GX, including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

  • Customer contract follows AERO-SATCOM’s appointment as GX Government Aero VAR

United Kingdom | December 6, 2016– AERO-SATCOM, the joint venture (JV) between Eclipse and NSSLGlobal, today signed an agreement with Inmarsat’s Global Government business unit which sees the JV appointed as Global Xpress (GX) Value Added Reseller (VAR) for the Government Aero market*. With Swift Broadband and Swift 64 distribution agreements previously signed, this latest development allows AERO-SATCOM to work alongside local partners to offer Inmarsat’s high performance Ka-band services. AERO-SATCOM’s first provisioning of aeronautical GX services will be through a local government-focused Inmarsat Service Provider for a fleet of Europe-based head of state aircraft.

The head of state aircraft retrofit begins in December with the service expected to be fully operational from February 2017. AERO-SATCOM will add value to the core GX service by supporting the delivery of onboard solutions developed by Eclipse that provide on-board bandwidth management, bandwidth optimisation and credit card payments for passenger internet access.

Shaun Flanagan, Sales Director, AERO-SATCOM said: “By using its globally available high throughput end-to-end satellite network, Inmarsat’s aeronautical GX Ka-band service brings higher levels of connectivity to aircraft, enabling video conferencing, seamless web browsing, live video streaming and file downloads. However, the aero global government market rarely wants a ‘standard’ package and values the expertise of AERO-SATCOM to add value through custom technologies that help them get the most from their data. Our ability to access a satcom laboratory installation of the aeronautical satcom system that supports Global Xpress gives AERO-SATCOM a big advantage in terms of better supporting customer demonstrations and developing these kind of custom-specific applications.”

Andy Start, President, Inmarsat Global Government, said: “For head of state aviation customers, the aeronautical GX service transforms the in-flight experience by offering a global on-board connectivity service that is secure, reliable and high-speed. AERO-SATCOM, with its perfect blend of experience, expertise and resources, is a key Value Added Retailer for the Inmarsat Global Government team and plays an important role in helping us roll out GX to this highly-specialised market.”

AERO-SATCOM meets the market need for an all-round aeronautical satellite communications company that bridges the gap between two complex industries; the Governmental Aircraft industry and government sector Mobile Satellite Services (MSS). The AERO-SATCOM team has the specialist skills required to meet all the technical, regulatory and commercial aspects of projects when customer requirements develop where these two industries overlap. AERO-SATCOM’s business model is based on creating strong partnerships with companies that can leverage its technical and regulatory skills with exposure to their local government markets.

United Kingdom | December 5, 2016– Hawaiian Airlines (HAL) has selected Inmarsat’s next generation IP-based SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform for installation on its new Airbus A321neo (new engine option) fleet.

Inmarsat’s SB-S service will deliver secure broadband connectivity via the Cobham AVIATOR 350D system to the flight deck for all voice and data applications on HAL’s new single aisle aircraft being line fit by Airbus.

The new agreement expands the current partnership between HAL, Inmarsat, Cobham and Rockwell Collins, established during on-going in-flight evaluations of Inmarsat SB-S and Cobham’s purpose-built AVIATOR solution on-board HAL’s Boeing 767-300 aircraft, as part of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervised technology evaluation.

Paradigm shift
SB-S is Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform offering global, high-speed, secure IP connectivity for the flight deck. It enhances airline safety and operations through more powerful and flexible communications and the availability of real-time, in-air information for pilots, crew and air traffic management.

It represents a paradigm shift in aviation safety services, delivering always on, always secure applications such as flight data streaming (“Black Box in the Cloud”) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, including networked graphical weather.

Rockwell Collins provides the managed service between the Inmarsat ground stations that enable the aircraft to seamlessly communicate with HAL’s host systems, ground crews and regulatory agencies anywhere in the world without interruption.

Airline innovation
Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “Airlines with eyes on the big picture are seeking innovative ways to achieve efficiency gains and dynamically manage their fleets through the use of digital solutions.

“We are pleased that Hawaiian Airlines has experienced the benefits of SwiftBroadband-Safety and has now chosen to expand its commitment to high speed broadband in the flight deck with its A321neo’s. Clearly, the evaluation has been a great success.”

Brian Anderson, Air Transport Sales Manager, Americas, Cobham SATCOM, said: “The selection is a direct result of the team’s recent success with the Hawaiian B767 program for the FAA evaluations of SwiftBroadband-Safety service which is affirming the reliability and performance of the Cobham hardware and the Inmarsat’s satellite network.”

Industry support
Inmarsat’s SB-S has received a high level of industry support, including the recent selection by Airbus of the Inmarsat solution for its A320 and A330 aircraft families and the successful ongoing evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines.

Recently, Inmarsat, Cobham and Hawaiian Airlines announced that SwiftBroadband-Safety and Cobham avionics had enabled in-air Electronic Flight bag connectivity for the first time with Hawaiian Airlines.

Watch Hawaiian Airlines pilots and Flight Operations leadership talk about the benefits of IP broadband in the flight deck in this video

Whitepapers
Inmarsat’s whitepaper ‘SwiftBroadband-Safety: The Future Of Aircraft Communications’ can be downloaded online here.

Inmarsat’s whitepaper ‘Black Box in the Cloud Solutions’ can be downloaded online here.

  • Cobham SATCOM’s leading role in supplying next generation avionics and broadband communications to increase safety and optimise fleet performance reinforced by agreement to install AVIATOR 350D on new A321neo fleet

Lyngby, Denmark | December 5, 2016– Leading manufacturer of satellite communications solutions Cobham SATCOM has announced that its AVIATOR 350D system has been selected by Hawaiian Airlines (HAL) for installation on its new Airbus A321neo (new engine option) fleet.

The Cobham system, supporting Inmarsat’s IP-based SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service, will deliver satellite connectivity to the cockpit for all voice and data applications on Hawaiian Airlines’ new single aisle aircraft and will connect to Cobham HGA-7001 High Gain antennas that are being line fit by Airbus.

The next generation IP-based broadband capabilities enabled by the Cobham solution enhance airline safety and operations through better communications and the availability of real-time, in-air information for pilots, crew and air traffic management.

This selection means that the AVIATOR 350D will be installed on the Hawaiian Airlines A321neo aircraft via the Avionics Support Group, Inc. (ASG) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) (FAA STC # ST04150AT), which has been granted for the A319, A320 and A321 families of aircraft.

The new agreement expands the current partnership between Hawaiian Airlines, Cobham, Rockwell Collins and Inmarsat, established during on-going in-flight evaluations of Cobham’s purpose-built AVIATOR solution and Inmarsat SB-S on-board Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft, as part of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervised technology evaluation.

Brian Anderson, Air Transport Sales Manager, Americas, Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are delighted to announce this selection by Hawaiian Airlines, which is the latest demonstration of how we are continuing to lead the way in the development of the next generation IP-based safety service SATCOM systems.

“The selection is a direct result of our team’s recent success with the Hawaiian B767 program for the FAA evaluations of SwiftBroadband-Safety service which is affirming the reliability and performance of the Cobham hardware and the Inmarsat’s satellite network.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “Airlines with eyes on the big picture are seeking innovative ways to achieve efficiency gains and dynamically manage their fleets through the use of digital solutions. We are pleased that Hawaiian Airlines has experienced the benefits of SwiftBroadband-Safety delivered through Cobham advanced AVIATOR avionics and has now chosen to expand its commitment to high speed broadband in the flight deck with its A321neo’s. Clearly, the evaluation has been a great success.”

Both Cobham SATCOM’s next-generation AVIATOR S Series and SB-S have received a high level of industry support, including the recent selection by Airbus of the Cobham and Inmarsat solutions for its A320 and A330 aircraft families and the successful ongoing evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines.

Rockwell Collins provides the managed service between the Inmarsat ground stations that enable the aircraft to seamlessly communicate with HAL’s host systems, ground crews and regulatory agencies anywhere in the world without interruption.

SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) is Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform offering global, high-speed, secure IP connectivity for the flight deck. It represents a paradigm shift in aviation safety services, delivering “always on, always secure” applications such as flight data streaming (“Black Box in the Cloud”) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, including networked graphical weather.

Dubai, UAE | December 5, 2016– Ahead of MEBAA 2016 Satcom Direct has announced that it is now authorized by Inmarsat’s Global Government Business Unit to provision and resell Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) service to global government customers for use in military, head-of-state and other government operations.

Satcom Direct (SD) has been appointed a Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Inmarsat’s GX mobile global broadband satellite network. GX delivers secure, end-to-end wideband connectivity that enables seamless airborne, naval and land operations. During MEBAA 2016 SD will be explaining to delegates why this is an ideal tool for those needing maximum connectivity in conjunction with maximum mobility. GX is a perfect fit for military and head-of-state communications needs.

“SD is honored to represent Inmarsat and to showcase GX and its benefits to the government market,” said David Greenhill, Satcom Direct president. “The high performance of the GX network allows us to deliver tailored solutions which meet complex government, military and VVIP requirements for secure and reliable connectivity.”

Inmarsat Global Government President, Andy Start, said: “We are very excited to add Satcom Direct to our stable of industry-leading companies that provide expertise and service to our government customers with Global Xpress capabilities. Satcom Direct has a long and successful history in the aviation sector and we are keen to work with them in the non-U.S. government sector.”

GX is the world’s first globally available Ka-band mobile broadband satellite network, providing very high bandwidth services to end-users on land, at sea and in the air, delivered through a resilient, secure waveform that is optimised for mobility. It integrates seamlessly with Inmarsat’s current L-band network

SD already is a VAR for the U.S. Government business unit, as well as Jet ConneX, the business aviation version of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service. SD was the first business aviation communication provider to provision and validate its services over the network.

Before we get into more Singapore IFEC stuff we wanted to mention that next year’s APEX EXPO 2017 will be held on September 25 – 28 in Long Beach, CA USA. Check out the APEX website for more info. Now, on to APEX in Singapore:

Panasonic
While this year’s Panasonic booth was a blend of the “Cool Room” and the regular product displays, they were showing new products and solutions for the IFEC crowd. And finally, we got a communication focus on the application of advertising with the launch of Captify Inflight Marketing and advertising services. Captify, which is an advanced inflight marketing platform delivers all the key features needed by airlines, their external partners and paying advertisers. Since the platform comprises the software tools and support teams that power the largest inflight marketing solution in the world – reaching 1.3 billion travelers a year! Here is the big deal – Captify enables airlines to target by seat class, route, device, language, and passenger data. With no changes to on-board media, it can increase or decrease ad loads, cap the frequency of marketing campaigns, and deliver detailed usage data in real-time. This allows airlines to optimize promotions for a wide range of optional services, partnerships, loyalty programs, and paid advertising all within a compelling passenger experience.
The platform delivers video, native display, and sponsorship options for high-impact, fraud-free marketing with best-in-class targeting and results. Using this information, Captify helps airlines and their marketing and sales partners learn more about their customers by bringing together all the passenger and behavioral data, so airlines can gain intelligence and inform business or service strategies. Captify is built to fit any airline’s business model, with access for internal marketers, external sales teams, and ongoing trafficking and testing support from Panasonic. The full-service platform includes ground-side tools for scheduling and analytics of marketing campaigns; air-side servers and APIs to integrate with any aircraft’s inflight entertainment or connectivity systems; plus Panasonic’s dedicated service teams working hand-in-hand with airlines partners, media agencies, and content providers.
Next, Panasonic Global Communications (Panasonic), A Division of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, and Newtec – a specialist in designing, developing and manufacturing equipment and technologies for satellite communications – unveiled a new, high bandwidth satellite modem, which offers Panasonic customers twenty times the bandwidth of Panasonic’s current solution. Versions of this new modem will be available across Panasonic’s mobility markets including air transport, business aviation, maritime, cruise ships, mega yachts, and river cruises. Developed in partnership, the new modem is capable of exceeding 400 Mbps, and it can scale to meet the evolving needs of airlines and their passengers by facilitating the increasing bandwidth coming on stream over the next two years as High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) and Extreme-Throughput Satellite (XTSTM) services continue to be layered over Panasonic’s existing global network. This will expand network capacity from 2,300 MHz today to 15,000+ MHz by 2017.
The next-generation modem includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception and is also part of the Newtec Dialog® multiservice platform, which supports a wide range of verticals, including aviation and maritime. Featuring the award-winning dynamic bandwidth allocation Mx-DMA®, it combines the efficiency of SCPC with the dynamic bandwidth allocation capabilities of TDMA to deliver up to 300 percent more data than legacy Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) systems. Here’s the deal: By making a satcom beam narrower, Newtec delivers more power, and thus, use the full 150 MHz carrier. You remember Shannons theorem, right? This way they use a full 150MHz carrier – three times wider than Panasonic’s existing Ku-band systems. Very cool and speedy solution.
Lastly, we found Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service – it’s a unique and innovative service that simultaneously gives airlines real-time visibility into performance, improves the efficiency of its maintenance operations and also enables data transfer of passenger-facing content to an aircraft to improve the passenger experience. Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service will reduce an airline’s need to physically touch the aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard. By providing access to real-time passenger data, software, media and content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalized passenger experience. Updates will be sent to an aircraft via three high-speed pipes – Wi-Fi at the gate, aircraft cell modem, or even in flight using Panasonic’s global broadband eXConnect service. Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics, said: “As an industry leader and trusted partner for over 35 years, Panasonic understands the infrastructure and support airlines require. Our data-driven, real-time ZeroTouch service combines all areas of our in-house expertise to help airlines maximize the efficiencies of their business and reduce their operational expenses.”

Rockwell Collins
An announcement at the show caught us a little off guard – “Rockwell Collins to acquire B/E Aerospace for $8.3 billion in total consideration”, so we asked the RC Team about the deal but because it was so new it was a bit too early to get reliable report answers for our readers. The release went on to say, “Expected to generate run-rate pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $160 million. Transformative transaction accelerates growth and strengthens Rockwell Collins’ position as a leading supplier of cockpit and cabin solutions. “Double-digit accretive to earnings per share in first full fiscal year with expected combined five-year free cash flow generation in excess of $6 billion”, and “Diversifies and balances portfolio across OEM, airline and aftermarket.” Further it went on: “The transaction combines Rockwell Collins’ capabilities in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management systems with B/E Aerospace’s range of cabin interior products, which include seating, food and beverage preparation and storage equipment, lighting and oxygen systems, and modular galley and lavatory systems for commercial airliners and business jets. The acquisition significantly increases Rockwell Collins’ scale and diversifies its product portfolio, customer mix and geographic presence. On a pro forma basis, Rockwell Collins would have nearly 30,000 employees, $8.1 billion in revenues and $1.9 billion in EBITDA for the twelve months ending September 30, 2016.”
The story is probably like this: A lot of Rockwell Collins aviation earnings, including IFEC, vary greatly through the year and in many cases, IFEC may be down, while seating may be a hot item. This solution gives Rockwell a very well respected company to deliver another set of aviation products that they did not have. It also makes them a ‘nose-to-tail’ provider within that giant metal tube. And who knows, the integration of BEA into RC, may just further provide individual and combined sales products and events!

INMARSAT
One of the “big deals” in Singapore was Inmarsat, as they launched their GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution while there. GX operates at Ka-band, and unlike other solutions available today GX for Aviation is uniquely engineered to meet the needs of airlines and their passengers. Generally speaking, the higher the frequency the more bandwidth you can get out of the system, and the more bandwidth, the more users and the larger the data rates – bigger is definitely better in connectivity! The highly efficient Ka-band spot beams provide a foundation layer of global coverage designed specifically to serve high-speed users. But global coverage is only part of the story. GX offers the flexibility to add and redirect bandwidth where airlines need it most, across hub and traffic hotspots. And as demand inevitably grows, so will GX capacity, future-proofing airlines choice today. Imagine a cell network and since each satellite has 80 cells, the flexible cell approach allows the satcom receivers to hand over signals from one to another if one cell is overloaded (done today with L-band too). This is a big deal.
As we noted earlier, the GX Ka-band service is now live and Inmarsat will provide its advanced new GX for Aviation in-flight broadband solution to Austrian Airlines’ continental aircraft fleet under a new, recently announced contract. The Ka-band spot beams are extremely efficient and provide a foundation layer of global coverage specifically designed to serve a high-speed mobile audience. More than 30 Airbus A320 family aircraft from Austrian Airlines’ fleet will be equipped with GX for Aviation. We understand that the new service will allow the airline’s passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with service levels on par with broadband connectivity available on the ground. We should note that the first installation and testing onboard Austrian Airlines aircraft is currently underway.
Also in the GX world, Honeywell and Boeing have recently signed a technical services agreement to develop technologies for the next generation of high-speed, in-flight wireless connectivity. The two companies will jointly research, test and develop the avionics hardware, software and potential aviation services that will utilize Inmarsat’s GX Ka-band satellites. The move addresses passengers’ increasing demands for faster, more reliable in-flight connectivity on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
(Editor’s Note: We can’t leave the Inmarsat story without reporting on their incredible booth in Singapore. It basically used virtual reality to tell visitors about 10 – 15 potential applications for the GX service from Inmarsat via VR headsets. First you are fitted with the headset and told that once in the viewing room, users could focus their headsets on the logo of one of the 10 – 15 potential areas of interest: ground connectivity, inflight operation, destination information and so on. Once a connection was established with the VR headset; the viewer was presented with a short audio/video scenario. Very clever and hopefully it will be at a future show!)

RUMORS/PREDICTIONS

  • We expect to see more consolidation from mid-level vendors before AIX and it is happening NOW!

INTERESTING NEWS
Here’s a new one, or at least one we have not seen: Latitude Aero is having a Warehouse Liquidation Sale on A319 seating…  “All reasonable offers accepted” – Check it out!

  • New agreement is part of Inmarsat’s cooperation with Lufthansa Group

United Kingdom | November 11, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, will provide its advanced new GX for Aviation in-flight broadband solution to Austrian Airlines’ continental aircraft fleet under a landmark new contract announced today.

More than 30 Airbus A320 family aircraft from Austrian Airlines’ fleet will be equipped with GX for Aviation, the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. The advanced new service will allow the airline’s passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with service levels on par with broadband connectivity available on the ground.

The first installation and testing onboard Austrian Airlines aircraft is currently underway.

The Austrian Airlines contract is part of a 10-year strategic agreement announced last year between Inmarsat and the Lufthansa Group, which included the selection of GX for Aviation for Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of over 150 aircraft. The service recently went live under a ‘soft launch’ phase on selected aircraft with Lufthansa and commercial passenger services are expected to start with the airline soon.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Austrian Airlines as our latest GX for Aviation customer. This announcement is particularly special for us, as it comes soon after we unveiled that the service is now live after five years of development.

“For too long, airline passengers have struggled with either substandard or non-existent connectivity onboard their flights. GX for Aviation marks an important turning point. Broadband services are now available in the sky, so you can browse the internet, stream videos, download files, check and update your social media, just as you have been doing on the ground. Our airline customers understand that service differentiators such as high-speed broadband on flights are key to meeting the expectations of today’s passengers and therefore strengthening their position in a highly competitive market.”

Singapore | October 26, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced that its Value Added Reseller, Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), has been awarded a significant contract by a leading short and long-haul European airline for Inmarsat’s new ‘GX for Aviation’ service.

The agreement, which builds on and extends Inmarsat’s 20-plus-year partnership with Rockwell Collins, is currently expected to be for in excess of 125 aircraft. It will see the aerospace solutions provider’s PAVES™ wireless in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solution being installed onboard the airline’s new fleet.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX for Aviation is the only in-flight broadband solution that is fast, reliable and truly consistent, with seamless coverage across the world provided by a single operator. We are delighted that our partner Rockwell Collins has secured this significant commitment by a major European airline and look forward to working together on the service rollout.”

Ken Schreder, Vice President, Strategic Programs at Rockwell Collins, said: “We are redefining the connected aviation ecosystem by enabling world-class passenger connectivity and enhanced airline operations in partnership with Inmarsat Aviation. Our vision is of connectivity-enabled aircraft operating as secure nodes on an airline’s enterprise IT infrastructure.”

GX for Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground.

Other airline customers of the game-changing solution include Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

  • Advanced global in-flight connectivity solution goes live onboard selected flights, allowing passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more

Singapore | October 25, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced that its next generation in-flight broadband service, GX for Aviation, has gone live under a ‘soft launch’ phase with Lufthansa.

The landmark achievement was unveiled during an evening reception organised by Inmarsat for airlines, partners and the media at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, where the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is currently hosting its prestigious annual exhibition.

GX for Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground.

Lufthansa will commence commercial passenger services with GX for Aviation next month. Other customers of the game-changing solution include Singapore Airlines and Air Astana.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “After several years of detailed planning and development, this is the moment that Inmarsat, and indeed the global aviation industry, has been waiting for. GX for Aviation is now live and offering unparalleled in-flight broadband to passengers. We have moved from systems integration and testing to rolling out the most robust and comprehensive global connectivity solution for airlines across the world.

“GX for Aviation is not a patchwork solution. Our customers are not subject to the intermittent services and handover issues experienced by other providers. Billions of dollars and years of engineering have been invested to ensure that GX for Aviation delivers a solution that is not just robust, but transformative. Passengers using GX for Aviation will have on-the-ground levels of connectivity and uninterrupted access to the applications they use day-to-day, including email, web browsing, social media, video and music streaming, and online shopping, among others.”

Inmarsat was awarded a contract in October 2015 to provide in-flight connectivity services for passengers onboard Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of more than 150 aircraft. The contract formalised the start of a 10-year strategic partnership between Lufthansa Group and Inmarsat, and provided a framework to extend the service to other airline brands in the Group.

The go-live of GX for Aviation follows a successful cooperation with Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems, which together with Inmarsat have started the process of installing the broadband solution’s hardware and software on selected aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet.

Airlines will connect to the GX network using advanced new JetWave terminals produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell Aerospace, with over 300 aircraft already committed to the system and more to come. The exclusive terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

  • Partner network expands possibilities / New service for crew members

Raunheim, Germany | October 20, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that at this year’s APEX in Singapore it will present innovations relating to its multi-award-winning BoardConnect and BoardConnect Portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solutions as well as an additional feature for its mCabin crew app.

“Our developments in the IFE field are currently being shaped largely by the trends toward digital transformation and commercialization,” said Norbert Müller, Senior Vice President BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems. “Connectivity is becoming an increasingly important topic for airlines because passengers expect to be able to use the same online and streaming services on board as on the ground. Our BoardConnect platform is the ideal enabler for this. We have also expanded our partner network so that airlines can tailor their IFE offers perfectly to the needs of their respective target groups.”

Together with Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems has established a long-term partnership to offer airlines a modern, multifunctional on-board IT platform with broadband access.

Thanks to the open software architecture of the BoardConnect platform, partner services in the areas of entertainment, infotainment and ancillary revenues can also be integrated easily. The diverse, high-quality offers benefit passengers as well as airlines, since integrated ads and services provided through subscriptions generate additional revenues. Together with its partners, Lufthansa Systems covers the entire travel chain, from researching a trip, to booking a flight, hotel and excursions, and finally following up after the journey.

Lufthansa Systems will use sample language versions for the Asian market, including Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian, to demonstrate the attractiveness of its BoardConnect platform for airlines worldwide. The services can also be easily adapted to other languages.

BoardConnect enables passengers to stream content to their own tablets or smartphones during a flight. In addition to the permanently installed “classic” version of BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems offers a flexible BoardConnect Portable solution. Its advantage is that all of the technical components are combined in a single device which can be installed quickly and easily on any aircraft. BoardConnect Portable received the renowned Crystal Cabin Award in spring 2016.

Lufthansa Systems will also be presenting a new module for its mCabin crew app at APEX. mCabin/CityGuide is an exclusive guidebook platform for the crew with local information about all of an airline’s destinations. In addition to layover information such as contact details, the crew hotel and pick-up times, the app offers tips and tricks for excursions and restaurants. The tips are entered by the crew itself, which makes the app a highly personalized crew travel guide. Crew members can rate and comment on locations they have already visited, so these recommendations are continually updated and optimized. Crew management has an editing and administration tool at its disposal to check entries and update content as required.

Prior to departure and during the flight, the mCabin crew app provides the cabin team with all of the passenger service information they need, including a passenger manifest complete with information about the passengers’ seats, status, food preferences and special requirements. And to bring mobility to IFE, the BoardConnect crew front-end has been integrated into mCabin.

APEX will take place from October 24–27 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore. Visit Lufthansa Systems at stand 1737.

  • MOU recognises SwiftBroadband-Safety’s market leading position and potential to increase airline profitability, capacity and safety through digital cockpit solutions

United Kingdom | October 19, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to appoint SITAONAIR as a distribution partner for its next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety aviation service.

A pre-agreement between the two companies has outlined the intention for SITAONAIR to supply commercial airlines and business aviation operators with SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service from Inmarsat that will transform cockpit and aircraft operations.

SwiftBroadband-Safety represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services by utilising secure IP-based broadband connectivity that far exceeds the capabilities of other alternatives in the market. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).

SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft today and is scheduled to become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries from 2018. The service builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data service to 95% of the world’s trans-oceanic aircraft fleet.

Inmarsat’s MoU with SITAONAIR marks the latest expansion of a successful partnership between both companies. SITAONAIR is currently a major distributor of Inmarsat’s Classic Aero satellite communications service and will now be able to provide migration options for existing customers to SwiftBroadband-Safety. It also provides the global aviation industry with access to Inmarsat’s current in-flight broadband service, SwiftBroadband, and its next generation offering for commercial airlines (GX Aviation) and business aviation (JetConneX).

SwiftBroadband-Safety has received a lot of industry support that has reinforced its status as the flightdeck communications platform for the future, including its recent selection by Airbus for its A320 and A330 aircraft families, and successful ongoing trials by Hawaiian Airlines.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “SITAONAIR has been a trusted partner of Inmarsat for over 25 years. Together we have been providing benefits for the wider airline industry, such as enhancing trans-oceanic flights, optimising routes and reducing fuel consumption. We plan to continue this progress in the future as the benefits of secure broadband are brought into the cockpit.

“The aircraft is now a fully connected node of the airline’s IT network. Inmarsat is the only global provider to offer both reliable, secure cockpit communications as well as the most advanced passenger connectivity, allowing our airline customers to customise data solutions.”
David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety is a transformational step for the industry and we are proud to include it in our service portfolio as a powerful enabler of SITAONAIR’s nose-to-tail connectivity solutions. Through our engagement with the airlines, SITAONAIR believes the industry is ready to embrace SwiftBroadband-Safety’s secure IP-based services to the cockpit. We are developing services and applications that will leverage this secure IP-based communications services platform to enhance both safety and operational efficiency.

“We aim to offer simple service packages that include generous data allowances to ensure that managing crew communication costs becomes much simpler and enable airlines to fully unleash the potential of next generation cockpit and air traffic control technology. These packages will also power global worldwide flight tracking at no additional connectivity cost. We are pleased to extend and expand our work with Inmarsat in delivering this new capability.”

● Rockwell Collins will distribute Inmarsat SwiftBroadband-Safety to aviation industry
● Agreement lays foundation for smooth transition to IP-based aviation safety services

London, UK | October 18, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), a leading provider of aviation electronics and communications, have announced plans to expand their strategic relationship to include the new SwiftBroadband-Safety service for cockpit and aircraft operations.

Rockwell Collins is a long-time provider of Inmarsat’s Classic Aero safety service as part of its information management solutions portfolio. Under a Letter of Intent (LoI) signed this week, it is now set to provide Inmarsat’s next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety service to both existing and new customers from across the aviation industry.

The agreement outlines the companies’ mutual interest and plans to work with airlines to develop and introduce a smooth and cost effective migration path from traditional flight deck connectivity solutions to new, higher bandwidth secure IP connections available through SwiftBroadband-Safety services.

SwiftBroadband-Safety represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services. It utilises secure internet protocol (IP) based broadband connectivity that exceeds the capabilities of other IP alternatives currently available in the market. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including global flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “Satellite communications has driven a significant expansion of air traffic over the world’s oceans, promoting global economic growth and expansion. Now, SwiftBroadband-Safety brings secure IP to the cockpit and its host of unparalleled capabilities for the aviation industry will drive even more expansion through greater efficiency, reliability and capacity at a lower cost per bit for the information exchanged.

“We are delighted to extend our successful relationship with Rockwell Collins to include this transformative new generation of aviation safety services. Rockwell Collins has the global market strength and capability to deliver these benefits to the aviation industry. Our confidence is further reinforced by Inmarsat’s current evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety with Hawaiian Airlines, which is being conducted with Rockwell Collins and continues to be extremely successful.”

Michael DiGeorge, Rockwell Collins Vice President of Commercial Aviation and Network Services, said: “The aviation community depends on safe, secure and affordable flight deck connectivity for critical operations that are vital to their business. The move to this advanced technology platform ushers in a new era of information and connectivity solutions for the global aviation industry. We anticipate strong demand from our existing and new ARINC GLOBALinkTM customers for SwiftBroadband-Safety services.”

The agreement will provide attractive incentives for upgrading to SwiftBroadband-Safety, together with price assurances for Inmarsat Classic Aero customers served by Rockwell Collins. New enterprise agreement options and shared corporate allowance packages are envisioned to offer additional new benefits, including simplified pricing models, increased flexibility, predictability and highly-competitive packaged data and services.

SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is currently available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft and will become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries starting in 2018. This capability builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data services to 95% of the world’s transoceanic aircraft fleet and Rockwell Collins’ high reliability, secure ARINC Global Network.

One interesting thing about an increase in connectivity, there is a plethora of uses for it that weren’t always in the planning stage! Our lead story this week is based on a use for connectivity that made the possibility of turbulent weather reporting a reality via the use of a flight crew tablet, a Flight Weather Viewer app, and of course Gogo connectivity.  The following is just one usage for increased connectivity on planes. Our image this week is one from the Gogo website and we thought you might find it an interesting addition to the weather story.

While today’s feature is a far cry from IFE, it is one of improved flight experience via connectivity. IFExpress was not surprised when we found out that the folks at Delta were involved in reducing the impact of inflight turbulence and so we did a bit of research. We asked Gogo what the story was and we were directed to Delta talks turbulence for a bit of background. Delta airlines has had their eyes on reducing turbulence impact for some time and to give you an idea of the magnitude of the turbulence solution, here is one sentence from the article that sums up the value of ‘working the problem’: “According to NASA’s Weather Accident Prevention Project, turbulence costs airlines approximately $100 million every year. It also makes customers and crews uncomfortable, and in rare cases, can even cause a few bumps and bruises on board.”

Obviously, the issue for Delta is turbulence, but the issue here for Gogo is connectivity, and when we contacted their communication source, Morgan Painter, she noted: “…we are really excited about this partnership and have heard great feedback from DL’s pilots around improved flight safety and efficiency – as the article mentions, some even have been calling it “an industry game changer”. This is just another partnership that gets us one step closer to the reality of a connected aircraft.” Aha, the magic words you will hear more and more about in the future… and the reason we found this turbulence solution intriguing relies on The Connected Aircraft. Gogo noted:Check out this link,  it includes information about our technologies, airline partners and vision for the connected aircraft.”

As we mentioned earlier, our rectangle is a picture of the aircraft hardware involved in the Delta solution which also employs a Delta Flight Weather Viewer App on the crew devices, all working through Gogo connectivity. Together the system and the crew get the information they need to make the right flight decisions to handle turbulence: climb, descend, slow down, or change route. “Predicting the where, when and intensity of turbulence is notoriously difficult to do. But Delta has developed a new, industry-leading app that’s helping pilots better spot and avoid it.”

“For Gogo, we are providing the broadband connection between the Delta tablet EFB (Microsoft Surface) and associated app and ground servers,” the company notes. Here’s what Delta says: “Setting Delta’s app apart from similar technology, the data is customized by aircraft type, since turbulence affects a 737 narrowbody differently than a much larger A330. It is also available in real time, thanks to fast and secure connectivity via Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi network, instead of through the traditional ACARS digital datalink system that’s been in place since the late 1970s. Bandwidth and network speeds offered by Gogo vs. legacy datalinks is a key difference inherent with our technology where latency is measured in milliseconds for supporting successful TCP/IP communications.”

With more than 16 commercial airlines, 2,800 connected aircraft (and some 7,000 business jets), Gogo is in a good place to help a lot of fliers. Network speed and data connectivity will certainly change the world of commercial flying… and besides it’s hard to enjoy inflight entertainment when the plane is bouncing all over the sky.

(Editor’s Note: We wanted to give our readers a view of what hardware is involved in the connectivity solution and that is why we chose the airplane graphic. You will probably understand the Ku antenna, onboard server, and internal cabin pax Wi-Fi antennas. However, there are two boxes that we had to get a bit more data on: KANDU and MODMAN. For you tekkies: “The MODMAN (Modem and Manager) is the interface between the antenna and our equipment, and is responsible for converting the satellite data stream. This in turn feeds into the onboard Gogo server and on to the cabin wireless access points, allowing your devices to connect over Wi-Fi. The KANDU (Ku/Ka Aircraft Networking Data Unit) is what physically controls the antenna. It interfaces with the aircraft navigational systems to control the movement of the antenna. The KANDU is also responsible for making sure the system reconnects to the right satellite as a single satellite can only cover a certain area, which means longer flights may switch between 2 or even 3 different satellites.” There, now you know… )


Panasonic:
Panasonic today announced that its weather division, Panasonic Weather Solutions, is providing ground operations weather forecasting to Denver International Airport. The company’s Forecasting Center of Excellence (FCoE) provides detailed station-based weather forecasting, as well as enhanced weather forecasting for significant convective and winter weather events.

Panasonic’s FCoE delivers unparalleled weather forecasting information, with days-out accuracy, via customized products that offer at-a-glance ease of use, while their meteorologists utilize highly-accurate and unique atmospheric datasets, as well as sophisticated 4D quality control and proprietary forecasting models, to provide Denver International Airport ground operations with state-of-the-art and unmatched forecasting for informed decision making.

CEO, Paul Margis, said: “Our Weather Solutions division sets the standard for world-class weather forecasting. We are proud to partner with Denver International Airport Ground Operations to deliver the most accurate weather information available for operational safety and efficiency.” He also noted: “Denver International Airport can be confident that the weather forecasting they receive from Panasonic will provide them with an operational advantage, from proper staffing levels to staging the right equipment and materials appropriate to the weather circumstance.”


Inmarsat:
A career in the rapidly expanding space industry is not just about launching and flying spacecraft according to Inmarsat, a world leader in mobile satellite communications. Announcing the company’s search for its next generation of ‘space pioneers’, the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Michele Franci, emphasised that to remain a global leader, Inmarsat is focused on attracting world-class engineering talent.Inmarsat’s third ‘Technology Development Programme’ (TDP), which was launched today at New Scientist Live in London with British ESA astronaut Tim Peake and graduates from Inmarsat’s second TDP programme, is designed to start the space engineering careers of five STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) graduates. The winning candidates, selected from UK and European universities, will have the opportunity to undertake a two-year placement with Inmarsat and the offer of a permanent position on the successful completion of the program.


SITA:
The Greater Orlando Aviation Administration (GOAA) today unveiled a new standard in airport displays that will span the length of five football fields to create a fun and interactive check-in experience for the 42 million passengers who travel to and from Orlando International Airport every year. SITA, the air transport technology provider, has partnered with Synect to design and install the ultra-high definition video wall, which fully integrates with the airport operational systems to deliver dynamic way-finding along with flight information, destination time and weather, security and gate information. In addition, the family-friendly airport can now display engaging games to entertain its young travelers and decrease perceived wait times.

The digital canvas, which will span 1,560 feet (475 metres), comprises more than 700 55” LG LCD screens to create a vast and continuous video wall, essentially creating digital wallpaper. The new digital experience at Orlando also includes installations from the curb side to the terminals, including outdoor digital displays, self-check-in and way-finding video walls.

  • Inmarsat launches its 3rd Technology Development Programme at New Scientist Live in London with British ESA astronaut Tim Peake

London, UK | September 22, 2016– A career in the rapidly expanding space industry is not just about launching and flying spacecraft according to Inmarsat, a world leader in mobile satellite communications. Announcing the company’s search for its next generation of ‘space pioneers’, the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Michele Franci, emphasised that to remain a global leader, Inmarsat is focused on attracting world-class engineering talent.

Inmarsat’s third ‘Technology Development Programme’ (TDP), which was launched today at New Scientist Live in London with British ESA astronaut Tim Peake and graduates from Inmarsat’s second TDP programme, is designed to start the space engineering careers of five STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) graduates.

The winning candidates, selected from UK and European universities, will have the opportunity to undertake a two-year placement with Inmarsat and the offer of a permanent position on the successful completion of the programme.

“We are looking for our next generation of engineers; STEM graduates who can help us pioneer in the rapidly evolving world of mobile satellite communications,” said Michele Franci, CTO of Inmarsat. “In return, we provide the opportunity for the successful candidates to contribute to real space engineering programmes and to establish themselves alongside some of the leading engineers in the field of satellite communications.”

Applications for the 2017-2018 programme were officially opened at New Scientist Live in the presence of Tim Peake and will close on 31st January 2017. The successful applicants will join Inmarsat for their two-year placement in September 2017.

Those who join the programme will have the opportunity to work across a range of specialised teams at Inmarsat, including space system development, system architecture and strategy, service and network engineering, spectrum optimisation, cloud virtualisation and satellite operations. Predominantly based in London ay Inmarsat’s global headquarters, the role also offers opportunities to work in the company’s offices in the US and Europe.

Interested applicants – who will need a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant subject; with engineering highly desired – should visit www.inmarsat.com/technology-development-programme, where they will find a logic challenge, the solving of which forms the part of the application process. The candidate’s answers, CV and covering letter should be sent to: development.programme@inmarsat.com

First generation Inmarsat TDP graduate

Part of Inmarsat’s first generation of TDP graduates, Guillaume Marrakchi, described his experiences as part of the programme in a new blog.

I was one of the lucky five young graduates who joined the first generation Technology Development Programme (TDP) in 2015.

So far, the TDP has given me the opportunity to work on challenging and fascinating projects at the forefront of space telecommunications, ranging from future space systems engineering to advance predictive traffic modelling simulations.

This was something I could only imagine doing as an aerospace engineering student back in university in Toulouse. Whilst there, I remember reading about the ‘new space era’ and about this thriving thirst for innovation in the space industry, especially in the domain of telecommunications. Now after only a year of rotations within Inmarsat, I definitely see this company as an exciting place to start a career and take an active part in this new era.

Guillaume’s full blog can be found at www.inmarsat.com/blog/working-at-the-forefront-of-space-telecommunications.

United Kingdom and China | September 14, 2016: Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has signed an agreement with Beijing Marine Communication & Navigation Company (MCN) and Aviation Data Communication Corporation (ADCC) to provide aviation safety services to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and Operators.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was unveiled at ATC Global 2016, which is taking place in Beijing this week, and outlines MCN/ADCC’s intention to offer cockpit communication services, including Inmarsat’s Classic Aero and next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety services, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Classic Aero is a high-quality voice and data safety service currently used by most of the world’s airlines. It offers reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS) that meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) global flight tracking requirements.

SwiftBroadband-Safety utilises secure IP-based broadband capabilities that far exceed those of other connectivity alternatives. It offers global, high speed, connectivity for cockpit and aircraft operations, with airlines benefitting from greater efficiency, reliability and capacity at a lower cost. The solution is always on and always secure, delivering next-generation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications such as graphical weather.

Inmarsat’s partnership with MCN and ADCC is expected to be finalised later this year and fits with the announcement made earlier this year of plans for a MCN and Inmarsat joint venture to provide comprehensive aircraft cabin and connectivity solutions across the PRC.

Otto Gergye, Inmarsat Aviation’s Vice President of Airline Market Development, said: “Inmarsat is a trusted provider of aviation safety and operational services. More than 95% of the world’s oceanic aircraft currently use our services for communication, navigation and surveillance and we are set to achieve an important paradigm shift in cockpit communications with our advanced and highly-secure new SwiftBroadband-Safety service.

“We look forward to serving China’s aviation industry alongside MCN and ADCC. The country represents one of the largest growth markets in the world for aviation, with annual growth rates of more than 5% per year. Both in-service aircraft and passenger levels are expected to more than double in the next 20 years. Our partnerships with MCN and ADCC also reinforce Inmarsat’s commitment to supporting China’s One Belt One Road strategic vision.”

Song Zhen, Vice President of MCN, said: “MCN, ADCC and Inmarsat are strong leaders in their respective markets. This agreement is an important step in establishing a partnership that combines our individual strengths to provide China’s aviation industry with market-leading connectivity services for optimised cockpit and aircraft operations.”

Zhu Yanbo, Vice President of ADCC, said: “We are delighted to announce this agreement with MCN and Inmarsat. Together, we can support the growth and efficiency of China’s aviation industry by providing airlines with access to the best safety communications solutions in the market today, with the well-established Classic Aero service, and with the advanced next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety service.”

PXCom:

This week we have a lot of stories that will interest you and we thought we would start our offering with a light interview we recently had with a really nice guy, Cyril Jean of PXCom, located in France. Some three years ago, we met Cyril at an APEX luncheon where he joined our table with an introduction, a business card, and a conversation loaded both with future hope and enthusiasm. Whats not to like? So, after the few years of starting an inflight entertainment company we asked via email how it was going and he wrote the following answers. We thought you, our readers, might find them interesting:

1. Cyril, how many airplanes do you have service on today?

Answer: “We have 71 for Eurowings and 20 for Iberia Express.”

2. OK, what airlines can you mention that you are providing service to?

Answer: “For the moment Eurowings & Iberia. I think that within one month we will be able to operate on 3 new airlines.”

3. Please tell our readers how long have you been in the IFE business?

Answer: “PXCom was created 3 years ago, and yet we have been working in the IFE business for 10+ years.”

4. Cyril, could you please name you products/services for our readers.

Answer: “Our destination guides (see the image above) do not have a specific name. Also, the advertisers pay for a PXPage (interactive page integrated directly in the guide) or for a PXApp (microsite that can be accessed directly from the guide).”

5. Perhaps you could tell our readers where are you located and if this affects whom you service?

Answer: “We are located in Bordeaux (FRANCE), but our first customers (advertisers) are within Europe. With the upcoming additional airlines we intend to develop in Asia, Middle East and Americas.”

6. Please more completely identify your “products” or services for our readers as we know you are developing some interesting IFE solutions?

Answer: “We supply destination related services: from informative content (destination guides) to destination services (taxi booking, hotel pre-checking) – when we have the opportunity to supply onboard aircraft equipped with connectivity. We have also a second activity, soon live on the first airlines, which is Digital Inflight Advertising. Please note that this latter mentioned product will be subject to a specific PR release when it becomes live.”

7. Can you now give our readers an updated airline/product picture?

Answer: “For the moment it’s Eurowings our launch airline for the interactive guides, and we also provide Iberia Express with destination related advertising offerings. We have currently 7 other airlines in process for product integration, among which, 3 of them will be unveiled before end of September.”

Thanks Cyril! IFExpress will stay tuned to your growth… and you can reach him at cyril.jean@pxcom.aero and we are sure he would be happy to show you his IFE offerings! Or check out www.pxcom.aero


IFPL:

IFPL celebrated a major milestone this year supplying their two-millionth industry part to a key Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Now in their 20th year of trading, IFPL reached their two-millionth unit, just four years after the first million, demonstrating their continued sustainable growth in leading the way in IFEC peripherals. Chief Operating Officer, Tim Young, proudly accepted the two-millionth unit from the company’s Head of Production, Marcus Baker. Tim says, “It is a testament to the whole IFPL team, that the two-millionth part followed so soon after reaching our first million. IFPL investments in quality systems, manufacturing and product development capability combined with the development and introduction of new NFC, USB, audio jacks and passenger control units, means that we aim to reach our three-millionth unit even sooner.” The innovative IFPL two-millionth unit is IFPL’s Noise Cancelling Audio Jack (p/n 1155). IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology is designed to minimize cabin background noise – ensuring that aircraft passengers enjoy a more relaxed and restful journey, while also benefiting from clarity of sound via the passenger Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system. Passengers may still use their own noise-cancelling headphones, however IFPL’s INCAM enables the airline to provide noise cancelling to all its passengers by simply relocating the costly and complex headset electronics into the jack module. Therefore noise-cancelling headsets are not required, only the addition of inexpensive microphones in the ear cups that are used to pick up the ambient noise. This improved technology enables all aircraft passengers to benefit from a more enjoyable and enhanced in-flight experience. The 1155 Noise Cancelling Audio Jack is part of an extensive range of IFPL products and IFEC solutions, which includes the new reversible USB power and data module, Dual-pin MagSignal audio and the latest in NFC contactless payment technology.


HONEYWELL:

Honeywell has achieved final certification from Inmarsat for JetWave, the company’s package of exclusive hardware that will allow pilots, passengers, operators and maintenance personnel to connect to GX Aviation, the revolutionary new in-flight broadband service from Inmarsat. Users can consistently and more quickly surf the internet, check emails, stream music and videos, and shop online without drop-off throughout their flight, even when flying over oceans. The final type approval certificate confirms that the system functions as designed and completes the process to bring GX Aviation to the aerospace market. The certification centers on operation in all environmental conditions with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which comprises three satellites already launched and functioning. This ensures that passengers, pilots and other airline personnel have access to high-speed, consistent and reliable broadband service by GX Aviation on flights worldwide, with speeds similar to those experienced at home or in the office.


FTE:

The Future Travel Experience Global show is “Vegas” on Sept 7 – 9 and you can get all the info here.  Noted Daniel Coleman: “It has taken a lot of work, but I am very proud and excited by the plans for FTE Global 2016, with our valued event partners making great contributions to bringing the event to life: McCarran International Airport, APEX, ACC, AAAE and Airport Terminal of the Future.”


SITA:

AeroMod International and SITAONAIR today jointly announce a partnership to install SITAONAIR wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) services on Philippine Airlines. The rapid installation program will see AeroMod International deploy a consistent cabin experience across Philippine Airlines fleet and implement the systems in record time. This industry leader in avionics and airplane structural modification and repair services commenced installation of the SITAONAIR wireless IFE system on Philippine Airlines’ Airbus A321 fleet in July. Under the program, Philippine Airlines will have one wireless IFE-installed aircraft returned to service every day. Market analysis by AeroMod reveals that only 13 percent of non-U.S. airlines have wireless IFE fully deployed. Despite this, a recent SITA survey of passengers worldwide showed IFE is now more commonly consumed via Wi-Fi on a personal device, rather than on the aircraft’s seat-back screen (46% vs 44%, with 10% using both). Additionally, two thirds (65%) of passengers would choose to access it via their own devices if wireless IFE was available. “86 percent of passengers take a smartphone onto a plane and they would prefer to also use them to access IFE. These networks therefore need to be highly robust in order to deliver HD quality video to all passengers,” said David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR. “AeroMod has an enviable track record for installations that are both of exceptional quality and are turned around quickly, getting the planes back in the air as soon as possible.”


Satcom Info:

We wanted to point out one writer who weekly features the present and future of satcom usage and his name is Tim Farrar… a writer, speaker, and aficionado of that venue of connectivity. We thought you might find one chart that he has posted and since it talks about “who has what” in the satcom universe, you might find it interesting… a little bit of research on his site might also be useful… especially the SES chart he has included on the above mentioned link. But, there is a lot more there.


GEE:

Global Eagle Entertainment has entered into a global distribution agreement between GEE’s Entertainment in Motion and The QYOU, a leading provider of curated and hosted online short-form content for the Video Everywhere age. The broad-based deal gives GEE and its affiliated companies access to The QYOU catalog and new production targeting distinct passengers with peppy morning, family afternoon and late-night styled content. The video segments will cover various categories including extreme sports, artist spotlights, dance, beauty, and comedy. Content will be accessible on airline seatback portals and personal entertainment devices enabled by airlines and cruise liners. The agreement grants exclusive and worldwide airline and maritime distribution rights, and non-exclusive distributions rights in other U.S. and Canada non-theatrical markets.

On another GEE front, Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today launched a new interactive data dashboard designed to provide the traveling public with access to aggregated flight operations information for U.S. airlines and airports across the country. The dashboard, displayed at airlines.org, was produced in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (GEE) and will provide the current operation status for the top 30 U.S. airports by passenger volume.
A4A partnered with GEE to develop this dashboard as a resource for industry partners and others who have a need for aggregated on-time performance data at the airport level or based on current weather patterns. The dashboard, tapping into GEE’s unsurpassed aviation data analytics capabilities, is complete with scroll-over maps, real-time flight departures, completions, cancellations, on-time performance and weather conditions at the national and local airport level. This new resource also provides a detailed, rolling 30-day analysis of completed and canceled flights. GEE’s solution will enhance this offering by adding current analysis tools of all U.S. flight operations.