United Kingdom | October 26, 2017– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Deutsche Telekom, the leading integrated telecommunications company, have successfully completed the first flight trials to test both the satellite and complementary ground network for their European Aviation Network (EAN) service.

EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation solution to combine space and ground based components to deliver robust, ultra-lightweight, high-speed inflight broadband to airlines. The recent flights demonstrated that EAN meets its design performance in practice; a significant milestone for the project consortium, as well as European airlines and their passengers.

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom conducted the evaluation with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR. The aircraft was flown across Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, covering approximately 5,000 km of European airspace, to test integration of the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and Complementary Ground Component (CGC) terminals. Further flight trials are scheduled over the coming weeks.

Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam said: “These flight trials, together with the recent news that Ofcom in the UK is the latest European regulator to authorise the ground-based stations as part of the EAN, moves the project a step closer to commencing commercial service with our launch customer, which we expect to take place in the first half of 2018. This will be a game-changer for the airline market, offering passengers a new gold standard in resilient and scalable inflight broadband, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance.”

Inmarsat’s EAN satellite, which completed its in-orbit tests last month after being launched by Arianespace, works seamlessly with a complementary network of around 300 LTE-based ground stations, operated by Deutsche Telekom, using an Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM) platform. International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world-renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service.

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President, International Wholesale Business at Deutsche Telekom, said: “European airspace is one of the busiest in the world and passenger volumes are expected to double in the next 15 years, with an increasing number of people wanting to stream videos or send e-mails at the same time whilst in the air. A combined system that seamlessly integrates satellite connectivity with a complementary LTE-based network on the ground will create the much-needed additional capacity to meet demand now and in the future.”

A recent study quantifying the commercial opportunities of inflight connectivity, ‘Sky High Economics’, forecasted that European airlines which successfully deliver new broadband enabled ancillary services to passengers will benefit from an extra $8.2 billion in revenue.

United Kingdom | October 19, 2017–Inmarsat is pleased to announce it has recently joined the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (A-ISAC), the trusted international membership association for sharing cybersecurity information targeted at the aviation sector.

As part of the A-ISAC, Inmarsat joins a global contingent of aviation industry companies working collaboratively to develop and share timely and actionable information related to best practices, protective measures, threats and vulnerabilities. A-ISAC members are located on five continents and are leaders in theairline, airport, platform, satellite, and equipment manufacturing segments of the industry.

“Our decision to join the Aviation ISAC was driven by our desire to be proactive in protecting our systems from potential cyber-attacks,” said Joseph Teixeira, Inmarsat Vice President, Aviation Safety and Cybersecurity. “Companies can no longer operate as separate entities to keep pace with the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape. By being part of one association, we receive real-time updates and are networked across the global aviation ecosphere, expanding our security management capabilities exponentially. Inmarsat is proud to be part of the aviation association that is working to create a safer and more resilient global air space. ”

A-ISAC Executive Director, Jeff Troy highlighted the importance of Inmarsat’s membership in the association. “Protecting its products and networks is a top priority for Inmarsat. Cyber protection is a core component of the company’s security plans and by joining the association Inmarsat will play a key role in sharing best practices and helping the sector to innovate. We look forward to working with them as part of the A-ISAC community.”

Inmarsat is engaging with the A-ISAC at many levels, including organisational summits and workshops and participation in secure information exchanges with fellow members.

Experimental aircraft to showcase cutting-edge technology that enhances safety and operations for the global aviation industry

September 19, 2017–
Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, will demonstrate its advanced new SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) solution in a flight trial with FLYHT, a leader in real-time aircraft intelligence and cockpit communications.

The evaluation will commence later this year using an experimental trial aircraft that enables a range of conditions to be assessed. It will use the capabilities of Inmarsat’s next-generation SB-S solution to provide secure, high-speed global connectivity to enhance airline safety, security and operations. FLYHT will provide equipment and software, including its Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRSTM) product and UpTimeTM Cloud flight management server, together with technical support for the flight trial.

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat, said: “This important flight trial will showcase the advanced capabilities of SwiftBroadband-Safety, together with FLYHT’s powerful platforms, to provide operational benefits to airlines in the form of real-time aircraft diagnostics, performance monitoring, detection of exceedance-critical parameters and improved operational efficiency.

“In addition, we will demonstrate how our currently available technologies can provide the industry with cost effective solutions to emerging safety requirements, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s imminent new requirements on aircraft flight tracking.”

Tom Schmutz, FLYHT’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a great opportunity for FLYHT to work directly with Inmarsat and install our newest technology solution on an aircraft that can demonstrate Inmarsat’s “Black Box in the Cloud” capability. FLYHT brings significant expertise in the areas of Autonomous Distress Tracking and the Timely Recovery of Flight Data and we look forward to testing our solution with Inmarsat and the other trial partners.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s SB-S brings ‘always on, always secure’ high-speed broadband into the cockpit, transforming aviation safety and optimising flight operations to save airlines both time and money. SB-S is currently in use with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. It has been selected by Airbus as Light Cockpit Satcom solution on its popular A320 and A330 families.

Inmarsat’s world-leading safety and operations services are complemented by next-generation inflight passenger broadband solutions GX Aviation and the European Aviation Network (EAN).

Global distribution agreement provides airlines with access to next generation connectivity service for enhanced safety and operational efficiency

September 14, 2017– SITAONAIR, an industry owned consortium of integrated airline communications services and operational applications, has added Inmarsat’s next generation flightdeck connectivity solution SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) to its portfolio, as part of a renewed and expanded strategic agreement between the two companies.

SB-S is the first secure communications system for the flightdeck and meets stringent aviation requirements for safety and operational data exchange with the ground. Its global coverage is Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A compliant and delivers Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and safety and operational services over a robust, secured IP data link as well as multiple voice channels. SB-S hardware is smaller, lighter and has a lower cost of ownership than other market alternatives, saving space and weight, reducing fuel burn and making it suitable for all single-aisle and wide-bodied aircraft.

Building upon its successful long-term partnership with Inmarsat, this agreement will allow SITAONAIR to supply commercial airlines and business aviation operators with SB-S, including migration options for existing customers to install the new platform. The agreement carries forward critical existing services, while, at the same time, enabling airlines to benefit from a new set of secure, broadband IP services, that enable connectivity for applications and services. These include Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) for real-time in-flight updates, Graphical Weather for real-time enhanced situational awareness and meeting new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) mandates, and enabling real-time diagnostics and performance monitoring.

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM® at SITAONAIR, said: “We’re delighted to extend our relationship with Inmarsat and be able to add SwiftBroadband-Safety to our portfolio of integrated aircraft communications services. SB-S will prove critical in connecting existing cockpit applications and unleash potential as the industry is able to develop new applications and services around a dedicated secure IP connection to the cockpit.
At SITAONAIR we’re already integrating SB-S integral position reporting to enhance our AIRCOM® FlightTracker application, further supporting GADSS.”

SITAONAIR provides communications services to more than 16,000 aircraft worldwide and currently integrates Inmarsat’s Classic Aero and SwiftBroadband satellite communications solutions into its offering. The two services have been providing world-leading cockpit services to more than 90% of the world’s transoceanic wide-body aircraft fleet for more than 25 years.

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We have worked closely with SITAONAIR over the past 25 years to offer world-leading safety and operational efficiency satcom solutions to airlines. We are delighted to be moving this important partnership with SITAONAIR forward with the distribution of SB-S. This will drive the adoption of digital flight deck technology and deliver unsurpassed operational efficiencies and enhanced safety throughout the global aviation industry.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s SB-S brings ‘always on, always secure’ high-speed broadband into the cockpit, transforming aviation safety and optimising flight operations to save airlines both time and money. SB-S is currently in flight in evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. It has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom solution on its popular A320 and A330 families.

Satellite communications are estimated to have saved airlines US$3 billion over the past 15 years through improved operational communications and the ability to fit more aircraft in a given airspace through reduced oceanic separation, according to a study released by Inmarsat and Helios earlier this year.

United Kingdom | September 11, 2017– Inmarsat today confirmed that the European Aviation satellite has successfully completed its in-orbit tests and now stands ready to support inflight internet services when the European Aviation Network (EAN) goes ‘live’ later this year. The satellite, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, was launched by Arianespace in June this year.

EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. Inmarsat’s strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service.

The successful completion of spacecraft and payload testing of the S-band satellite further underlines the momentum that Inmarsat is building in the high-speed broadband inflight connectivity (IFC) market, which the company entered in October 2016 with the commercial introduction of GX Aviation, a worldwide service powered by its Ka-band, Global Xpress (Ka-band) satellite constellation.

Inmarsat now has over 1,200 aircraft installations expected under signed contracts for its IFC services. Mandates have been won from leading airlines worldwide including Avianca, Qatar Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Next generation inflight broadband solution installed on airline’s Boeing 767; Air Astana operating the world’s first widebody aircraft with GX Aviation in commercial use

Kazakhstan | September 7, 2017– Air Astana has become the first airline in the world to offer Inmarsat’s GX Aviation to passengers onboard a widebody aircraft, after the service went live onboard the airline’s initial Boeing 767. Air Astana selected the next generation inflight broadband solution through Inmarsat partner Rockwell Collins in a deal announced last year.

GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator, has already been installed on the first Air Astana Boeing 767. The service allows passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with advanced connectivity on par with broadband on the ground.

Air Astana passengers will be able to choose from three connectivity packages: The Light option will cover 15Mb, the Business option will cover 50Mb, and the Super option will cover 100Mb. All services are estimated to operate at an average speed of between 2-5Mbps.

GX Aviation will eventually be available on all three of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s, with system installation on its second aircraft planned be completed in October 2017.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “GX Aviation has already entered commercial service on narrowbody aircraft flights in Europe and the response from both passengers and cabin crew has been outstanding. As the only solution in the market today that has been specifically designed for inflight broadband, it offers unprecedented speed, reliability and consistency. Offering GX Aviation on widebody aircraft was our next major milestone and we are delighted to have achieved that with Air Astana and our partner Rockwell Collins.”

Retrofit installations now underway for Inmarsat’s next-generation inflight broadband service on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 aircraft

United Kingdom | August 29, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has obtained a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for GX Aviation retrofit installations on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 aircraft. The milestone follows an announcement in June that Qatar Airways will be the first Middle Eastern megacarrier to offer GX Aviation to passengers onboard more than 130 of its flagship aircraft.

The STC confirms approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the GX Aviation terminal installation, wiring and placement of Wireless Access Points and servers on-board the aircraft.

GX Aviation has already been equipped as linefit and is awaiting system activation on Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A350s, and following the STC approval, installations have now begun on a retrofit basis across the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. The retrofits will be undertaken by Qatar Airways maintenance teams during scheduled maintenance windows.

GX Aviation is the world’s first global, high-throughput satellite (HTS) service from a single operator. Its unique architecture allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos and check social media uninterrupted, with an on-board connectivity experience on par with mobile broadband services available on the ground. The next-generation service is expected to go live on Qatar Airways aircraft later this year, following an inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This is the first STC to be attained and managed solely by our team at Inmarsat, and taking this momentous step with one of the world’s leading carriers has strengthened our position as a key player in the inflight connectivity market.”

He continued: “With GX Aviation already equipped on Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A350s, the first Boeing 777 retrofit installation already complete and several more underway, we are now gearing up to launch GX Aviation across the flagship fleet. We’re looking forward to seeing Qatar Airways’ passengers experience consistent, reliable and high-speed Wi-Fi in the sky when the service goes live later this year.”

Several of Inmarsat’s industry partners will play key roles in the project with Qatar Airways. The fleet will use Inmarsat’s Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM); Honeywell Aerospace’s high-speed JetWave terminals will allow aircraft to connect to the GX Aviation network; and EAD Aerospace will provide their unique SUMS (SATCOM Universal Mounting System) installation solution and the associated engineering package.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing the opportunity of complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only single aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its industry standard safety and operations services.

United Kingdom | June 29, 2017– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has confirmed the successful launch of its S-band satellite (Inmarsat S EAN) for the European Aviation Network (EAN). The launch is a key milestone for Inmarsat’s unique EAN service, which is on course to commence commercial service in the second half of 2017.
The Inmarsat S-band satellite, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket by Arianespace at 22:15 BST/17:15 EDT from Kourou in French Guiana. Following satellite separation at 22:43 BST/17:43 EDT, telemetry from the satellite was acquired by Inmarsat’s Mingenew Ground Station in Western Australia at 22:50 BST/17:50 EDT.

The launch team from Inmarsat and Thales Alenia Space will now raise the satellite into its geostationary orbit over Europe and the Middle East, at which point the spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo rigorous payload testing.

Inmarsat’s EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. Inmarsat’s strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is confirmed as the launch customer for the new service. IAG has begun equipping its aircraft and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

The successful launch of the S-band satellite underlines the momentum that Inmarsat is building in the high-speed broadband inflight connectivity (IFC) market, which Inmarsat entered in October 2016 with the commercial introduction of GX Aviation, a worldwide service powered by its Ka-band, Global Xpress satellite constellation.

Inmarsat now has over 1,200 aircraft installations expected under signed contracts for its IFC services. Mandates have been won from leading airlines worldwide including Avianca, Qatar Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
“Inmarsat and its partners have been making very strong progress in the IFC market and the successful launch of our S-band satellite means that the start of our revolutionary European Aviation Network is now just months away,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat.

“We first announced our plans for EAN in 2014, seeking to take advantage of a visionary and unique commercial and technological opportunity created by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT and subsequently supported by Member State telecoms regulators. It is a testament to the continued support of European Institutions and national regulatory authorities, the hard work of multiple teams across Inmarsat and the commitment of our vital strategic partners, including Deutsche Telekom, Thales Alenia Space, Thales Aviation, Cobham and Arianespace, that we now stand on the threshold of a new aviation WiFi service that will transform the experience of passengers flying throughout Europe.

“Although Inmarsat is a relatively new entrant into the high-speed aviation passenger broadband market, we have secured commitments for our IFC services from major airlines in Europe and across the world. Their confidence underlines the strength of Inmarsat’s IFC strategy and the long-term, scalable capabilities of our two core IFC networks – GX Aviation and EAN. We are focused on delivering the most reliable, seamless connectivity services to airlines and remain the only major provider to deliver guaranteed performance commitments.”

Inmarsat’s GX Aviation selected to arrive in Latin America in association with Avianca, strengthening the airline’s leadership in digitalization of in-flight services

Bogota and London | June 22, 2017– Avianca and Inmarsat today announced the signing of an agreement that will allow travelers to enjoy the most advanced broadband technology onboard its aircraft.

With this project, Avianca becomes the first airline in Latin America to make its aircraft available for the provision of GX Aviation, the new and advanced solution developed by Inmarsat to offer Wi-Fi to passengers and cabin crew during flights.

GX Aviation is the first in-flight broadband solution from one operator with reliable and high-speed global coverage from a single operator, allowing Avianca’s passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights. A new in-flight connectivity experience that’s in a class of its own.

GX Aviation will initially be available to all Avianca passengers on approximately 125 Airbus A320, A330 and Boeing 787 aircraft, with the potential for additional aircraft to be provisioned at a later date. Avianca’s GX-equipped aircraft are currently expected to be rolled out starting at the end of the year.

Hernan Rincon, Chief Executive Officer of Avianca, said: “Today, technology is one of Avianca’s fundamental pillars. Therefore, and to allow our travelers to be always connected, we have signed an agreement that will enable us to continue advancing in our digital transformation with the support of Inmarsat.”

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation is now live as the most advanced in-flight connectivity solution in the world. It has been specifically designed from the ground up as a seamless and robust service for airlines and their passengers, overcoming the shortcomings of traditional in-flight internet providers. The rapid uptake from airlines is evidence of the market’s confidence, with launch customers signed in key regions such as Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Australasia and now, Latin America.”

He added: “Avianca understands that its passengers and cabin crew today expect a consistent, reliable and fast in-flight broadband service wherever they fly. GX Aviation is also scalable with the high growth expected in Latin America over the next decade.”

Service bulletins and modification kit developed for advanced inflight broadband service, allowing installation on all Airbus A320 family aircraft

United Kingdom | June 21, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced a strategic partnership for its new European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband service with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

As part of a collaborative agreement signed at the Paris Air Show, Airbus will offer airlines a specialist retrofit solution to deploy EAN on the entire A320 family of aircraft, including A319s, A320s and A321s, which form the backbone of many leading airline fleets in Europe.

The agreement marks a further milestone in the development of EAN; the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to combine space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. It follows a separate announcement earlier this year that International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, will be the launch customer for EAN. IAG has begun equipping its aircraft with the ground-breaking service and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

EAN is based on a unique infrastructure, which brings together a dedicated S-band satellite and complementary ground network, to offer a fully integrated and seamless network that delivers the service quality and performance assurance not offered by satellite only providers. Because of its unique design, EAN can also be scaled more easily and cost-effectively to match demand.

The network, which is on course to commence commercial services in the second half of 2017, also delivers world-leadership in passenger WiFi technology to Europe. The satellite component, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, is in French Guiana being prepared for its launch by Arianespace on 28th June. Inmarsat’s strategic partner Deutsche Telekom continues to make good progress on the construction of the complementary ground network.

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.

Airbus Retrofit Solution
The Airbus retrofit solution consists of modification kits with all cabin network equipment required for EAN deployment. It also includes service bulletins (SBs) that detail the tasks and materials needed for installation and also certify the airworthiness of related modification work.

Airlines can procure the new solution directly through Airbus or Inmarsat, with both partners forecasting that more than 750 aircraft could be retrofitted with EAN over the next three years.

The partnership with Airbus marks a further key achievement for EAN. In addition to its function as an inflight broadband solution, the agreement also contains provisions for airlines to utilise EAN for advanced aircraft maintenance and operations management, leading to increased efficiencies and important cost reductions.

Leo Mondale, Inmarsat Aviation President, said: “Our partnership with Airbus will offer clear advantages to airlines operating the popular A320 family aircraft. They will gain access to the new gold standard in passenger inflight broadband with a retrofit solution that comes from the aircraft manufacturer itself and has been specifically designed for ease-of-use. In addition to EAN’s function as a high-speed inflight broadband service, our collaborative agreement with Airbus also opens the doors to streaming data on the aircraft maintenance and operations side.

“Building on the selection of Inmarsat at the European level and the authorisations already given by European national regulators for the deployment of an innovative satellite and ground network, we are now close to delivering a unique connectivity service for Europe’s airlines and passengers; one that is superior to any other offering in the market.”

Passengers flying over Europe will be able to access EAN using 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 European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR 200S ‘cockpit-only’ light satcom system will be certified on the Airbus A350 XWB

Copenhagen, Denmark | June 21, 2017– The Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR 200S ‘cockpit-only’ light satcom system will be certified on the Airbus A350 XWB.

The new generation Cobham equipment, which supports Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service, will provide FANS 1/A Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) capability as well as IP data to EFBs in the cockpit.

AVIATOR S system will ensure real-time, in-air information, with its powerful and flexible communications capability.

AVIATOR 200S will be available on the A350 XWB aircraft as part of its ongoing commitment to provide best-in-class equipment on its aircraft. The latest announcement by the leading aircraft manufacturer follows its decision in June 2016 to certify Cobham’s AVIATOR S Series systems to be offered as a line-fit option for its popular A320 and A330 fleets.

Willem Kasselman, Vice President Aero, Cobham SATCOM, and Jean-Marc Billaud, General Manager at Cobham Aerospace Antennas said: “Airbus’ wish to offer the new generation Cobham SBB satcom equipment to the Airbus A350 is a further endorsement of the performance and maturity of the Cobham product.”

Cobham SATCOM’s AVIATOR S product series are ARINC 781 compliant small satcom systems featuring the most advanced security architecture and domain segregation measures available in a single (for the “cockpit-only” configuration) or in a two-LRU solution (for the “cockpit and cabin” configuration). Suitable for all single-aisle and wide-body aircraft, AVIATOR S offers small, light, powerful satcom equipment to airlines and addresses the growing demand from airlines for continuous non-encrypted secure data exchange between their ground operations and their aircraft.

The system allows pilots to share real-time information with ground control to help on flight situation awareness and route optimisation. The system can also provide independent air-ground communications for other aircraft systems (depending on the selected configuration) such as EFBs with access to live weather data, in-flight entertainment, cabin distribution and other connected off-board networks.

SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) is Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform offering global, high-speed, IP connectivity for the flight deck.

For further information, please visit www.cobham.com/satcom.

United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft to be equipped with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D and Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety

United Kingdom | June 14, 2017– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Cobham SATCOM, the leading manufacturer of satellite communications solutions, today announced that United Airlines will participate in a technology evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat’s next generation flight deck communications platform.

SB-S will be evaluated on four United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft, which will be installed with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system. It offers global, high-speed, secure connectivity for the flight deck. Enabling powerful and flexible communications with real-time inflight information, the service enhances airline safety, asset utilisation, security, and operations.

United Airlines’ evaluation of the IP-based broadband service is part of the aviation giant’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service. During this evaluation, United Airlines will deploy its equipped planes in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. It will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging.

SB-S also provides a range of ‘always on, always secure’ applications, which United Airlines will be able to use. These include continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming (known as “Black Box in the Cloud”) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather. Operational benefits include more fuel-efficient routes and the ability to transmit vital aircraft performance and positioning data in real time.

Installations of the AVIATOR 300D systems on United Airlines’ planes are scheduled to commence later this year. The systems include Cobham’s IGA-5001 Intermediate Gain Antenna and will use the AVIATOR 300D Supplemental Type Certificate developed by L2 Aviation.

Chuck Stewart, United Airlines Chief Technical Pilot for Communications, said: “United is excited about installing and using this powerful new communications capability as we expect to see it enhancing our operational efficiency, especially in places like the North Atlantic.”

Andy Beers, Director, Global Aero Sales, Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are excited about this latest opportunity to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety as it supports our development of communication technologies Cobham SATCOM is rolling out to meet the future needs of the aviation community, particularly our AVIATOR S Series next generation product line, designed specifically to leverage Inmarsat’s new SB-S services.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “As a progressive and innovative airline, United is making an important move anticipating the future of aviation. With SB-Safety’s secure broadband platform, it will be able to benefit from the fully connected flight deck that delivers improved safety and security, better efficiency and optimised fleet performance.”

Lufthansa Technik’s Two-In-One-Solution (TIOS) type approved for Boeing Business Jet 3 (737-900ER) aircraft on Inmarsat’s advanced high-speed Jet ConneX broadband network

EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland | May 23, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its next-generation Jet ConneX inflight wi-fi service is now available to a growing number of Boeing Business Jet customers worldwide using the advanced Lufthansa Technik Two-In-One Solution (TIOS) radome.

The TIOS radome, which connects to Jet ConneX using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell, was recently type approved for Boeing Business Jet 3 (based on the Boeing 737-900ER aircraft). In addition, it has already been approved for Boeing Business Jets 1 and 2, which are based on Boeing’s 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft respectively.

TIOS has been specifically developed by Lufthansa Technik to accommodate two antennas in one radome, using an innovative space-saving tail-mounted assembly that reduces drag and noise. Operators also benefit from reduced installation and operational costs.

Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, said: “Boeing VVIP and corporate customers are globe trotters that need a consistent, reliable and global high-speed Wi-Fi solution now. Lufthansa Technik’s TIOS installation is faster and customers are eligible for the same data plans as fuselage mounted antenna installations. It’s a win-win, allowing Inmarsat to offer our next-generation Jet ConneX service to an even wider market.”

Advanced global, high-speed inflight broadband service for business jets is now offered by Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream to customers worldwide

United Kingdom | May 22, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced a significant milestone for its Jet ConneX inflight broadband service, with four of the business aviation industry’s major private jet manufacturers now offering the next-generation solution to customers as a linefit option.

Inmarsat achieved the power of four with the confirmation that Jet ConneX is now available as linefit on Dassault Falcon business jets and will also be linefit on Embraer Lineage 1000E executive jets from early 2018. Jet ConneX is already the preferred linefit option on Gulfstream and Bombardier aircraft. All four companies are connecting their aircraft to the Jet ConneX service using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell.

Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for business jets today. It offers the same fast and reliable connectivity in the air that has previously only been available on the ground. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across 100 percent of major airline routes, providing a differentiator to do business wherever and whenever.

Inmarsat designs, owns and operates its own satellite capacity, ensuring that high quality capacity is added ahead of demand; most recently through the launch of its fourth Ka-band satellite with SpaceX last week.

Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, said: “Inmarsat continues to see overwhelming demand for Jet ConneX, reinforcing our status as the number one connectivity provider to business aviation customers worldwide. We couldn’t be prouder to confirm Dassault and Embraer alongside Gulfstream and Bombardier as the latest of the big four private jet manufacturers to start linefit of Jet ConneX.”

He continued: “Inmarsat has long led the way in connectivity for business jets. SwiftBroadband was the best in class when it was launched and Jet ConneX is a stellar upgrade. Reaching this milestone is testament to our strategy of listening and responding to what business aviation customers want. It’s also a great endorsement in our service from manufacturers. We look forward to continuing to build on this strategy and success in the coming months and years.”

Warren Nechtman, Vice President of Connectivity Equipment, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “Business jet operators expect to have the same experience with in-flight Wi-Fi as they do at home or in the office and that is why four business jet manufacturers have selected JetWave and Jet ConneX for their customers. Together, Honeywell and Inmarsat are improving productivity, entertainment and comfort for business aviation with truly global, high-speed connectivity.”

Terminal passed important data for BLOS UAV applications in independent work by AnsuR Technologies and Barnard Microsystems
AUVSI XPONENTIAL, Dallas, Texas | May 10, 2017– Cobham SATCOM has announced successful live video transmission trials over the AVIATOR UAV 200 low SWAP satcom terminal.

Working independently with AnsuR Technologies in Norway and Barnard Microsystems in the United Kingdom, the satcom terminal has passed strategically important video data, a great value multiplier for BLOS UAV operational scenarios.

Using Inmarsat’s recently launched SB-UAV service, both companies have passed good quality live video over what is considered a very low bandwidth link for this type of application.

Andrew Legg, Regional Sales Director for Cobham SATCOM, said: “Full HD video at 1 fps or 800 by 600 at 6 fps is a significant value and strategic enhancement for LALE UAV’s that would typically be flying blind when beyond the range of high bandwidth point to point links. This allows these small tactical UAVs to operate in mountainous areas or in long range out-and-back applications whilst offering the operator a massive advantage of real-time situational awareness. The ability to re-task the platform real-time is very important. It helps to drive costs down and mission efficiencies up.

“While these low resolution or low frame rate video transmissions will of course not meet all customer requirements, we have to remember that it is not the video technical specification that is important, it’s all about the content or information contained in the transmission and whether that adds value to the mission.”

The AVIATOR UAV 200 is a contended bandwidth 200 kbps all in one LRU solution operating on the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband network. With a single contract, no rain fade in L-band and global coverage excluding the poles, it leverages the proven reliability of the Inmarsat network to offer the lowest size, weight and power system of its type by a huge margin. Whether it is used for full C2, backup C2, sensor data, or imagery transfer, it is a game changer in the LALE connectivity marketplace. It consumes less than 28 Watts of power and weighs just 1.45kgs. With no ITAR restrictions, the unit is commercially available and shipping to customers globally today.

Harald Skinnemoen, Founder and CEO, AnsuR Technologies, said: “AnsuR Technologies has been developing software solutions for mission-critical operations for a decade, including flying the first UAV with the Cobham SB200 aero satcom terminal. With improved best-effort communication capacity over Inmarsat, and the ease of integrating it with our software, the AVIATOR UAV 200 terminal was exactly what we were looking for to successfully provide customers a long range photo and video communication capability via satellite even for UAVs under 25kg.”

Dr Joseph Barnard, Managing Director, Barnard Microsystems Limited, added: “Our technical staff installed the Cobham AVIATOR UAV 200 satcom terminal on our Panchito medium range Remotely Piloted Aircraft within five working days of receiving the unit, including the interfacing of the navigation information from the Panchito Flight Management Unit. Three working days later we relayed compressed video at 1 to 4 frames per second via the Cobham AVIATOR UAV 200 terminal using the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellite data relay service at data throughput rates from 110 kbit/sec to 190 kbit/sec, using the less expensive contested or shared service option.

“Our technical staff were impressed with the lightness, the low electrical power draw and the superb performance of the Cobham AVIATOR UAV 200 terminal, based on our experience with a range of other airborne and land based satcoms terminals. The Cobham AVIATOR UAV 200 is our satcom terminal of choice for our Panchito RPA, which is used in civilian mapping and monitoring applications, and as an Electronic Support Measures and Monitoring RPA in military applications.”

At AIX, we spent some time with Inmarsat and found out a lot more about their high-speed data solutions, more about connectivity in Europe and a lot about the high-speed data future that you have heard about. Here is the story.

Inmarsat:
IFExpress had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Frederik van Essen about the status of GX Aviation and the European Aviation Network (EAN) since APEX last fall in Singapore. A launch customer, International Airlines Group (IAG), for the EAN, which is a high-speed in-flight broadband service that Inmarsat will jointly operate with its partner Deutsche Telekom was one of the bright spots Frederik discussed. 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 maneuvering are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems. Inmarsat went on to say that 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. We note that Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “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.”

The company also announced a milestone of 1,000 aircraft in backlog for next-generation broadband during AIX – more than 1,000 expected aircraft under signed contracts, both installed and as a backlog, for its next-generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband services. The fast-growing backlog, which includes aircraft that have either been installed or are awaiting installation, is a major endorsement of Inmarsat’s strategy to make the connected aircraft a reality. It follows a succession of leading airline customers that have selected to equip their fleet with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and EAN services, including Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group (IAG), Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian Air and Air Asia. Lufthansa Group was the first customer to commence installation of GX Aviation on their aircraft last year. They have already fitted out more than 50 aircraft, a number that is expected to increase to 200 aircraft by the end of this year. GX Aviation provides inflight broadband for Lufthansa’s FlyNet Wi-Fi offering, which launched under a test phase in February this year. Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The fact we have crossed more than 1,000 aircraft in backlog at this point is an incredible milestone, given that GX Aviation only went live a few months ago. It is further proof that the inflight broadband revolution has truly begun; passengers are demanding quality connectivity and airlines are endorsing Inmarsat’s superior offering. We are deeply engaged with additional airlines worldwide, so this really is just the tip of the iceberg. The message is clear: we are coming to a plane near you!”

Another highlight that Inmarsat unveiled that AirAsia signed a MoU for its next-generation GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution. The deal will cover AisAsia Group’s A320 and A330 fleets, with installation to commence this year and service to go live in 2018. AirAsia is presently one of the key airline customers for SwiftBroadband and will be upgrading to GX Aviation. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “Travelers today expect fast, reliable broadband wherever they are, whether it’s on the ground or 30,000 feet in the air. GX Aviation’s market-leading capabilities represent a step-change in inflight connectivity that allows us to close the gap between the on-ground and on-board experience.”

While it has been an increasing discussion point over the past few years, operations data and flight deck data truly benefit from broadband satcom. A recent study from Helios and Inmarsat outlined those advantages in terms of dollar savings – US$3 billion from improved air traffic control and operations efficiencies! The study 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. A further US$1.9 billion is saved thanks to the ability of aircraft to communicate with their Airline Operations Center (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.

Lastly, today (5/2/17) Inmarsat announced that GX Aviation entered into commercial service with the Lufthansa Group, allowing passengers can to purchase connectivity service on selected Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines aircraft. Check out the full press release here.

Editor’s Note: It is important to note, this connectivity business is becoming a big deal – the aviation future is integrated with wireless data. As airlines seek to improve their efficiencies, everything to be monitored on the aircraft will require a real time wireless link to the ground. For all intent, better efficiency and more complete and exhaustive aviation services will lower costs and improve the bottom line for airlines – all over various types of datalinks – broadband satcom or even cellular connections. Some examples are flight performance data, real time failure monitoring and fault detection, and aircraft operational performance – just to name a few. Interestingly enough, this future was predicted in the late nineteen eighties (We have a presentation on the subject by companies like Douglas Aircraft) and it is finally happening with the beginning of high speed, truly worldwide, aviation connectivity! Stay Tuned.


Rockwell
Rockwell Collins has delivered its first Iridium ICS-300 SATCOM units to Boeing for its 737 MAX aircraft. Available as a production line option and the only approved Iridium SATCOM solution on Boeing platforms, the product provides long-range voice capabilities as well as data link communications that improve operational efficiency.“Together with Boeing, Rockwell Collins will be providing airlines with the latest satellite communications capabilities for the 737 MAX flight deck,” said Steve Timm, vice president and general manager of Air Transport Systems for Rockwell Collins. “By enabling worldwide voice and data communications for the cockpit with the ICS-300, airlines will realize a variety of benefits.” The ICS-300 is an advanced voice and data link communications system that operates over the Iridium satellite network. With complete global coverage, reliable communications between the ground and aircraft enable improved routing and enhanced coordination between the flight crew and operations. “This solution offers Boeing 737 MAX customers a highly reliable and cost effective platform for all their aircraft operational communications needs wherever they may fly,” said Brian Pemberton, vice president and general manager of Aviation for Iridium. The Iridium constellation consists of 66 low-Earth orbit satellites, enabling real-time communications anywhere on the planet and extends coverage to include polar and all remote airspaces. It already has five customers of the largest North American mobile operators, four of the top five global Internet backbone and seven of the top eight North American cable operators.


Thales
IFE and connectivity designer and manufacturer, Thales, is purchasing Guavas, a US based data analytics vendor and will function as a standalone unit of the company. As “big data” analysis becomes part of the inflight connectivity service backbone, and aviation manufacturing in general. Thales sees the future and has chosen a large data analysis provider. As one reviewer noted: “Expanding into Thales’ core areas of business will be a natural extension for the company as it has tailored its platform for the Internet of Things in areas like transportation in recent years. It analyzes around 5,000 terabytes of data a day, a skill that would come in handy for cybersecurity firms and aircraft makers.” They went on: “Thales cited predictive maintenance, cybersecurity, monitoring of critical infrastructures and network and telecom systems optimization as areas where Guavus’ Machine Intelligent operational analytics platform would come into play in helping drive its customers’ embrace of IoT applications.” Lets face it, large-scale data analysis will be one service provided to airlines once the connectivity data rates increase.


Other Show Information Bites:

  • Axel Jahn is now consulting in the strategy and investment side of the aviation business and can be reached at: axel.jahn@jahn-germering.de
  • Jared Shoemaker is now the Services Manager at Bluemetal. He can be reached at jared.shoemaker@bluemetal.com
  • Jose Gonzales has rebranded his company to galgus (greyhound). You might remember Jose’s business is responsible for some of the new technology on the VT Miltope’s nMAP-2. You can reach Jose at jose.gonzalez@galgus.net

STUFF Worth Knowing:
This is an interesting ViaSat review – Some 555 aircraft have it installed!

  • Shenzhen Airlines to equip A320 aircraft as it prepares for China’s future rapid growth in passenger demand

April 27, 2017– Beginning May 2017, Shenzhen Airlines will launch its in-flight evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat’s next generation IP-based broadband service for the flight deck. The SB-S platform, which will be installed on Shenzhen’s Airbus 320 aircraft using Cobham avionics’ AVIATOR 300D hardware, will deliver powerful and flexible in-flight communications and secure, real-time, in-air information to enhance Shenzhen’s safety, security and operational capabilities – both in the air and on the ground.

The Shenzhen partnership is part of a joint venture between Inmarsat, Beijing Marine Communication & Navigation Company, Ltd. (MCN) and Aviation Data Communication Corporation (ADCC) to provide aviation safety services to the rapidly growing Chinese market. Under this partnership, MCN and ADCC will deliver satellite voice, ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting System) and data services. MCN will serve as project manager for Shenzhen’s SB-S evaluation process.

In addition to compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) mandates CCAR 121 and AC-121, Shenzhen Airlines will focus its evaluation on three core SB-S satellite communication (satcom) capabilities, including:

  • Satellite Voice (satvoice) Communications – Two-channel satellite-based services that enable faster and high-quality voice communication between the flight deck crew and its designated contacts on the ground, including air traffic controllers and airline operations personnel.
  • Integral Global Flight Tracking – This enhanced, live tracking feature pinpoints an aircraft’s location through regular transmission of position reports. SB-S flight tracking enables the airline and Air Traffic Control (ATC) to know where the aircraft is and to understand its status in real time, which is essential for both safety and delivery of fuel-efficient flight.
  • ACARS Over IP – Traditionally used to communicate with both the Airline Operations Centre and ATC, this short-text capability over IP is a prerequisite for FANS 1/A compliance in remote oceanic areas.

Shenzhen Airlines also will be able to take advantage of other SB-S platform features, including real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather and, ultimately, flight data streaming (“Black Box in the Cloud”). And, in addition to providing critical flight safety solutions, its high-speed communications capabilities also allow SB-S to deliver operational savings to airlines in the form of reduced fuel costs, improved efficiency and enhanced security. A recent study by Helios showed that satellite communications has already delivered US$3 billion in benefits to airlines to date (see link below).

Through its SB-S evaluation, Shenzhen Airlines is preparing for China’s explosive growth in passenger demand, which, according the International Air Transport Association (IATA)*, is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. IATA also predicts that China will displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market around 2024*. Much of this demand will be for international travel and Shenzhen is anticipating this demand by employing next generation satellite connectivity, which allows aircraft to travel in oceanic areas and across remote continental areas where terrestrial networks are not established. These satellite-based capabilities will allow Shenzhen to offer passengers a vastly wider range of service destinations that, until now, could not be realized due to the decades-old limitations of traditional, ground-based communications.

Captain Shao Bin, Vice President of Operations for Shenzhen Airlines said: “As China’s skies become more crowded and advanced flight-tracking capabilities become a necessity in the region’s airspace, Shenzhen wants to be at the forefront of this exciting next chapter of aviation history. We look forward to evaluating SwiftBroadband-Safety as a pioneering, satellite-based connectivity solution that will enable Shenzhen to offer enhanced safety, increased capacity and more efficient operations to our passengers – both in China and beyond.”

Song Zhen, Vice President of MCN, said: “As a leading maritime satellite operator in China, MCN is committed to providing safety communication services to China’s growing aviation industry. It is the first time that a Chinese aircraft will be equipped with the SB-S satcom technology platform, and we look forward to working with Inmarsat and other partners to provide the best service for Shenzhen Airlines in accordance with laws set forth by CAAC.”

Zhu Yanbo, Vice President of ADCC, said: “As the organization jointly established by Air Traffic Management Bureau of CAAC and the major airlines in China, we especially appreciate Shenzhen’s evaluation of SB-S, as they are our country’s first airline to do so. As the air-ground datalink service provider for China’s airspace, ADCC will work closely with MCN and Inmarsat to not only deliver SwiftBroadband-Safety’s trusted cockpit communication and flight tracking services, but also Globalink VHF ACARS and VDL M2 services to our aviation customers.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat’s Aviation business unit, said: “As China continues its path toward becoming the world’s largest passenger aviation nation, Shenzhen is making an important move to ensure it is ready to not only expand its domestic service offerings but also meet Chinese passengers’ growing demand for international travel. As the trusted provider of aviation safety and operational services, Inmarsat is excited to work with Shenzhen and our partners to understand how SB-S can optimise their flight deck and aircraft operations as they enter this exciting new era in Chinese aviation.”

Cheng-Yu Tang, General Manager, China Cobham SATCOM, said: “Shenzhen’s decision to evaluate SB-S demonstrates that one of the China’s largest airlines has full confidence in the performance of our AVIATOR 300D system and the Inmarsat SB-S platform. We are excited about this latest opportunity to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety as it also supports our development of communication technologies to meet the future needs of the aviation community.”

United Kingdom | April 24, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT:L) is pleased to note that Qatar Airways has today announced its intention to install Global Xpress (GX) Aviation across its flagship fleet.

Qatar Airways would be the first Middle Eastern airline to select GX Aviation’s inflight broadband solution and the company has stated that the service would initially be available to passengers onboard more than 130 of its aircraft.

GX technology has already been equipped on a line-fit basis on selected Qatar Airways Airbus A350s. Installations on the airline’s remaining Airbus A350s, together with the Boeing 777s, are planned to commence on a retrofit basis this Summer.

GX Aviation is the world’s first inflight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. GX Aviation gives airlines the freedom to provide unique passenger experiences that go beyond basic broadband to include streamed entertainment, advanced inflight shopping, and digital and personalised services that transform airline/passenger relationships.

Extensive trials over the past year culminates in landmark contract to track all of the airline’s flights around the world using advanced new space-based solution
Qatar | April 25, 2017– Leading international airline Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world.

Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which covers its current route network of over 150 destinations worldwide, in addition to any future routes that will be introduced. It utilises Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.

Qatar Airways signed a contract with Inmarsat following the successful conclusion of active performance trials across its fleet over the past year, which proved that the tracking system exceeds the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s new flight reporting standards.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “Qatar Airways has a reputation for pioneering ground-breaking new innovations in global aviation. Our partnership with Inmarsat for this global flight tracking system has once again reinforced our commitment to the highest levels of aviation safety for our passengers and employees.”

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat is the backbone of global aviation safety, delivering over 35 million aircraft position reports last year alone. Unlike other systems that promise space-based global flight tracking somewhere in the future, we have been providing real time flight tracking for Qatar Airways for some time. We are pleased to be working with an airline that is so highly committed to safety and innovation.”

Hamburg, DE | April 4, 2017– AirAsia, through its subsidiary ROKKI Sdn Bhd, has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with Inmarsat for its next-generation GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution.

The agreement covers AirAsia Group’s Airbus A320 and A330 fleets, subject to final contracts. Installation is expected to commence this year, with the service to go live in 2018.

AirAsia is currently one of the leading airline customers for Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service and will upgrade to GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “Travelers today expect fast, reliable broadband wherever they are, whether it’s on the ground or 30,000 feet in the air. GX Aviation’s market-leading capabilities represent a step-change in inflight connectivity that allows us to close the gap between the on-ground and on-board experience.

“Our guests will be able to enjoy extra fast internet connectivity as well as free movies, music, articles and games on our ROKKI IFEC platform. Not only that, they can shop for meals, merchandise and duty-free from the comfort of their own seats, which also allow us to better understand what our guests want so we can continue to improve on our inflight offering.”

Inmarsat Aviation President Leo Mondale said, “GX Aviation is now live and operational, introducing an unprecedented new era of inflight broadband for passengers. We are delighted that a hugely respected and successful low-cost carrier such as AirAsia has selected it.

“GX Aviation’s global and consistent performance provides AirAsia Group with the commercial flexibility needed to quickly deploy the service on routes across Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Inmarsat and AirAsia share many of the same traits and this preliminary agreement is not only great news for our partnership, but importantly, it’s a truly exciting development for their passengers too.”

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.


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