The scheduled shutdown of Aircell’s Airfone service will spell the end of business aviation’s use of Magnastar systems, but there are a number of roads that can be taken before deactivation takes place.
Although Airfone’s air-to-ground communications network will be over, Aircell is still offering discounts on many alternatives such as;
- ATG5000 Gogo Biz
These systems will require upgrades to deliver Smartphone-based services to the tune of around $10,000.
If users have a satcom system, they will be able to continue using MagnaStar, with Teledyne Controls continuing to support MagnaStar as well.
Other business aviation communications companies, such as ExecJet Mobile and ARINC Direct can furnish aircraft with portable Iridium satellite communications equipment and software that can be used for essential flight deck comms, passenger communications and cabin services.
Costs for installations of these systems and software will be higher if the aircraft has no current Iridium transceiver in place.
The new ARINC Xplore device is due to be launched in spring 2014, but ExecJet BizJet mobile systems are available now. High numbers of aircraft operators are hurrying to replace equipment at hugely discounted prices as the shutdown becomes imminent.