It has been announced that Inmarsat, the British satellite company, is testing its ACARS-capable SwiftBroadband safety equipment on an Airbus A319. SwiftBroadband Safety is for the fast, reliable and efficient delivery of ACARS messaging over the SwiftBroadband link and also supports flight deck voice services and IP connectivity to the flight deck for mission-critical transmissions.
“This is the start of a revolution in communications for the flight deck. It shows the way forward for Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) for the nearly 10,000 aircraft currently relying on our Inmarsat Classic Aero services, which were launched over 20 years ago,” said Leo Mondale, Inmarsat’s President of Aviation. “SB Safety provides prioritised voice and ACARS/FANS data transmission when an aircraft is out of reach of land-based communications, which is indispensable for aircraft flying over oceans.”
Updates and other flight operations messaging can be enabled, such as inflight updates to the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and Flight Data Recorder equipment.
SwiftBroadband (SB) Safety can be operated on all types of aircraft, from large passenger aircraft to business jets and is expected to achieve certification during early 2016.
“A key point is that SB Safety provides a prioritised IP data pipe for the cockpit, for both security and continuity of service” Mondale added. “This is particularly important for airlines that use SwiftBroadband for both safety services and cabin connectivity.”