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Other Resellers and Distributors of Inmarsat GX Aviation | Business Aviation NewsAs Inmarsat’s latest satellite constellation, Global Xpress, or GX as it is commonly known, nears completion, Honeywell Aerospace are thinking ahead, and planning to deliver equipment to airlines ready for the entry of GX into service later this year.

GX will deliver high-speed satellite broadband over the Ka-band, which is set to completely change in-flight connectivity with speeds of up to 50Mbps.

The possibilities for the use of GX include mobile technology, which is a burgeoning sector in both commercial and corporate aviation. The benefits will be felt in the cabin and on the flight deck, where real-time applications for pilots and flight crew, such as flight deck weather, flight tracking and inflight messaging will increase safety aspects across many flight operations.

Other Providers of Leading Cabin Services & Aircraft BroadbandSmartSky Networks announced a partnership with Kontron this week at the AEA Convention held in Dallas. Kontron, German-based cabin WiFi access point (CWAP) manufacturer, and the relatively new SmartSky Networks, air-to-ground aviation telecommunications network provider, will team to provide a SmartSky 4G service with an expected capability of 10 times the current speed and capacity of other networks, according to the Florida-based SmartSky.

As passenger and operational expectations increase across both business and commercial aviation sectors, airlines and operators are seeking greater transfer speeds and capabilities for cabin services and flight deck options.

Other next-generation cabin services providers are utilising powerful satellite communications networks, such as Inmarsat and Iridium, to deliver aircraft WiFi solutions that can be as effective in the sky as they can on the ground.

GX Aviation Provides Aircraft Operators with Enhanced Cabin Services CapabilitiesHoneywell and Inmarsat have announced the successful completion of high-speed data performance tests of Jetwave MCS 8200 onboard aircraft hardware using the Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) network.

Aimed at delivering high-speed aircraft WiFi to passengers, Inmarsat GX was tested for video streaming and file transfers at Honeywell’s UK facility in the West Country. The first GX satellite, launched last year is currently used for government and enterprise customers in the Indian Oceanic region, with a second satellite launched last month for the Americas and Atlantic region, and a third planned for later this year to cover the Pacific, GX aviation will eventually service and cover the entire globe, providing a seamless connectivity experience for passengers.

Honeywell and Inmarsat are delighted with the success of their testing and plan to commence higher data rate testing in the coming months.

Leo Mondale, Inmarsat Aviation president said, “Both the GX network and Honeywell’s terminal have met and exceeded our high expectations. We’re another step closer to bringing a true broadband experience to both commercial airlines and business aviation.”

Other SATCOM Communications Providers for Business AviationA new system, launched by UAE satellite communications providers, Yahsat, has completed successful testing this week for their latest state-of-the-art aircraft satellite communications system for their client, Advanced Integrated Systems.

Including Ka-band airborne SATCOM, the new system promises an end-to-end solution. In a statement, Ali Al Hashemi, GM of YahService said, “At Yahsat, we strive to equip our customers with end-to-end satellite solutions that deliver the very latest in connectivity. The completion of the test with AIS exemplifies our commitment to bringing cutting-edge tools to our clients and constantly improving the speed and performance of our services.”

Aircraft satellite communications providers across the world are using the very latest technological breakthroughs to meet the ever-growing demands placed upon the industry for compliance and for seamless connectivity.

Business passengers need global coverage to ensure that business operations are maximised, taking place as effectively in the skies as they do in their ground-based office environments. The industry as a whole is responding to those needs.

Providers of Inflight Messaging with GLOBALink ACARSHong Kong Airlines this week became the launch airline for the latest Rockwell Collins service that offers live credit card authorisation using WiFi over the ARINC ACARS infrastructure.

The first service of its kind in the industry is offered via an agreement with the DFASS Group, retail options providers for Duty Free luxury brands.

The introduction of the service will eliminate losses for HKA due to credit card fraudulent activity and will offer them greater scope for the provision of high value items in addition to immediate seat upgrades with the safe removal of credit card spending limits.

“In-flight credit card sales represent an important revenue stream for our airline,” said Mr. Stanley Kan at HKA.  “However, without the ability to conduct live credit card authorization, we faced the risk of loss due to fraudulent transactions.  Now, by validating transactions in real time, we can significantly decrease our risk.”

“Our Wi-Fi over ACARS solution allows airlines to capitalize on their existing equipment to conduct live credit card authorizations without the need to invest heavily in expensive connectivity equipment,” said Heament John Kurian, managing director, IMS Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins. “With this cost-effective new service, we can help airline customers around the world increase security by identifying individuals involved with fraudulent credit card activity.”

Other Leading Providers of Inflight Internet & CommunicationsGogo, global aviation communications providers, who recently acquired FAA regulatory approval for its in-flight connectivity solution, has today announced that it may break its own records for installs during 2015.

With a backlog of more than 1000 commercial aircraft installs and a growing base in the business aviation sector, the company expects that at least 50% of its backlog will be scheduled and installed this year, which will break records for the company, who also expect to bring online 500 additional commercial sector installs by the end of the year.

In-flight connectivity solutions are big business this year and with upgrades and retrofits for NextGen systems, Gogo and other global communications providers are in for a busy time!

Other Passenger In-flight Connectivity Providers for Business JetsGogo, Illinois-based global aviation communications provider, has today announced that it has received FCC regulatory approval to air its latest in-flight connectivity solution on 1000 aircraft.

Operating the 2Ku system is a big step for Gogo, with its NextGen technology, which they expect to be available after the summer of this year. Gogo say they expect the new, 4.5inch antenna to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft.

Michael Small, president and CEO of Gogo said, “Clearing the necessary regulatory hurdles to provide this service to an aircraft flying anywhere around the globe is no small feat. Gogo has proven it is a leader at navigating these environments for all aircraft types no matter where they fly. We are happy that the launch of 2Ku is proceeding as planned and are continuing to work with the FAA on approval for installation.”

The introduction of NextGen technology for commercial aircraft is going to be welcomed by airlines and passengers, with global expectation for in-flight connectivity growing. Currently, business aviation operators enjoy seamless connectivity through Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and Iridium satellite networks providers.

Providers of Passenger Communications for Business AircraftHoneywell’s JetWave SATCOM systems will be fitted by GDC Technics in an agreement signed in Dubai last weekend for in-service Boeing and Airbus business and commercial aircraft. The system, JetWave, will be available during 2015 and supports the Inmarsat JetConnex (JX) WiFi service, promising to deliver consistent, high-speed inflight connectivity for business aircraft all over the globe.

GDC, Texan-based provider, will develop the STCs for the aircraft, including the Boeing range of business jets and Airbus corporate jets, which will enable the retrofit process to commence. The STCs will also be marketed to other completion centres and will encompass the following aircraft:

  • Airbus A319
  • Airbus A330
  • Airbus A340
  • Boeing 737
  • Boeing 747
  • Boeing 777
  • Boeing 787

Mike Beazley, vice-president of Aftermarket Sales for Business & General Aviation at Honeywell said, “Through this agreement with GDC Technics, Boeing and Airbus operators will soon be able to easily upgrade their aircraft with one of the most advanced and capable in-flight connectivity systems on the market. JetConnex will bring high speed, consistent global in-flight internet connectivity via WiFi to the cockpit and cabin and we expect to see significant demand for the technology, particularly for long haul commercial and business planes flying out of the Middle East.”

The partnership agreement the system will be focussed upon the Ka- and Ku-band, bringing greater bandwidth with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband for flight deck communications requirements.

Mohammed Alzeer, general partner of GDC Technics said, “High speed, consistent in-flight WiFi over land and sea is a technology game-changer for the industry. Through this agreement with Honeywell, bizliners and commercial air transport aircraft around the world will soon be able to access Inmarsat’s JX service.” Continuing, he echoed a sentiment that is widespread in the aviation industry, particularly in the business jet sector, “In today’s always-on society the ability to stay connected while in the air is fast becoming an expectation rather than a nice-to-have, making the JetWave hardware from Honeywell and JX service from Inmarsat an important differentiator for operators.”

Expectation is increasing noticeably in the business jet industry, as more and more executive travellers need the benefits of an ‘office-in-the-sky’ environment.

Cost-Effective Solutions for Inflight Wi-Fi ConnectivityA Canadian passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight left us all with a valuable lesson last week after he racked up a whopping $1,171 bill for Wi-Fi connectivity on a flight from London to Singapore.

Mr Jeremy Gutsche was stunned to receive the bill after purchasing a 30 megabyte internet plan for less than $30. He unknowingly used his allowance and although aware that he would be responsible for charges beyond the 30MG usage, was shocked to realise that viewing 155 pages and uploading a PowerPoint document landed him with such a huge bill.

The provider of the onboard Wi-Fi connectivity service for Singapore Airlines, Swiss-based OnAir, argued that the charges offer ‘complete transparency’, and give passengers the choice to end sessions when charges reach a certain amount and graphic data usage displays consumption.

Mr Gutsche said, “Just because someone agrees to terms and conditions doesn’t mean those terms are ethical. I think the overage model is excessive and I can imagine someone like my mom, or a family, or a backpacker going aimlessly over.”

According to Euroconsult, satellite and communications consulting firm, just 6% of flight passengers use in-flight services – perhaps for this very reason. The demand for in-flight provision in the modern world is increasing and cost-efficient solutions are becoming a growing part of the competitive side of the business for airlines worldwide.

Providers of Inflight Connectivity Systems for Business AviationWith the onboard Wi-Fi revolution firmly underway and becoming increasingly standard on today’s business aircraft, maintenance personnel and connectivity providers are finding that their workloads are becoming more complex. According to NBAA Maintenance Committee Chairman, Jim Sparks, nowhere is this more of an issue than in the business aviation community, with technicians having a different ‘need to know’ than their counterparts in general aviation.

“In business aviation, technicians have a somewhat different ‘need to know,'” said Sparks. “In our case when you talk about an [Airframe and/or Powerplant] A&P you speak of an all-purpose technician — meaning you have to service tires or diagnose slow Internet access. … You get into the world of the airlines [and] yes, in many cases they have the technology and they have the specialists who deal with it. They’re not necessarily A&Ps, they’re more network specialists because they don’t have to have the return to service authority that an A&P technician does.”

Inflight connectivity in the modern business jet has evolved at an astonishing pace. Business passengers are able to operate at 45,000 feet as effectively as they can in their ground-based offices. It is becoming clear, according to Mr Sparks, that training standards have not been as fast to evolve and demand is growing for skilled technicians in the industry.

“The current requirement for the need to know of A&P technicians was established by the FAA and is pretty much based on technology from the 1960s or earlier; it just has not evolved over the years,” said Sparks. “There are some A&P schools, some affiliated with colleges or universities that have stepped it up where they provide more knowledge than is required. But the basic requirements for an A&P, they have not changed. If you go to an A&P school to get an A&P license that’s all you’re going to get, and you’ll have a basic understanding of ‘60s and ‘70s technology equipment.”

The NBAA and the FAA are beginning to work towards to evolution of training standards for A&P technicians. Nextech for NextGen is a program that includes formal development called ‘Project Bootstrap’, providing guidance to the FAA in the revision of basic requirements.

The phases of the program will address the need for filling the gaps in these areas and also for the physical installation and maintenance of advanced IFE systems.