A joint venture has been agreed between British satellite company, Inmarsat, and Beijing’s Marine Communications and Navigation (MCN) to develop aircraft communications solutions for the cabin and the flight deck for the Chinese commercial aviation market.
Inmarsat’s latest offering, GX Aviation, will feature highly in the joint venture, providing in-flight connectivity solutions to give global coverage, as will SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S).
China’s aircraft passengers will soon be able to enjoy broadband at speeds comparable to the ground-based services, and will be able to use their personal mobile devices.
The agreement is expected to be finalised later this year.
Rockwell Collins has announced that Air China has renewed its contract for ARINC GLOBALink, the leading air-ground data communications package, providing a secure messaging platform for critical inflight messaging.
Air China also has Rockwell Collins’ comprehensive communications suites, including VHF, SATCOM and HFDL to ensure coverage over a diverse range of aircraft communications.
The contract renewal comes in line with the plans that Air China has for expansion of its international routes and fleet.
It has been announced that Panasonic Avionics achieved a major milestone in December last year with the connection of broadband services equipment to its 1000th aircraft – a Boeing 777-300.
In-flight aircraft broadband is increasing in demand for both commercial and business aviation passengers, as the latest technological advancements dictate. Panasonic Avionics serves around 3,000 aircraft to date to the global connectivity service, a number which they expect to rise to 15,000 by 2025.
Other providers of aircraft broadband connectivity are also experiencing a surge in demand, and the industry as a whole expects that demand to continue. Next generation cabin connectivity offers mobile support with enhanced bandwidth, benefitting both passengers and cabin crew.
In a recent report from aviation analysts, it was found that the prices passengers are paying for inflight Wifi varies wildly, with some airlines offering a free service, and others charging up to £30.
So why the huge difference? Some providers say that the cost of installation of the aircraft system is a significant contributor to the high cost, yet it seems to be mostly the budget airlines offering free access, surprisingly.
Another complaint from passengers is the speed and quality of inflight Wifi. Onboard internet can be provided in two ways – via satellite communications or via air-to-ground communications systems. The air-to-ground option delivers higher speeds, but satellite is necessary for connectivity over oceanic expanses.
A growing number of airline passengers require inflight Wifi. Some commercial passengers want access to social media, or want to stream information, but others require access for business purposes. Executive travellers can often ‘charge’ inflight Wifi to their business expenses, but others are simply refusing to pay high prices that can be comparable with the cost of a monthly broadband fee at home.
Airlines need to look at their options, as it appears that the provision of inflight Wifi may become a source of competition amongst the airline community as time goes by.
Mission critical communications in airports is an essential part of operations, securely delivering and receiving aviation messaging such as accident management, personnel communications, ATS and passenger information.
Reliable, on-the-ground messaging within the airport environment, or from business-to-business, can mean the difference between efficient operational productivity, or costly ground delays. Mission critical communications providers around the world rely on messaging networks to deliver these transmissions swiftly and securely, often using Type B protocols.
Miami International Airport has selected Everbridge to provide their system upgrades to assist and improve incident response times and minimise errors within their messaging environment.
As the demand for passenger connectivity soars, Gogo have announced that it has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for its latest 2Ku satellite service. They are hoping for a successful launch later this year for commercial aircraft.
Passengers on commercial planes today want to be able to use the internet onboard and the competition is hotting up amongst the providers.
Rockwell Collins’ Cabin Connect, powered by Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and with plans for the additional speed capabilities of GX later this year, allows for live streaming, video calling and surfing the internet from the passenger’s seat on the aircraft.
The video below shows how.
World-leading aviation communications provider, Rockwell Collins, has announced the launch of a new disaster communications network – ARINC UrgentLink – to enable first-responders communications channels when local ground networks have been compromised, damaged or destroyed.
Rockwell Collins’ ARINC UrgentLink leverages current mission critical transmission technologies, successfully used and proven within the aviation industry, and uses licensed radio frequencies specifically disaster-authorised by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Two separate contracts worth a total of more than $880 million have been announced this week by the US’s Department of Defence, in addition to several other contract awards for ACARS, engineering and technical services, and implementation for the country’s Naval fleet.
The military communications systems contracts will involve no ‘up-front’ payment awards, with funds distribution for assignment as orders are individually processed.
ViaSat and Data Link Solutions are the biggest awards, and they will handle Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) and Low Volume Terminal (LVT) to ensure high-performance, secure and jam-resistant data and voice communications systems for the Navy, Army and Air Force.
An upgrade of western US’s airports and ports is to be deployed as part of the TSA’s mission to reinforce the security of national transport systems.
In a contract worth up to $450 million across western, eastern and Central America, the TSA mean to strengthen security under the Transportation Security Equipment Deployment Services (TEDS) project.
Lockheed Martin have received a contract for the western US and will install security technology equipment in several areas, covering airports, ports, cargo facilities and terminals.
All across the globe, borders are being strengthened and facility security providers are becoming ever-busier, as governments and agencies strive to install the latest that the security technology sector has to offer.
Last night the French authorities confirmed the debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion did indeed belong to the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 Boeing 777, seventeen months after it tragically disappeared from radar.
In a press conference, the Malaysian Prime Minister said that he has ‘shared the pain of those who could find no comfort,’ and offered the families of the 239 passengers on board MH370 his ‘deepest sympathy and prayers.’
It is believed that the search for the flight recorder will now be shifted to include the area of the Indian Ocean where the wreckage has been found. There were reports last year from the Maldives Islands of sightings of a passenger jet flying low over the islands in the early hours of the day flight MH370 went missing.
As the ICAO official said last month, the case cannot be closed until the plane is found. Today’s news will hopefully bring the authorities a step closer to its conclusion.