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Leading Providers of CPDLC for Commercial AviationAs a part of the Single European Skies ATM Research (SESAR) joint undertaking, the Iris Precursor Programme phase one completion takes Europe another step closer to its goal of creating the worlds most advanced air traffic management infrastructure.

Now, with phase one completed, another €7.6 million of funding will now be made available by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its partners to commence phase two, which will focus on the satellite network overlay.

ESA’s Iris Precursor Programme is operating in partnership with Inmarsat, the well-known British satellite company and will provide the means to streamline the current ATM system and allow aircraft to use Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) to its maximum efficiency, increasing safety significantly over Europe.

Aviation Industry NewsAn official from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has said that the case for missing flight MH370 cannot close until the plane is found, despite spiralling costs as the search continues.

Until conclusive evidence can be uncovered about the whereabouts or the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft, then search efforts, currently led by Australia will continue.

The search has cost an estimated U.S. $11 million since it began in March last year and the ICAO maintain that the responsibility for the search must remain with Malaysia, China and Australia.

There is still no evidence to suggest the reason for the aircraft losing radar coverage, and the ICAO are no closer to knowing whether it was a safety issue, a security or a technical issue.

Mr Raymond Benjamin, secretary-general for the ICAO said, “Without the wreckage, we don’t know.”

Global Providers of Cyber Security Solutions for Airports & FacilitiesThis September the platform will be open for a global aviation security discussion in Dubai as the Information Exchange Group announce the dates for the Aviation Security Conference 2015.

IXG has said that the conference will offer the most prominent platform for a ‘Discuss-Debate-Deliberate’ session on the most critical issues in the field of aviation security.

Topics to be aired will include the assessment of the latest threats to civil aviation, the industry’s technical developments and innovations, cyber security and crisis management amongst other subjects.

A panel of EMEA regional experts will attend and open the discussions.

Worldwide Cabin Services ProvidersRockwell Collins again hit the aviation headlines this week as they team with Inmarsat and Hawaiian Airlines to begin critical evaluations of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband for safety services.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC aviation communications network will play what is described as a ‘central role’ in Hawaiian Airlines’ evaluation of Future Air Navigation System (FANS) over SwiftBroadband.

For Hawaiian Airlines, the testing offers a wider opportunity for them to utilise SwiftBroadband for flight deck connectivity, passenger communications and cabin services.

RVSM Height-Monitoring Equipment Maintenance Rules Change | Business Aviation NewsEasing the requirements for maintenance for RVSM Height-Monitoring equipment will save business operators in the region of $14 million in the first year alone, according to the FAA this week. Additionally almost 34,000 FAA inspection hours will also be freed.

Since 2008, NBAA representative have been trying to reduce the burden placed on operators for compliance with the maintenance program, without compromising the safety aspects of RVSM airspace.

As regulations stand, to achieve RVSM approval, operators must prepare and submit a separate maintenance program to their local FSDO for all RVSM equipment on top of all other aircraft-related maintenance, adding time and cost for the inspectors and the operator.

Updated regulatory requirements will streamline the RVSM maintenance program and reduce the burden on operators.

Business Passenger Communications ProvidersIt has just been announced that Honeywell’s latest addition to their connectivity suites will include the AMT-700 antenna for Gulfstream’s new G500 and G600 business aircraft.

Fitted as standard on all new productions, the improved service will allow business passengers greater connection speeds in the cabin via Inmarsat SwiftBroadband for internet and voice calls, while additional benefits will also be realised in the cockpit with clearer communications with the ground.

Providers of inflight Inmarsat SwiftBroadband services, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect ensure that executive travellers can continue to conduct their business as efficiently in the air as they can in their ground-based office environments.

Providers of Aviation Data Link Communications SolutionsAn Oceanic Data Link (ODL) service will be provided by Rockwell Collins to enable real-time data communications between ATC and pilots in a seven-year contract awarded by the FAA this week.

The ARINC data link service will be established in the FAA control centres in New York, Oakland and Anchorage under the contract, which will enable the air traffic control centres to conduct standard procedures on Future Air Navigation System (FANS) equipped aircraft. FAA aircraft tracking will be made possible while out of radar range.

Rockwell Collins currently works in conjunction with the FAA for the Next Generation Air Transport System (NextGen) initiative, providing voice and domestic data link.

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.

Find Out More About CPDLCThe much-anticipated decision to move the CPDLC mandate deadline has been announced this week by the European Commission (EC). The new deadline will now be February 2020 for operators to equip their aircraft with Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC).

In a statement to Avionics magazine, Gzim Ocakolu, EC Directorate for Mobility & Transport policy officer said, “I can indeed confirm to you some recent important developments related to the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 29/2009.”

The news is welcomed across the industry following concerns regarding the technical issues related to the radio frequency environment and the infrastructure of the ground-based operations currently in place. It is these issues, discovered during an EC investigation into the implementation of DLS ground infrastructure, that have led to the delay for mandatory CPDLC installation, which would have been activated last month.

“Certain air navigation service providers have already taken mitigation measures, consisting of the restriction of DLS operations to aircraft equipped with specific avionics through so-called ‘white lists,’ so as to address potential safety impacts of those PAs in the operations of data link service,” the EC said.

Just 40% of operators would have been ready for the mandate, the investigation found, and only 70% of the necessary ground infrastructure would’ve been ready and fit for use. The implementation of CPDLC is critical to European airspace, with voice channels that have become heavily congested. Compliance will involve retrofitting aircraft with FANS, 1/A router, antenna, CPDLC interface and VHF Data Link Mode 2 radio (VDLM2).