Banyan Receives STC Approval for Aviator 200
Banyan Air Service received the first STC for the SwiftBroadBand 200 class of service in the U.S. The Aviator 200 is a lightweight Inmarsat-based system that provides a Wi-Fi hotspot in an aircraft. According to Brian Wilson, Banyan Air Service director of avionics, it supports Wi-Fi-enabled PDA devices such as the BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad. “You can get on an aircraft, turn on your iPhone, it syncs to the terminal, you enable Wi-Fi mode and using a $2.99 application you can dial from your iPhone using your own contact list,” Alvie Barron, director of North American sales, told AIN. By using the voice channel inside the Aviator 200 rather than an Internet channel, the user can make a telephone call for about $1.50 a minute or surf the Internet. “With the Aviator 200 you get as much as 200 kilobytes of data transfer versus an Iridium system, which is closer to 2 kilobytes of data and restricts the user to an aircraft-dedicated phone.” Barron said installation takes seven to 10 days and costs about $75,000.