Aircell is eliminating unlimited service plans for new activations using its Gogo Biz air-to-ground network, beginning July 16. After this date, existing unlimited service contracts will be subject to a “grandfathering” option, which continues unlimited service until Dec. 15, 2016. Aircell says it was prompted to make the change by the rapid growth in data usage aloft, which mirrors ground-bound mobile device users’ appetite for data.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Aircell is eliminating unlimited service plans for new service activations to its Gogo Biz air-to-ground network, beginning July 16. After that date, existing unlimited service contracts will be subject to a “grandfathering” option, which continues unlimited service until Dec. 15, 2016. Rate plans are changing, too, but customers will get more data for the same price under the new lowest-cost plan. Two new plans have been added at the 2.5 and 5 GB levels.
A curious conundrum is causing confusion for international business jet operators flying to countries where ADS-B out equipment and capability is mandatory. While there is no requirement in the U.S. and Europe for operators to have a letter of authorization (LOA) for using ADS-B out equipment, some Asia-Pacific countries are requiring that operators carry an LOA with their aircraft’s paperwork when operating in airspace where ADS-B out is required. The problem is that asking FAA inspectors to add yet another LOA package to their overburdened workflows further delays issuance.
The media jumped on a May 13 report that Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin had threatened that unless the U.S. allows Russia to install a ground station in the U.S. to monitor signals from its GPS-like Glonass satnav system, Russia would retaliate and “suspend the operation of U.S. GPS ground stations in Russia.”
By now, all corporate and most general aviation aircraft owners are aware that by Jan. 1, 2020, their aircraft must carry an approved installation of an ADS-B out transmitter and an appropriate Waas receiver. And also by now, owners will probably have read accounts, or have been advised by their avionics suppliers and installers, that even with five-and-a-half years to go, booking installation dates to meet the deadline is getting tight.
Significant numbers of business aircraft operators have made little or no progress in complying with key avionics mandates, according to new research commissioned by Honeywell Aerospace with data gathered from AIN readers. The survey identified the mandates for ADS-B out, Fans/PM-CPDLC datalink capability and Fans-1/A (North Atlantic region) as the most pressing concerns.
Triggered by the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 in June 2009 in the Atlantic and compounded by the loss of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean in March, representatives of ICAO member states and of the aviation industry agreed on a set of near-term priority actions and a framework for medium- and long-term objectives, at a special meeting on global aircraft tracking at ICAO in Montreal on May 14.
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.
DAC International’s GDC64Wx iPad weather application is now available at the Apple iTunes Store. The app allows iPad users to view weather in the U.S. and Canada when connected to an XM Receiver through DAC International’s GDC64 tablet to aircraft interface unit. Current display capabilities include U.S. and Canadian radar, lightning strikes, shear, cloud tops and satellite imagery.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based consultancy firm MAZ Aviation and satellite airtime provider Satcom1 are joining forces to design a faster satcom system for the Airbus ACJ and Boeing BBJ. According to the partnership agreement, the system will be based on Ka- and Ku- band solutions and will offer greater bandwidth for airborne communications. Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and its safety services features will be used for cockpit communications needs.