This summer Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat plans to add two premium classes to its Yonder high-speed Internet satellite telecom service, specifically to cater for the needs of business aviation. The new services–Yonder Premium and Yonder VIP–provide higher data rates, new quality of service assurances and enhanced network operations, as well as field engineering customer support.
ViaSat’s Exede Internet consumer broadband service is expanding to the airline sector, and sources at the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company say it is considering providing Exede to business aviation, though no plans have been announced yet.
At AIX, ViaSat announced it had set Guinness world records for the highest-capacity satellite, allowing 100 times the capacity of a typical Ku-band satellite and 10 times the throughput of any Ka-band satellite launched before ViaSat-1.
Manchester Boston Regional Airport-based Pro Star Aviation has received FAA approval for an STC to install the Thrane & Thrane Aviator 200 SwiftBroadband system with Wi-Fi in the Pilatus PC-12/45/47/47E. According to the company, it is the lightest, most compact airborne broadband solution on the market and simultaneously provides ramp-to-altitude worldwide data and voice. The Aviator 200 allows in-flight e-mail, Internet browsing, smartphone connectivity and one high-quality, low-cost AMBE2 voice channel. Multiple users can access the broadband system at speeds up to 200 kilobytes per second.
JetCorp Technical Services of Chesterfield, Mo., has received an STC for the Aircell cabin telecommunications router (CTR) on a Challenger 300. Installation and certification of the CTR provides in-cabin Wi-Fi capability for Aircell’s Gogo Biz in-flight Internet connection.
Fractional provider NetJets will equip more than 250 of its midsize and large-cabin aircraft with Aircell GoGo Biz high-speed Internet service, with installations set to begin this month.
Constant Aviation, a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility headquartered at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, is offering a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Aircell high-speed Internet with Wi-Fi system for the Gulfstream IV. "The addition of Wi-Fi to corporate aircraft has been on the rise as an increasing number of passengers want access to the Internet and e-mail in flight," said company president Stephen Maiden.
Innotech Aviation in Montreal is closing in on an FAA STC permitting installations of ViaSat Ku-band satellite data hardware aboard the Bombardier Global Express. ViaSat’s Yonder Ku-band service provides data connections in flight of up to 10 megabits per second, making it the fastest commercial Internet service available.
Thales is preparing for an anticipated explosion in demand for in-flight Internet connectivity with the opening of its new Connectivity Suite─a facility with its own satcom connection in which the company’s engineers and airline clients can assess and refine Internet-enabled equipment for both the cabin and the cockpit.
The court-appointed trustee in the 2008 Silver State Helicopters (SSH) collapse has filed suit against the company’s ex-CEO, Jerry Airola, and his top deputy, Steve Pickett, charging that the two used a complex shell game to fraudulently transfer $8.2 million out of the company in the months immediately before it declared bankruptcy.
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