Aircell unveiled new SwiftBroadband airtime programs for business aviation this week at EBACE. Business aircraft operators can now choose from a variety of SwiftBroadband data and voice plans offered by Aircell with accompanying services. Pay-as-you-go monthly data plans are available. These come with single monthly invoices for all Aircell SwiftBroadband, Iridium and Gogo Biz airtime services. Data compression is included at no additional charge. Heavy users of data are offered special annual plans.
SatCom Direct has added SwiftBroadband “always on” position data from Inmarsat to its SD Flight Tracker mapping solution, enhancing the ability to track aircraft globally. The company blends the Inmarsat information with position data from other sources, including its own Flightdeck Freedom datalink, to provide what it claims is “the most comprehensive flight tracking service available.” SD Flight Tracker can be accessed from any Internet-connected device.
Constant Aviation’s Las Vegas facility has been selected by Embraer as an authorized service center for the Legacy 600/650 and Phenom 100/300. Constant Aviation will support scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, avionics upgrades, structural repairs and interior refurbishments.
Duncan Aviation’s avionics team is validating STCs in response to Aircell’s announcement that Gogo Biz will be available in portions of Canada this year. Duncan has completed 11 STCs to date.
Aircell has expanded its terrestrial air-to-ground network into Canada and now Aircell-equipped aircraft can use the service for Internet access and voice service in Canada, Alaska and the continental U.S. for no additional charge. The new Canadian coverage reaches into the country’s southern territories and along its western borders with Alaska. “The debut of Gogo Biz service in Canada culminates a multi-year development program and we’re pleased to see it go live,” said Aircell executive v-p and general manager John Wade.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today there will be “no time limit” in the search for a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that has been missing since March 8. On March 28, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced that the search area for Flight 370 had been refined to a new location nearly 700 miles north of the earlier search region of the southern Indian Ocean.
Aircell received STC approvals from the EASA for installation of in-flight connectivity and entertainment systems on Bombardier Challenger 300s. Specifically, the certifications cover the Aviator 300 datacom system and UCS 5000 “smart” router and media server. The company said the Aviator 300 STC data package is being offered to Challenger 300 operators for a “nominal fee” when they install the system at an authorized Aircell dealer and activate a new SwiftBroadband service plan. Aircell entered the European market in 2002 and the region is now its second-largest market.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STC approval for the activation and use of all Aircell Wi-Fi products in the Hawker 800/850/900/1000. The approval includes the newly announced ATG 2000 and ST 4300, as well as the ATG 5000, ATG 4000, Aviator 200/300/350 and Gogo Vision with UCS 5000 media server.
“Cost of the Aircell ATG 2000 for these Hawkers starts at approximately $57,000, not including installation,” said Conrad Theisen, avionics sales manager for Elliott Aviation. Downtime is eight to 10 days.
Today Aircell unveiled the ST 4300, a global in-flight communications system for business aircraft that is expected to be eligible for Fans certification. The ST 4300 combines voice, narrowband data and cockpit datalink services into a single unit. Available with one, two or three Iridium voice/narrowband data channels, as well as a dedicated Iridium data channel, the system allows business aircraft operators to configure cabin and flight-deck communications to suit their specific needs and budgets.
More than 2,000 Gogo Biz on-board broadband systems have been installed in business aircraft, Aircell announced today. This milestone was reached 4.5 years after the Gogo Biz service was introduced, which Aircell said makes “it the most rapidly adopted broadband service in business aviation history.” Jet Aviation performed the first Gogo Biz installation in June 2009 for the launch customer, a corporate aircraft operator based in the Midwest U.S. Gogo Biz allows passengers and crews to have Internet access above 10,000 feet in the continental U.S.