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.
A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
Aircell will shut down the Airfone air-to-ground communications network as scheduled on December 31, and after that date Airfone users will no longer be able to make calls. Business aviation Airfone users have been using MagnaStar systems to make calls, and a variety of options are available to upgrade or replace those systems.
Beechcraft recently certified a range of wireless in-flight connectivity equipment to fit low- and high-occupancy aircraft and has begun installations.
ATG 2000, a new Aircell equipment package that provides Gogo Biz Internet and voice service, is available with certified Wi-Fi as an upgrade through Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) for most Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft.
Travel Management Company completed activation of the Aircell ATG 2000 onboard system on its charter fleet of 37 Hawker 400XPs, providing wireless high-speed Internet service from a passenger smartphone or tablet via Aircell’s Gogo Biz.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based operator claims to be “the largest charter operator and owner of Hawker 400XPs and 800/850XPs in the country.” The fleet of 30 Hawker 800/850XPs was previously equipped with a mix of Aircell’s ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 packages and Gogo Biz, also allowing a wireless connection via smartphone or tablet.
Just days after Aircell announced its new UCS (unified computing system) smart router/media server upgrade, Jet Aviation St. Louis signed the first after-market customer in the industry, according to the St. Louis Downtown Airport-based completion, refurbishment and MRO specialist.
Russell Ford became CEO of StandardAero just before NBAA 2013 and he already has a firm grasp of the direction the independent provider of engine and airframe maintenance and other services needs to go. The Dubai Aerospace Enterprise-owned global company, with more than 3,800 employees and $1.6 billion in annual revenue, needs to continue to find new products and new solutions.
“Business is looking up,” Western Jet Aviation shop supervisor Jason Mann told AIN during NBAA 2013. “I’ve taken about a dozen phone calls for pre-buy tech inspections just this month,” he continued, explaining that these inspections often turn into refurbishment work for the company. Western Jet recently tripled its avionics shop space and went from two to seven technicians to keep up with the work.
The business aviation community came together last night in support of the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the industry charity that arranges for cancer patients to fly to treatment in empty seats on business aircraft. At this year’s annual NBAA-CAN Soirée, which was held during this week’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, the silent and live auctions raised nearly $440,000 for the organization, about $70,000 more than at last year’s event.
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