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The gold standard for safety-critical services

Classic Aero has been the trusted choice for cockpit safety services for 30 years. More than 90% of the world’s transoceanic aircraft use our services for communication and surveillance today.

Setting the standard for aviation safety communications

As the leader in flight deck communications, we own and operate the world’s most advanced global L-band satellite network. Trusted by more than 200 airlines, our aviation safety services are onboard more than 17,000 aircraft and deliver 50 million position reports annually, keeping aircraft safely separated and in touch with airline operation teams and Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Introduced in the early 1990s, Classic Aero made a powerful impact as the first satellite communications and surveillance service for aircraft travelling across the oceans and remote regions of the world. These key capabilities – only possible with the power of satellites – enabled regulators to reduce the separation requirements between aircraft in the sky, thereby expanding oceanic airspace capacity by over 300%. This allowed aircraft to fly more efficient routes and has saved airlines billions over the last three decades, according a 2017 study by Helios

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Inmarsat successfully pioneers FANS 

Not only have we led aviation satcom for the past 30 years, we helped to invent it. We started laying the foundation for Classic Aero all the way back in the late 1980s, when Inmarsat worked with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to develop the Future Air Navigation System (FANS).

Having provided satellite safety connectivity to the maritime industry for 10 years prior, we were the only satellite provider in the world with the capability and expertise to connect via satellite to oceanic aircraft moving at 500mph.

FANS was born out of those early meetings, featuring the capabilities that would become core of Classic Aero: surveillance via Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) and communications via Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC). These capabilities opened up the skies using satellite connectivity, enabling real-time aircraft position updates and text communication between pilots and controllers in regions where other forms of communication were limited or non-existent.

FANS was truly a catalyst for the explosive growth of global aviation. Today it remains one of the foundations of global aviation safety. 

Powered by a seamless and evolving network

Classic Aero delivers full global coverage over all major flight routes, with over 99.9% availability worldwide, supported by a seamless network with unrivalled cybersecurity.

This is the reason that most of the world’s leading airlines have used Classic Aero services for the past three decades – not to mention small, medium and large business jet owners, general aviation and government agencies.

We continue to invest in our global L-band satellite network, assuring Classic Aero’s performance for many years to come. Our fully-funded technology roadmap will see two new L-band payloads added to our network. These will be the most powerful L-band payloads ever launched and are expected to be in orbit from 2021.

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