EBACE 2013 shows importance of connectivity to business aviation

Announcements by Inmarsat partners at Geneva aviation show emphasise continued growth of airborne connectivity.

A host of announcements by Inmarsat partners at this year's European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva emphasised the continued growth of airborne connectivity.

ARINC Direct demonstrated a pre-production model of its new Xplore communications interface.

Xplore offers complete ACARS messaging (via an iPad app), high-quality voice, SMS messaging and Blackberry email over an Inmarsat SwiftBroadband connection.

SDR router
Florida-based Satcom Direct also promoted its new SDR router – the first of a new family of hardware devices that can interface with an aircraft's SwiftBroadband connection to provide Wi-Fi and other services in the cabin.

Satcom Direct also confirmed that its new Hong Kong office is opening from 1 June.

Cobham Satcom announced that its Aviator 300 terminal has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installation on Bombardier's Challenger 300 and a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) STC for its use aboard the Cessna 550, 550 Bravo and S550.

Extensive range
It also announced that its Aviator 200 SwiftBroadband solution had received an EASA STC for use aboard the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.

The EASA STC includes the activation of the Aviator 200's built-in Wi-Fi option, offering access to an extensive range of communication capabilities.

Cobham Satcom said it also expects to make new product announcements at the Paris Air Show in June.

New office
Satcom One announced it is opening a new office in Geneva to service better the Swiss business aviation market.

It has also gained approval for SwiftBroadband connectivity use on aircraft in both Russia and China.

Satcom One will start selling flight planning and datalink services powered by Honeywell's Global Data Center (GDC) from 1 June.

Service plans
Aircell confirmed that it is now a distribution partner and service provider for SwiftBroadband.

Aircell recently launched new monthly service plans with rates that automatically decrease as data usage increases.

It has also signed an agreement with P3 Voith Aerospace, based in Hamburg, to develop several new STCs for the Aviator 200 in-flight connectivity system for SwiftBroadband use in Europe.

GX Aviation
Inmarsat partner Eclipse confirmed it has been appointed as a Honeywell distributor in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Eclipse will support Honeywell-developed hardware for Inmarsat's upcoming GX Aviation Ka-band network.

Finally, visitors were able to hear more about GX Aviation on Inmarsat's stand, with details of how the first of three Inmarsat-5 satellite launches is planned for later this year.

Ebace: www.ebace.aero