Virgin Atlantic Airways will introduce high-speed Internet connectivity on its flights as it becomes the first European customer for a new in-flight connectivity system being sold by Gogo Inc.
Virgin Atlantic will use Gogo’s new satellite-based system, called “2Ku,” that could allow limited live-streaming video for some passengers, said Michael Small, president and chief executive of the Itasca, Illinois-based communications provider. Virgin Atlantic will be one of the first users of an upgraded communications link that will boost throughput and reduce drag, he said.
Hawaiian Airlines will become the first commercial airline to install Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband for flight deck applications, including Safety Services, on its Boeing 767-300s. The airline will use the system for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data messages, live Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) updates, and Airline Operational Communication (AOC) voice and data.
Inmarsat and the FAA will collect data on the performance of the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A service at Hawaiian Airlines, for which approvals over SwiftBroadband are expected by early 2016.
ACARS over SwiftBroadband is already flying on an Airbus A319 Corporate Jet and provides airlines with global cockpit communication, both for operations and air traffic control.
Intended for first responder and military use, VSAT Satellite Terminals helps ensure fast, effective responses during critical missions. Supplied in man-portable and airline checkable packages, systems utilize traditional dish equipment to provide high bandwidth data connections through geostationary satellites in X, Ku, and Ka bands. Transmit data speeds up to 5 Mbps and receive speeds as high as 15 Mbps are possible.