APEX2014: Cobham and Hawaiian partner on Safety Services

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An Hawaiian Boeing 767-300.
An Hawaiian Boeing 767-300.

Cobham Satcom is to equip Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet of Boeing 767-300 aircraft with its AVIATOR Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) satellite communications systems.

Its next-generation AVIATOR S will be used for Safety Services data, as well as for the provision of an IP pipe to the cockpit.

Inmarsat announced in August that trials of the digital air traffic control data system aboard a corporate Airbus A319 had been going well.

Installation of the Cobham systems on the Hawaiian fleet is a significant step forward in the process of approval for SwiftBroadband as a safety service by the aviation authorities.

This technology demonstration, under FAA supervision, will pave the way for other airlines and equipment manufacturers. It will eventually allow the fast, efficient transfer of ACARS data messages over the SwiftBroadband link, as well as flight deck safety voice services and IP connectivity to the flight deck, enabling other flight operations and cockpit services.

During the SwiftBroadband safety evaluation period, the AVIATOR SwiftBroadband system will be used for FANS and CPDLC messaging and will also be used for data transmission in support of Hawaiian’s new eFLIE, Electronic Flight Bag program (EFBs).

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Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit, said: “Using SwiftBroadband IP connectivity for all domains of the aircraft is new to the aviation industry and will provide safer and more efficient flights due to better overall situational awareness and transfer of operational data to and from of the aircraft.”

Ken Rewick, vice president of flight operations for Hawaiian Airlines, said: “SwiftBroadband enables us to provide our pilots with real-time weather updates on their Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), allowing us to efficiently navigate around Pacific storms, inclement weather and storms in real-time while providing the most comfortable flight experience for our passengers.”

Hawaiian’s B767s will be retrofitted with Cobham’s hardware, which includes an IGA-5001 intermediate gain antenna.

The system is capable of providing both voice and data communications with the addition of many enhanced features such as immediate aircraft tracking information and Ethernet ports for connecting devices like Aircraft Interface Devices (AIDs) and Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) for the pilots to obtain real-time information including graphical weather updates.

The connectivity will facilitate dynamic routing to favourable winds and away from unfavourable weather.

AVIATOR S will be available early 2016 to coincide with approvals for FANS 1/A services over SwiftBroadband.

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