SITAONAIR is moving beyond just providing passenger connectivity with a range of new initiatives for the crew, the cockpit and ground-support teams.
The company recently changed its name from plain “OnAir” to emphasise its new focus on the e-enabled aircraft and its applications.
Francois Rodriguez, SITAONAIR chief strategy and marketing officer, said: “The aircraft is becoming just another node on an airline’s network. As such, there is no end to the variety of applications that can be deployed to make flying safer and the passenger experience better.
“Connectivity can also help make operations more efficient, lower maintenance costs and improve on-time performance.”
As well as its Mobile OnAir (telephone), Internet OnAir and OnAir Play (IFE) solutions, it showcased a number of new initiatives.
These included CrewTab, Crew Retail, and Crew Services applications to enhance the passenger experience, enabling cabin crew to personalise their onboard interaction with real-time passenger information.
These give crew access to en-route baggage information and enable real-time credit card authorisation via SITA OnAir’s satellite connectivity.
The cockpit has not been forgotten either, with the aircraft getting access to real-time EFB updates and weather information via the same ground-to-air connectivity pipe used for passengers..
SITAONAIR also sees a big future in aircraft health management with important engine and other data being shared with ground crew. It is about to start trials to show how data from the aircraft’s Quick Access Recorder could be streamed in real-time to the ground (vQAR).
It also announced that Malaysia Airlines is to be the first carrier to implement global flight tracking using the SITAONAIR AIRCOM FlightTracker, starting this summer.
The SITA AIRCOM Server FlightTracker solution enables airlines to track aircraft movement by merging data from SITA’s airline dispatcher centre system and airline operations centre system (AIRCOM) server, with Future Air Navigation System (FANS) ground applications.
SITAONAIR says it also recently completed the first tests of Inmarsat’s Ka-band GX Aviation service in the lab at the company’s London headquarters.
The GX Aviation satellite network was tested rigorously, using passenger, crew and aircraft applications. This included replicating usage onboard a commercial aircraft.
SITAONAIR says it has nearly 400 airline customers operating more than 14,000 aircraft, all of which could benefit from the super-fast broadband GX Aviation network that can provide up to 50Mbps to the aircraft.