AirAsia equips A320s with Panasonic Avionics’ Flightlink

EFBs are becoming more popular with pilotsPanasonic Avionics has been chosen by AirAsia to equip its aircraft with the FlightLink aircraft tracking and flight deck communications system.

Panasonic will also be providing its new AirMap suite of products enabling Aeronautical Operation Control (AOC) fleet communications, management, and aircraft tracking.

FlightLink will be initially installed on 90 of AirAsia’s Airbus A320s to ensure the aircraft will be connected to the airline’s ground operations 24 hours a day.

Anaz Tajuddin, Group Head of Engineering for AirAsia, said: “Given our unique route structure, we needed a single supplier that could provide both the hardware and service needed to maintain constant contact with our aircraft everywhere we fly.

“Ensuring the highest level of safety and operational efficiency is our top priority and Panasonic’s FlightLink service was the best choice for ubiquitous communications and flight tracking for our fleet of A320s.”

Panasonic’s FlightLink uses Iridium’s global satellite-based communications system to support flight deck voice and data communication, as well as autonomous GPS-based flight tracking, in all of the areas in which AirAsia flies.

Additionally, the system provides fully-integrated data communications for the aircraft’s ACARS system and Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs).

AirAsia is also installing Panasonic’s Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) atmospheric sensors, enabling improved flight planning and situational display of atmospheric conditions, including icing and turbulence.

Panasonic Avionics CEO Paul Margis said: “Our decade-old vision of the connected aircraft has become a reality. This collaboration with a forward-looking airline like AirAsia is the proof of the business and safety improvement potential of our suite of services.

“Together, we’re ensuring constant situational awareness and communications with AirAsia’s aircraft – no matter where they fly.”

As part of the overall solution, Panasonic has partnered with UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS). UTAS is supplying key enabling components to the EFB installation on these aircraft, including the onboard Aircraft Interface Device (AID), Tablet Interface Modules (TIM), and associated EFB mounting hardware and brackets.

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