Inmarsat signs two key agreements for SwiftBroadband-Safety

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Graphic showing SwiftBroadband-Safety capabilities.Inmarsat has signed strategic agreements with Rockwell Collins and SITAONAIR for the distribution of its next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) flightdeck connectivity solution.

Rockwell Collins will become a global distributor of SB-S and SITAONAIR will add the solution to its portfolio.

SB-S is a next-generation communications system for the flightdeck and meets stringent aviation requirements for safety and operational data exchange with the ground.

Its global coverage is Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A compliant and delivers Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and safety and operational services over a robust, secured IP data link as well as multiple voice channels.

Inmarsat says the SB-S hardware is smaller, lighter and has a lower cost of ownership than other market alternatives, saving space and weight, reducing fuel burn and making it suitable for all single-aisle and wide-bodied aircraft.

This new connection between the flightdeck, aircraft systems and the ground provides a range of benefits to airlines, including enhanced situational awareness across their entire operation, more informed real-time decision making, enhanced real-time performance monitoring, high-resolution weather updates, and other data critical to modernising the safety and efficiency of airline and air traffic control (ATC) flight operations.

Rockwell Collins has provided and managed Inmarsat’s high-quality legacy cockpit services to a majority of the world’s transoceanic wide-body and business aircraft fleet.

Under the new agreement, it will collaborate with airlines to implement the new digital SB-S technology on future and existing fleets, along with additional value added applications and services.

SITAONAIR will supply commercial airlines and business aviation operators with SB-S, including migration options for existing customers to install the new platform.

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat, said: “These new agreements mark a huge milestone in our strategy to bring the digital revolution to the flightdeck.

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“According to our recent study with Helios, aeronautical satellite communications are estimated to have saved the world’s airlines US$3 billion over the past 15 years, through reduced oceanic separation and critical operational communications.

“This 21st century concept of operations will be powered by the high-speed, cost-effective capabilities of SB-S and the new applications and services it enables.”
Michael DiGeorge, Vice President of Commercial Aviation and Network Services at Rockwell Collins, said: “The advent of the next generation ‘connected cockpit’ brings with it a new set of requirements in terms of service reliability, availability and security for aviation communications.”

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM at SITAONAIR, said: “We’re delighted to extend our relationship with Inmarsat and be able to add SwiftBroadband-Safety to our portfolio of integrated aircraft communications services.

“SB-S will prove critical in connecting existing cockpit applications and unleash potential as the industry is able to develop new applications and services around a dedicated secure IP connection to the cockpit.

“At SITAONAIR we’re already integrating SB-S integral position reporting to enhance our AIRCOM® FlightTracker application, further supporting the Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS).”

Inmarsat says it is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world.

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

It says as the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s SB-S brings ‘always on, always secure’ high-speed broadband into the cockpit, transforming aviation safety and optimising flight operations to save airlines both time and money.

SB-S is currently in flight in evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. It has also been selected by Airbus as a light cockpit satcom solution on its popular A320 and A330 families.

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