Inmarsat’s next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service, which offers a global, secure, broadband platform for operations and safety communications, has entered commercial service.
As previewed last week by “Get Connected”, the official launch will be at the IATA Safety and Flight Operation Conference in Montreal today, Tuesday 17 April.
SwiftBroadband-Safety is the culmination of years of work by Inmarsat to prove to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that it can provide reliable satellite-based aircraft communications.
The company says SwiftBroadband-Safety unlocks a world of digital intelligence for airlines, transforming the role of satcom from a safety utility to a key source of strategic value.
Inmarsat says the platform enables a range of value-added applications, allowing airlines to use rich, real-time data to drive decision-making, improve operational efficiency and assure the highest levels of safety in the skies.
The commercial service introduction follows a successful in-flight evaluation on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft and installations on the airline’s entire Airbus A321neo fleet.
SB-S is also in flight evaluations with United Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, and has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) solution on its A320 and A330 families.
SB-S underwent a successful evaluation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Performance-Based Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC) as a platform to provide direct data link communication between pilots and air traffic control (ATC).
In addition, SB-S received the prestigious 2018 “Jane’s ATC Award” in the Technology category last month.
Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “With SB-S in commercial service, the aviation industry can now fully realise the benefits of the connected aircraft – driving greater efficiency in airline operations, while leading the way for the future of aviation safety.
“We are excited to see the real-world impact that SB-S will have on aviation efficiency and safety in the months and years to come.”
SB-S reduces airlines’ fuel costs and CO2 emissions through enabling connected Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, including real-time weather reports, optimised profile descent and trajectory-based operations.
Flight tracking, real-time flight data streaming (Black Box in the Cloud) and interface with rescue coordination centres will assure safety by providing a solution to the ICAO’s imminent new Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS) requirements on flight tracking and data recoverability.
With SB-S, remote, secure access to on-board data delivers aircraft health and performance information to the ground in real time, improving predictive maintenance and assisting in quick fault resolution for faster on-the-ground turnaround.
Increased periodic position reporting enables reduced separation minima and will unlock additional airspace capacity to match growing demand, while digital SatVoice capabilities relieve pressure on crowded VHF radio links.
SB-S provides a secure communications and surveillance solution for ATC requirements, and its broadband capability is essential for air traffic management (ATM) modernisation.
It also serves as the platform for Iris, a new programme with the European Space Agency (ESA) that will enable 4D trajectory ATM, which is expected over the skies of Europe by 2020.
SB-S is available through a global network of leading distribution partners including SITAONAIR, Rockwell Collins and China Transport Telecommunication Information Group Company Limited (CTTIC) / Aviation Data Communication Corporation (ADCC) in China.