Viasat passes 100th Gen 2 Ka-band installation milestone

Viasat logoViasat says it is pleased to have passed the 100th installation milestone of its Gen 2 service on a commercial aircraft, with customer demand meaning installer crews are working tirelessly to equip planes with the latest service.

Its Gen 2 modem/terminal and Ka-band satellites will be able to deliver speeds of up to to 100 – 200+ Mbps to the aircraft, more akin to what people expect to get on the ground.

John Daly, Viasat’s VP of Business Operations, said: “As the VP of business operations responsible for overseeing all of this, people ask me all the time what’s involved with bringing high-speed internet to an aircraft 35,000 feet up.

“Since installation of our antenna requires modification to the plane’s fuselage, the first step is getting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Each model of plane we install on has to have a ‘Supplemental Type Certificate’ showing that our design is safe, airworthy and compliant with all federal regulations.

“This process can take 10-12 months, so when we get an STC for a new aircraft, it’s a big deal. In fact, we just recently got our first STC for a wide-body aircraft, the Airbus A330, which clears the way for installations on those aircraft in the Qantas fleet.

“Since even the same model airplane can have slight differences between carriers, we have to get an amendment to an STC for each new airline. So even though we have that one for the A330 on Qantas, we’ll need to get additional approvals for any other airlines’ A330.”

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