Collins & Aerothai partner to increase connectivity In Asia

US-based Collins Aerospace has partnered up with Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Limited (Aerothai) in an expanded agreement to bring GlobalConnect to Asian airlines. The signing ceremony took place at a meeting on the 18th to 18th July 2019.

Collins and Aerothai signing
Clotilde Enel-Réhel, general manager for Commercial Aviation & Network Services for Collins Aerospace and Mr. Somnuk Rongthong, AEROTHAI’s President, at the signing ceremony for the launch of GlobalConnect managed digital services in Asia. Photo: Aerothai

The partnership will see the two entities jointly developing GlobalConnect and Flight Operation and Maintenance Exchanger (FOMAX) services for GlobalConnect to launch in Asia. Airlines adopting the technology will be able to access wireless movement of both Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) data and Maintenance Operations Quality Assurance (MOQA) data.

A first of its kind

It’s a first of its kind solution for airlines in Asia, providing a single communication solution that can provide data transfer both to and from aircraft wirelessly. Collins says that it will increase safety and efficiency at airlines through the provision of easier and faster data monitoring.

Clotilde Enel-Réhel, general manager for Commercial Aviation & Network Services for Collins Aerospace, commented on the partnership in a press release, saying.

“As overall air traffic growth in Asia continues to accelerate, GlobalConnect will play a key role in helping airlines in the region move towards more digital operations to accommodate increased demand. This solution goes beyond just creating a connected aircraft … uniting the data flow between the aircraft, the airline and ground applications.”

Aerothai has a long relationship with the GlobalConnect system, having been a partner with ARINC in the 1990s onwards for GlobalLink, the predecessor to the current system. As ARINC was acquired by Rockwell Collins in 2013 for $1.4bn, and Rockwell Collins, in turn, became Collins Aerospace after a buyout by United Technologies last year, it was a natural move for Aerothai to become a partner to GlobalConnect.

What is GlobalConnect?

The GlobalConnect system helps airline operators to stay connected to individual aircraft by deploying secure wireless connectivity. The single communications solution uses broadband satellite, WiFi and cellular in a seamless and interchangeable manner. Most recently it was adopted by Gulf Air for their new A320neo fleet.

The system will initially be available to airlines operating the Airbus A320 and A330. For operators, it means there will no need for manual downloading of MOQA and FOQA data when the aircraft is parked, thereby improving easy maintenance and performance data monitoring.

Collins told Flight Global about the capabilities of the system, saying it,

“…gives Asian airlines access to GlobalConnect’s wireless movement of both flight operations quality assurance [FOQA] data and maintenance operations quality assurance [MOQA] data. It also supports [Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System] over Internet protocol and an enabled Electronic Flight Bag to reduce pilot workload.”

GlobalConnect also supports data for the many mobile apps that flight crew use every day. These range from weather apps and flight planning tools through to logbooks and performance calculators too.

Collins and Aerothai press conference
Thumbs up for the partnership at the Collins and Aerothai press conference. Photo: Aerothai

Flight Global reports that, during the Q&A session, Enel-Rehel noted that discussions were taking place in other nations, including China, Japan and Singapore. However, she didn’t provide any details or timelines for this.

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