SITAONAIR announces first EASA STC for GX Aviation
Introduction of GX Aviation moves a step closer
Geneva, 14 August 2015 – SITAONAIR is developing the first EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for Inmarsat’s high speed Ka-band broadband service, GX Aviation. SITAONAIR is working with EAD Aerospace, an Eclipse company, on the STC to retro fit Boeing 777 series aircraft, on behalf of an undisclosed Airline.
The development of this first GX Aviation STC brings the commercial availability of GX Aviation closer. Combined with the expected launch of the third and final GX Aviation satellite at the end of August, momentum is building rapidly.
“This STC will allow the installation and activation of connectivity covering SITAONAIR’s nose-to-tail e-Aircraft portfolio. This includes solutions and products for passengers, cabin crew, cockpit crew, aircraft data and maintenance, flight operations and air traffic control,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITAONAIR. “What’s new is that inflight connectivity using high throughput satellite networks extends the possibilities for passengers as well as airlines’ professional use. Airlines will be able to exchange data for operational purposes, and passengers will have the same Internet speed they are used to at home.”
GX Aviation will provide 50MB/s to the aircraft, in particular, giving passengers high-speed Wi-Fi. This is the new reality of inflight connectivity. For the very first time, there really is no difference between being in the air and being on the ground.
SITAONAIR already has over 40 STCs, covering the retro fit of inflight connectivity systems on Airbus aircraft, including the A320 family types, A330s and A340s, as well as Boeing aircraft including B737s, B767s and B777s. In addition, SITAONAIR systems are available as line fit on the entire Airbus fleet as well as on Boeing B777s and B787s. It is also a line fit option on selected VIP aircraft, including the Dassault Falcon 7X and Airbus Corporate Jets.
SITAONAIR’s STCs have been awarded by the major certification authorities across the world, including the FAA in the US, EASA in Europe, the Singapore CAA, and Japan’s CAB. Importantly, existing STCs can be reused for new airline orders. SITAONAIR can also adapt the STC to meet airlines’ specific technical, cosmetic and/or maintenance requirements.
“We have worked closely with EAD Aerospace on many STCs and I fully anticipate this will be a smooth process,” continued Dawkins. “In tandem, we are also working together to kick-start similar GX Aviation STCs on other aircraft types, including the A320 family.”
Marc Pinault, General Manager of Eclipse, said “Our cooperation with OnAir is a good example of how the Eclipse acquisition of EAD Aerospace earlier this year allows our partners to benefit from Eclipse’s extensive background in satcom issues and EAD Aerospace’s Part 21 skills to ensure all variables relating to a satcom installation are taken into account when delivering an STC.”
The STC is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016.
SITAONAIR is a key Distribution Partner for GX Aviation. With 400 airline customers operating over 14,000 aircraft, SITAONAIR is ideally placed to be the Tier One provider of connectivity solutions across the globe.