Connectivity STC available for Chinese aircraft


Based on the China-EU Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), the Chinese authority CAAC has validated an EASA STC covering an inflight connectivity solution for A320 family aircraft. It enables Lufthansa Technik to offer the STC in China. Chinese operators can now deploy this satellite communication system, which offers Ka-band connectivity enabled in close cooperation with Honeywell.

The EASA STC for onboard internet has already been executed and installed on more than 300 A320 ceo and neo aircraft so far. The EASA STC was validated by CAAC based on the Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) for Airworthiness and Environmental Certification, a specification of BASA EU-China. It allows for initial and subsequent validations in a defined process, and therefore predictable timeframe. Moreover, it also ensures further validation mechanisms, additionally accelerating the execution of small adjustments for new customers.

“This represents a milestone in the cooperation of CAAC and EASA in the field of commercial aviation connectivity, made possible by the China-EU BASA,” said Lukas Bucher, head of connectivity solutions at Lufthansa Technik. “Based on a very light design and more than 300 installations, we can support very fast upgrades in less than four days and high maintenance inspection intervals; together we are offering very low and competitive operational costs to the airlines.”

“Chinese operators can tremendously benefit from our profound experience for inflight connectivity modifications gained with European aircraft,” said Xin Wang, Lufthansa Technik’s chief representative in China. “Thus, we guarantee smooth processes as well as MRO support with reliable timeframes.”

“The MCS-8420 JetWave satellite communications system is designed to connect to China’s Ka-band satellite network,” said Jia Zhijun, senior director of Honeywell Connected Aerospace Asia Pacific. “This satellite communications installation enables high-speed cabin wi-fi for a better passenger connectivity experience. Additionally, it provides pilots with a better internet connection to support flight planning and management, which will help reduce fleet fuel costs, avoid aircraft delays and further enhance airlines’ competitiveness and profitability in the global aviation market. Honeywell is currently advancing the certificate of MCS-8420 JetWave satellite communication systems applicable to other aircraft models.”

The modular radome installation on the aircraft fuselage is ARINC 791-compliant and was optimised by Lufthansa Technik to minimise operational and maintenance costs for the airline. The installation is engineered, fully qualified and certified to meet the harsh conditions of continuous commercial airline operation. The company said this includes, for example, optimised aircraft inspection cycles that are aligned with airframe-specific base maintenance programmes.

Based on the successful rollout of the JetWave Generation 1 hardware, Honeywell and Lufthansa Technik worked hand in hand to generate a solution for the Chinese market. The joint package includes China-specific adaptions of the Honeywell hardware and Lufthansa Technik’s aircraft integration design and certification suitable for the Chinese market. Various software platforms are available, including the option for airline-proprietary solutions so that the respective airline itself has full control. Aircraft-specific material kits are available, including a large antenna radome. If needed, Lufthansa Technik offers installation services jointly with local Chinese partners.

Images: Lufthansa Technik

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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