First VVIP ACJ320neo features customised connectivity from Satcom Direct


Satcom Direct (SD) has announced that it has provided a custom high-speed connectivity solution for the world’s first VVIP ACJ320neo, operated by UK-based charter provider Acropolis Aviation.

A combination of SD hardware and software delivers data service throughout the aircraft using Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX. The configuration designed specifically for the ACJ320neo integrates dual SDR Gateway routers paired with SD WiFi Hubs, to ensure consistent network availability throughout the cabin. Meanwhile, SD FlightDeck Freedom datalink service enables secure communications for flight crew and supports automated alerts to the flight deck, such as GeoNotifications, route alerts and security alerts.

On the ground, the Acropolis Aviation flight department uses SD Pro, a data management platform, to centralise flight planning and synchronise operations with enhanced visibility into aircraft and network performance. The open architecture software platform enables integration with third-party providers, including weather, fuel and trip planning systems, and is designed to support future connectivity developments and aircraft insights.

The SD integration team worked closely with completion centre AMAC Aerospace to support the system installation. SD conducted a number of configuration design reviews and participated in testing, alongside AMAC technicians, to ensure optimisation of the cabin network and phone systems. The fully redundant network ensures every passenger can simultaneously access data to support internet, phone, text and voice messaging, app usage, video conferencing and live TV streaming, without interruption.

Tailored Entry-into-Service (EIS) sessions were delivered to the Acropolis Aviation flight department, crew and operations team at the ACJ320neo’s home base, Farnborough Airport, also the location of SD’s international headquarters. The SD EIS programme offers professional on-site instruction about each specific connectivity configuration and aims to facilitate the best customer experience. Sessions devoted to SD Pro detailed full system capability, including the Advanced Connectivity Module, which provides detailed analysis of network activity. In addition to providing visibility on data usage, the platform also enables flight tracking, and forecasts potential communications disruptions during flight. As this is the first VVIP configuration of the ACJ320neo, SD also created a bespoke connectivity manual providing reference to the training materials designed for the Acropolis Aviation team.

“As we bring into service the world’s first ACJ320neo we naturally wanted to integrate secure state-of-the-art connectivity services that reliably deliver powerful connectivity to our passengers,” said Jonathan Bousfield, CEO of Acropolis Aviation. “The aircraft can easily make 12-hour flights and we want all our passengers to have the option to be connected to high-speed broadband without any compromise in speed and functionality. Satcom Direct is providing a service that meets these needs and more. The 24/7 customer support, the company’s global presence and the ability to facilitate a connectivity system customised to our specific needs was critical and drove our decision to work with SD on this project.”

“Our clients expect us to deliver the highest standards and we want to meet and exceed those expectations in terms of connectivity in flight, as well as for operations on the ground,” said Michael Skou Christensen, vice president, international, SD. “A customised connectivity solution implementing the full capabilities of SD Xperience with both hardware and software, supported by our award-winning customer service and ground infrastructure, allows us to satisfy those requirements.”

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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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