SITA OnAir is developing the first EASA STC for Inmarsat’s Ka-band broadband service, GX Aviation. SITA OnAir is working with EAD Aerospace, an Eclipse company, on the STC to retrofit Boeing 777-series aircraft, on behalf of an undisclosed airline. The STC is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016. The third and final GX Aviation satellite is expected to launch at the end of August 2015.
“This STC will allow the installation and activation of connectivity covering SITA OnAir’s nose-to-tail e-Aircraft portfolio,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “This includes solutions and products for passengers, cabin crew, cockpit crew, aircraft data and maintenance, flight operations and air traffic control. 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 should provide 50Mb/s to the aircraft.
SITA OnAir already has more than 40 STCs, covering the retrofit 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, SITA OnAir systems are available as linefit on the entire Airbus fleet as well as on Boeing B777s and B787s. It is also a linefit option on selected VIP aircraft, including the Dassault Falcon 7X and ACJs.
SITA OnAir’s STCs have been awarded by certification authorities across the world, including the FAA, EASA, the Singapore CAA and Japan’s CAB. Existing STCs can be reused for new airline orders. SITA OnAir 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,” said Dawkins. “In tandem, we are also working together to kick-start similar GX Aviation STCs on other aircraft types, including the A320 family.”
“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,” said Marc Pinault, general manager of Eclipse.
SITA OnAir is a key distribution partner for GX Aviation.
August 20, 2015