In the News: Connectivity in the Cockpit


In flight connectivity has moved beyond a “nice to have” luxury and evolved into a necessity — and that’s not just from the passenger perspective. Flight crew members rely on efficient connectivity options for the safety of their passengers,  effective communication for air traffic management as well as operational efficiencies.

In our latest news roundup for On the Flight Deck, Connected Aviation Today looks at advancements in connectivity that benefit hard-working flight crews as well as some of the existing obstacles with these efforts. Here are some recent, leading headlines:

WPS 2017: Inflight Connectivity Challenges

At this year’s World Passenger Symposium, hosted by IATA, a panel including Joe Leader, the CEO of Airlines Passenger Experience Association, as well as Jon Norris, Senior Director at Panasonic Avionics, discussed some of the challenges that come with increasing connectivity demands, including system standardization and replacement/update costs.

IATA reported on Airlines International, “Standardization—in both system architecture and language—will be essential for airlines to compare like with like.” These industry experts urged attendees to think about the benefits of better connectivity options beyond passenger convenience, namely how the flight crew can leverage that power in the cockpit.

Read the whole story here.

Inmarsat Appoints Rockwell Collins as First Global Partner to Deliver Next Generation Aviation Safety Services

Inmarsat expanded its strategic relationship with Rockwell Collins to include the SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service for cockpit and aircraft operations. Secure IP based broadband connectivity, enabled through SB-S, allows a range of breakthrough aviation apps like flight data streaming and real-time Electronic Flight Bags.  It also enables air traffic management modernisation programs and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including global flight tracking

According to the press release for the announcement, “The agreement outlines the companies’ mutual interest and plans to work with airlines to develop and introduce a smooth and cost effective migration path from traditional flight deck connectivity solutions to new, higher bandwidth secure IP connections available through SwiftBroadband-Safety services.”

Read the whole story here.

Experts Highlight New Applications For In-Flight Connectivity

Earlier this year at a Washington Space Business Roundtable, industry leaders discussed emerging global connectivity capabilities and the need for ubiquitous broadband to optimize operations. Panelists included executives from ViaSat, SmartSky Networks, and Thinkom Solutions.

According to a recent article on Via Satellite by Kendall Russell, “Ultimately, the panelists said, airlines will have to strike a balance between streamlining operational efficiencies and matching expanding customer expectations. Progress on both fronts will only accelerate as new technology and constellations unlock additional capabilities on a global scale.”

Read the whole story here.