Connectivity

Shenzhen Airlines to Evaluate Inmarsat’s SB-S Platform

By S.L. Fuller | April 26, 2017

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China’s Shenzhen Airlines said it anticipates significant growth in passenger demand. To prepare, it is considering Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat said. The airline plans to launch an in-flight evaluation of the next-generation IP-based broadband service for flight decks on an Airbus A320.

The SB-S platform is to be installed using Cobham Avionics’ Aviator 200D hardware. Inmarsat’s solution can facilitate in-flight communications and secure, real-time, in-air information. Shenzhen Airlines said the evaluation is to focus on:

  • Compliance with Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) mandates CCAR 121 and AC-121
  • Satellite voice communications – Two-channel satellite-based services that enable faster and high-quality voice communication between the flight deck crew and its designated contacts on the ground, including air traffic controllers and airline operations personnel.
  • Integral global flight rracking – This enhanced, live-tracking feature pinpoints an aircraft’s location through regular transmission of position reports. SB-S flight tracking enables the airline and air traffic control (ATC) to know where the aircraft is and to understand its status in real time, which is essential for both safety and delivery of fuel-efficient flight. The platform also features real-time electronic flight bag applications.
  • ACARS (aircraft communications addressing and reporting system) over IP – Traditionally used to communicate with both the airline operations center and ATC, this short-text capability over IP is a prerequisite for FANS (future air navigation system) 1/A compliance in remote oceanic areas.

The Shenzhen partnership between Inmarsat, Beijing Marine Communication & Navigation Co. Ltd. (MCN) and Aviation Data Communication Corp. (ADCC) to provide aviation safety to the Chinese market, the airline said. MCN and ADCC are to deliver satvoice, AVARS and data services. MCN is to serve as project manager for the SB-S evaluation.

“As the organization jointly established by Air Traffic Management Bureau of CAAC and the major airlines in China, we especially appreciate Shenzhen’s evaluation of SB-S, as they are our country’s first airline to do so,” said Zhu Yanbo, VP of ADCC. “As the air-ground datalink service provider for China’s airspace, ADCC will work closely with MCN and Inmarsat to not only deliver SwiftBroadband-Safety’s trusted cockpit communication and flight-tracking services, but also Globalink VHF ACARS and VDL M2 services to our aviation customers.”

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