[Avionics Magazine 06-27-2016] The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) Aviation In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service for the Airbus A320 aircraft family. The satellite service provider sees the certification as bringing GX one step closer to being available as a linefit or retrofit option on every major Airbus and Boeing airframe.
Inmarsat's GX antenna on the A320. Photo: Inmarsat.
The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) authorizes GX Aviation’s Ka-band antenna to be installed on Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, which form the backbone for around half of the world’s aircraft fleets. In total, more than 6,500 Airbus A320 family aircraft are currently in operation, representing more than three quarters of the overall Airbus aircraft currently being flown worldwide.
Inmarsat’s partner Lufthansa Technik obtained the STC after its design team developed an installation process that includes all required electrical modifications inside and outside the aircraft fuselage. Lufthansa awarded a contract to Inmarsat in October 2015 to supply GX Aviation for its European continental fleet of more than 150 aircraft. After obtaining the STC, the first of these aircraft is expected to offer the service in October this year and Lufthansa’s entire A320 fleet is scheduled to have the technology installed by mid-2018.