[Avionics Magazine 12-13-2016] Air Methods has signed Honeywell to upgrade its helicopter fleet to the Sky Connect Tracker 3 satellite communications and flight tracking system, the avionics maker said.
Air Methods EC-135. Photo: Honeywell Aerospace.
The agreement, which includes upgrades of existing Sky Connect Tracker 2 systems and new Sky Connect Tracker 3 units as needed, will enable Air Methods pilots to stay in touch with airborne phone and text services in remote places with no cell phone reception.
The upgrades also will allow fleet managers of Air Methods – among the U.S.’ largest emergency air medical service providers and helicopter operators – to track helicopters’ locations throughout the world and support flight data monitoring of those aircraft. This will help the company comply with an FAA mandate for flight data monitoring by U.S. air medical service operators.
Sky Connect Tracker uses the Iridium network, a constellation of 66 low-Earth-orbit spacecraft that provides satellite-communications coverage of the globe.
Air Methods’ helicopter fleet has “a real need for enhanced safety products and better operational efficiency to effectively perform their job,” said Tom Hart, Honeywell Aerospace’s vice president, Defense and Space. “Honeywell is providing a connected and, more importantly, safer experience for Air Methods’ helicopter fleet with Sky Connect Tracker 3.”