Rockwell Collins, Inmarsat Team for Digital Cockpits

By Staff Writer | September 15, 2017
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Photo courtesy of Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins and Inmarsat have signed a strategic agreement for the distribution of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety flight deck connectivity product, Rockwell Collins said.

“According to our recent study with Helios, aeronautical satellite communications are estimated to have saved the world’s airlines $3 billion over the past 15 years, through reduced oceanic separation and critical operational communications,” said Capt. Mary McMillan, VP of aviation safety and operational services at Inmarsat.

Under the agreement, Rockwell Collins is to collaborate with airlines to implement the solution on future and existing fleets, along with additional value added applications and services.

SwiftBroadband-Safety is compliant with future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A. It delivers aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) and other services over s secured internet protocol (IP) data link and multiple voice channels. Its hardware is smaller and lighter, according to Rockwell Collins, and has lower cost of ownership than other alternatives. It serves as a connection between the flight deck, aircraft systems and the ground. Rockwell Collins said that benefits include enhanced real-time performance monitoring, high-resolution weather updates, and other safety and efficiency benefits.

The solution is currently in flight evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. Rockwell Collins said SwiftBroadband-Safety has also been selected by Airbus as a light cockpit satcom solution on its A320 and A330 families.

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