ABX Air, Air Transport International and Omni Air International are adding connectivity upgrades to their fleet of Boeing charter and freighter aircraft. (ATSG Inc.)
Air Transport Services Group Inc. (ATSG), the world's largest owner and operator of Boeing 767 converted freighter aircraft, is expanding a suite of wireless connectivity upgrades to three of its airline subsidiaries.
According to an Oct. 7 press release, ATSG will be adding some onboard avionics modifications and adopting mobile and ground-based software supplied by Teledyne Controls to Boeing aircraft operated by ABX Air, Air Transport International (ATI), and Omni Air International. Among the connectivity technology being adopted by the three carriers includes Teledyne's GroundLink Comm+ system, Loadstar Server Enterprise, and enhanced Airborne Data Loader (eADL).
Omni Air has already added the GroundLink Comm+ system to its fleet, and will eventually add the LSE and eADL technology as well. Teledyne describes GroundLink Comm+ as a system capable of supporting real-time data streaming, cabin and flight crew connectivity, wireless distribution of field-loadable software parts, and automated flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) data downloads. Using the system, the data is automatically transferred to ground stations for immediate processing and analysis, without the need for manual retrieval.
Upgrading to the GroundLink Comm+ system also enables airlines to use aircraft communication, addressing and reporting system (ACARS) over Internet Protocol (IP).
Teledyne's AID+, pictured here, is part of the suite of connectivity upgrades being added to the ATSG Inc. subsidiary airlines' fleet. (Teledyne Controls
“Our subsidiary Omni Air International’s success with Teledyne’s [flight operations quality assurance] FOQA process and GroundLink Comm+ system made the decision to expand our Teledyne partnership easy,” said Ed Koharik, chief operating officer of ATSG. “Our continued investment in service improvements demonstrates our commitment to improve our industry-leading performance and exceed customers’ expectations.”
Another key upgrade coming to the ATSG subsidiary carriers is the GroundLink AID+, an aircraft interface device (AID) that gives airlines a wireless access point they can use to connect their pilot and flight crew tablets to the GroundLink Comm+. This can enable on-ground 3G/4G/LTE Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity for updating Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) and crew devices, while also providing interfaces to aircraft data and communications systems such as the flight management system, according to Teledyne.
Wilmington, Ohio-based air cargo operator ABX Air operates a total of eight Boeing 767-300s and also has 12 in-service 767-200s as well. ATI, also based in Wilmington has the same fleet structure as ABX, while also operating some Boeing 757-200 freighters. In comparison, Tulsa Oklahoma-based Omni Air International, the only non-cargo operator of the three, operates charter flights with its fleet of 767-200/300ERs and 777-200ERs.
“We appreciate the trust that ATSG has put in Teledyne Controls and we are very happy to be a part of their forward-looking vision,” says George Bobb, president of Teledyne Controls. “The integrated approach ATSG is taking with our GroundLink wireless solutions will deliver significant operational benefits.”