August 15, 2015 – SITA OnAir is developing the first EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for Inmarsat’s high speed (50MB/s to the aircraft) Ka-band broadband service, GX Aviation. SITA OnAir is working with EAD Aerospace on the STC to retrofit B777 series aircraft, on behalf of an undisclosed airline. The STC is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016.
The development of this first GX Aviation STC brings the commercial availability of GX Aviation closer. Combined with the expected launch of the third and final GX Aviation satellite at the end of August, momentum is building rapidly.
“This STC will allow the installation and activation of connectivity covering SITA OnAir’s nose-to-tail e-Aircraft portfolio. This includes solutions and products for passengers, cabin crew, cockpit crew, aircraft data and maintenance, flight operations and air traffic control,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “What’s new is that inflight connectivity using high-throughput satellite networks extends the possibilities for passengers as well as airlines’ professional use. Airlines will be able to exchange data for operational purposes, and passengers will have the same Internet speed they are used to at home.”
SITA OnAir already has over 40 STCs, covering the retrofit of inflight connectivity systems on Airbus aircraft, including the A320 family types, A330s and A340s, as well as Boeing aircraft including B737s, B767s and B777s. In addition, SITA OnAir systems are available as linefit on the entire Airbus fleet as well as on Boeing B777s and B787s. It is also a line fit option on selected VIP aircraft, including the Dassault Falcon 7X and Airbus Corporate Jets.
“We have worked closely with EAD Aerospace on many STCs and I fully anticipate this will be a smooth process,” continued Dawkins. “In tandem, we are also working together to kick-start similar GX Aviation STCs on other aircraft types, including the A320 family.”