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Hawaiian Airlines pioneers SwiftBroadband for safety services

Hawaiian Airlines, the largest and longest serving airline for Hawaii, and Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has announced that Hawaiian Airlines will become the first commercial airline to install SwiftBroadband for flight deck applications, including Safety Services on its Boeing 767-300s.

Hawaiian Airlines will use Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Safety for ACARS data messages, live Electronic Flight Bag updates and Airline Operational Communication (AOC) voice and data. Inmarsat and the FAA will collect data on the performance of the FANS1/A service at Hawaiian Airlines which will contribute to the achievement of approvals for FANS1/A services over SwiftBroadband which are expected by early 2016.

SwiftBroadband has been developed for use in the flight deck by Inmarsat, and provides airlines with cockpit communication, both for operations and air traffic control, everywhere in the world.

“We fly from Hawaii to the US mainland, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific,” said Ken Rewick, Vice President of flight operations at Hawaiian Airlines. “We fly mostly oceanic routes so VHF is of limited use and satellite communications will help us achieve real-time data far more effectively than before.”

“What is particularly important is that SwiftBroadband enables us to provide our pilots with real-time weather updates on their Electronic Flight Bags. It will make our flights even more efficient, because we can avoid the storms, inclement weather and turbulence, whilst also providing the most comfortable experience for our passengers.”

Hawaiian Airlines’ B767s will be retrofitted with Cobham’s current generation AVIATOR SwiftBroadband SATCOM hardware, which includes an IGA-5001 intermediate gain antenna. The system is capable of providing both voice and data communications with the addition of many enhanced features such as immediate aircraft tracking information and Ethernet ports for connecting devices like Aircraft Interface Devices (AIDs) and Electronic Flight Bags for the pilots to obtain real-time information including graphical weather updates. During the SwiftBroadband safety evaluation period, the AVIATOR SwiftBroadband system will be used for FANS and CPDLC messaging and will also be used for data transmission in support of Hawaiian Airlines’ new eFLIE, Electronic Flight Bag program. Hawaiian Airlines also plans to take advantage of the advanced aircraft tracking features of SwiftBroadband.

These enhanced features will become the centrepiece of Cobham’s AVIATOR S product family which is designed specifically to leverage Inmarsat’s new SwiftBroadband Safety service and will ensure a system configuration that can meet the requirements of all aircraft types. AVIATOR S will be available early 2016 to coincide with SwiftBroadband Safety certification.

“We are delighted to have Hawaiian Airlines sign up as the first commercial airline customer for SwiftBroadband Safety in an important trial to demonstrate the reliability and effectiveness of the service to the FAA,” said Leo Mondale, President Aviation, Inmarsat. “ACARS over SwiftBroadband is already flying on an Airbus A319 Corporate Jet which flies internationally on a regular basis.  We fully expect to have FANS1/A approval by early 2016.”

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