United Airlines to evaluate Inmarsat’s new connectivity solution on Boeing 767 jets


Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM have collaborated with United Airlines to evaluate its next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) flight deck communications platform on four Boeing 767 aircraft.

The SB-S is designed to provide secure, high-speed, internet protocol (IP) based connectivity for the flight deck worldwide.

It also offers flexible communications with real-time inflight information to improve airline safety, asset utilisation, security and operations.

As part of the partnership, the SB-S will be installed with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system on the Boeing 767 jets operated by United.

"It will be able to benefit from the fully connected flight deck that delivers improved safety and security, better efficiency and optimised fleet performance.”

The satcom systems include Cobham’s IGA-5001 Intermediate Gain Antenna and will use the AVIATOR 300D Supplemental Type Certificate developed by L2 Aviation.

The AVIATOR 300D systems will be installed on the United aircraft later this year.

With the latest collaboration, United seeks to realise its ongoing commitment to advanced operations, safety and service, as well as deploy its equipped planes in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace.

During the evaluation, United will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging.

The carrier will also be able to use SB-S’ ‘always on, always secure’ applications, which feature continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

Inmarsat aviation safety and operational services vice-president Mary McMillan said: “As a progressive and innovative airline, United is making an important move anticipating the future of aviation.

“With SB-Safety’s secure broadband platform, it will be able to benefit from the fully connected flight deck that delivers improved safety and security, better efficiency and optimised fleet performance.”

Last month, China’s Shenzhen Airlines announced its evaluation of the SB-S platform with Inmarsat and Cobham to address the needs of the domestic aviation market.