Satcom Direct launches FlightDeck Freedom

 - September 27, 2007, 7:01 AM

Satcom Direct (Booth No. 1949) announced Tuesday the launch of FlightDeck Freedom, a new in-flight datalink communications service that allows customers to choose their own provider.

Satcom is launching the product here at NBAA with a special 90/90 promotion. The first 90 customers who place orders for the service with their respective providers–Universal Weather, Skyplan or Air Routing International–will receive 90 days of free Satcom voice communications service. FlightDeck Freedom service includes predeparture clearances, digital ATIS, text and graphical weather, flight plans, flight tracking and text messaging.

“For the first time, customers have a choice in enabling seamless communications to and from their aircraft,” said Jim Jensen, founder and CEO of Satcom Direct. The 90/90 promotion is also a benefit to customers, the company said. “Customers are always looking for ways to reduce their costs,” said Howard Lewis, vice president of sales and marketing.

Satcom Direct offers three separate packages for the service, depending on the technologies installed on the customer’s airplane. The service is available for use with VHF, Inmarsat and Iridium networks, and it supports Honeywell AFIS, Rockwell Collins RIU/CMU-4000, Teledyne Controls Telelink and Universal Avionics Unilink. Phase II of the service will offer a customized electronic flight bag communications application. The company also has a pending agreement with Jeppesen to provide charts and EFB software.

Lewis said the company has been testing a Beta version of the service on a Gulfstream V, and it has been “working flawlessly.”

The company also announced that it has teamed with Flight Explorer to offer flight-tracking services through the company’s Plane Simple Web site ( Using a standard Internet connection and Web browser, flight departments will be able to track the airplanes in their fleet 24 hours a day. The service will be offered free of charge to FlightDeck Freedom subscribers and will cost $40 a month for all other users.

The Plane Simple Web site allows customers to view aircraft communications systems and traffic, view maintenance information, transmit log-on and log-off notification via e-mail, view voice and high-speed data activity and check Inmarsat network status. The Web site is available to Satcom Direct customers.