The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified AirCell’s Iridium-based Axxess EZ cabin communications system in the Bombardier Challenger 600, 601 and 604, adding to the list of business airplanes approved to fly with the gear.
Axxess EZ reuses the wiring and other components from existing MagnaStar air-to-ground phone systems, giving business jet operators a relatively straightforward way of upgrading hardware used with the U.S. service. Network operator Verizon said it plans to shut down the MagnaStar late next year. The Iridium link that Axxess EZ uses is available anywhere in the world with usage charges averaging about $1 per minute.
Ruag Aerospace Services in Germany performed the initial Challenger installation. Other European AirCell dealers authorized to install Axxess EZ hardware include Business and Commuter Aircraft in Lyon, France; Sabena Technics in Dinard, France; and Stork Fokker in The Netherlands.
In addition to Bombardier, AirCell has inked deals for Axxess hardware with Gulfstream, Cessna, Dassault, Hawker Beechcraft and others. Gulfstream became the first business jet manufacturer to make the Axxess cabin communications system standard aboard its airplanes. Axxess provides two channels of Iridium for voice calling while also offering the ability to interface with other airborne communication systems, including Inmarsat satcom links and AirCell’s own developmental broadband data service.