Economical In-flight Wi-Fi Offered by EMS Aviation

Aviation International News » September 2010
September 22, 2010, 8:11 AM

EMS Aviation is offering its Forté AirMail for a wide range of corporate aircraft. The FAA STC-approved, Iridium-based system provides worldwide Wi-Fi e-mail capability in flight using common Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones (BlackBerry and iPhone) and Wi-Fi-enabled personal digital assistants. The company has approval for the Bombardier Challenger 600/601/604, Global Express (not the XRS or 5000) and CRJ850; Dassault Falcon 50, 50EX, 900, 900EX, 2000, 2000EX; and Gulfstream V and GV-SP.  

“The unit system price is just shy of $35,000 and would include an airmail Wi-Fi router, Iridium transceiver and one of three antenna devices,” Iain Ronis, an EMS account manager, told AIN. The choices of antenna include a single element designed to support the system alone, a dual element to support the EMS system and another Iridium-based system, or a diplexer that allows the AirMail Iridium transceiver to use an existing Iridium antenna already installed to support another system.

Ronis said this is an e-mail-only function and users are charged based on the airtime connected to the Iridium network, which averages about $1.25 per minute. Forté AirMail system users can add in-flight phone  with the optional Forté phone system.

“This is a rather unique opportunity. We’ve got STC approval for 13 different aircraft models. This is a tricky area because the FAA hasn’t quite figured out what do to about Wi-Fi yet. We introduced the system at NBAA in 2009 and the FAA immediately put a moratorium on Wi-Fi until [the agency] figured out how to regulate it. Fortunately, we were able to get our system grandfathered as an existing system. A couple of other systems exist but are approved for only a limited number of aircraft and it is currently difficult to get the FAA to approve a new system,” Ronis said.

Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.