With all other serious contenders out of the running, AirCell appears likely to win an FCC auction for a coveted slice of frequency spectrum that will enable the Englewood, Colo. company to provide air-to-ground high-speed Wi-Fi services.
AirCell is moving forward with plans for a nationwide network of about 200 special ground stations to support in-flight broadband services. The Louisville, Colo. company is paying $31.319 million for a frequency-spectrum license after beating out Verizon Airfone and others in an FCC auction that concluded on June 5.
Imagine that a malfunction on an aircraft forces the captain to make an emergency crash landing in the middle of an unforgiving landmass, such as Siberia, a thousand miles from anywhere. There are survivors, but in the frozen wastes of the north, with roads at a premium, there is little hope and not much time. Even the nearest hospital is completely out of reach.
Verizon Airfone notified customers on July 7 it has "determined to exit the air-to-ground business" and will shut down Airfone on December 4. Teledyne Controls sold 4,100 MagnaStar systems, which use the Airfone network, and will continue to support the systems indefinitely, said a Teledyne Controls spokesman.
In what it said is “part of our transition to full electronic distribution of ADs and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins,” the FAA today began implementing a cutback in the mailing of these documents to affected owners and operators. Specifically, the agency will no longer mail AD corrections that don’t receive a new amendment number and AD number.
The Canadian Business Aircraft Association (CBAA) will return to one of its favorite venues next year when it holds its annual convention at the Calgary International Airport July 9 through 12. Skyservice will serve as host FBO for the trade show and static display. Past CBAA meetings have featured an outdoor barbecue adjacent to the aviation museum on the airport.
AirCell displayed the newly certified wireless function of its Axxess flagship satcom system at last month’s NBAA Convention. Axxess was certified in April and hardware already exists in systems currently in service to allow a field software upgrade that will activate the wireless function mode.
Staying connected is getting easier, as Arinc Direct announced that its SkyLink broadband Internet service for business jets is now available above more than 20 European countries. According to the company, SkyLink is the only commercially available ultra-high-speed Ku-band Internet satellite service for business aircraft. Additional coverage is under development to connect SkyLink’s North American coverage with Europe.
Sky Connect has obtained STCs for its equipment on the Bell 206 (B and L-1/3/4) and Sikorsky S-76 (A through C). The STCs include Sky Connect’s newest control head, called the mission-management unit. It provides flight crews with two-way text messaging and unlimited phone calls.
AirCell (Both No. 2085) is displaying the newly certified wireless function of its Axxess flagship satcom system. Axxess was certified in April and hardware already exists in systems in service that will allow a software field upgrade that will activate the wireless function mode.