For aircraft owners and operators looking to save money on airborne telecom costs, BizjetMobile offers a way to text and email over the Iridium and Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satcom networks for at little as $899 a month. The key to BizjetMobile’s pecuniary pricing plan is its portable devices, which require no supplemental type certificate for installation (although some require installation of an external antenna). The email feature–called GetMail–is a new development, and BizjetMobile is demonstrating this and all of its products at its NBAA exhibit (Booth 1462).
Aireon, a joint venture involving Iridium Communications and Nav Canada, the country’s private-sector civil air navigation service provider, has announced a plan to provide free real-time global emergency flight tracking for any ADS-B equipped aircraft. The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking service will be available to authorized search-and-rescue operations, soon after the completion of the Iridium Next satellite constellation in 2017.
Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has begun shipping its Dragon portable Iridium satcom device, which uses Apple’s iPad as an interface. Users can make voice and data calls over the Iridium network anywhere in the world. The Dragon device can also be used for flight following services. Because it is portable, no supplemental type certificate is required, and the Dragon does not need to be installed in the aircraft. Price of the Dragon is $10,000, plus annual service charges.
Blue Sky Network (Booth No. C13021) is featuring its new HawkEye 7200 portable “multi-national” satellite tracking unit, which also supports Iridium satellite communications for mobile devices.
Greenwich AeroGroup (Stand 5013) has announced that it is forming a dealer network for the sales, installation and certification of the LiveAero broadband airborne connectivity system for fixed-wing airplanes and rotorcraft. Based upon the Iridium OpenPort broadband technology, the system–developed by Florida-based LiveTV–works anywhere in the world and provides a WiFi-enabled bidirectional data speed of 134 kbps.
Carefree, Ariz.-based airborne communications provider Execjet Mobile is on hand at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference this week in San Antonio, Texas, to demonstrate the latest version of the Bizjet Mobile Portable platform. The latest version, V3.0, allows for onboard SMS text, SMS emails and satellite calls.
At the NBAA Convention last month, Greenwich AeroGroup of Wichita offered live demonstrations of the Iridium OpenPort Aero, described as “the only aviation broadband solution that works everywhere in the world, including remote, oceanic and polar regions,” using Iridium’s worldwide satellite network.
Canadian air navigation service provider (ANSP) Nav Canada and Iridium Communications signed a joint venture agreement that will eventually give Nav Canada a controlling interest in the Aireon global, satellite-based aircraft surveillance system.
BizjetMobile, a new software app from Exec Jet Mobile, allows passengers with Bluetooth and Apple products to use an installed Aircell/Iridium phone to send and receive SMS text and SMS e-mail to and from an iPhone or iPad.
The price tag of $35,000 includes an iPad, the hardware, app and 24/7 tech support. The unlimited text and e-mail plan costs a relatively low $699 a month.
A planned joint venture by Iridium Communications and Nav Canada promises to offerworldwide ADS-B-based air traffic surveillance services using the upcoming Iridium Next satellite network. Iridium said last year that it was considering adding an ADS-B payload to its Iridium Next satellites, which begin launching in 2015 and will be completed in 2017.
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