AMAC Aerospace recently logged its 30th JetWave Ka-band high-speed satcom installation, with 27 completed—two BBJs and a Bombardier Global being the most recent—and three pending. In the process, it has become “a center for Ka-band installation,” AMAC COO Bernd Schramm told AIN.
As a Honeywell JetWave channel partner, he said, “No other company has as many Ka-band STCs” as AMAC, with approvals covering most models of long-range and larger business jets. Now the Swiss company is seeing more demand for newly introduced Ku-band system installations and recently installed a Gogo 2Ku system on a Middle East-based BBJ 767.
“We did a comparison of [Ka-band and Ku-band] systems” that found “very similar performance,” Schramm said. In some cases, typical passenger loads or other factors could favor one over the other, but as for what drives the system choice, “Some buy BMW, some buy Mercedes,” Schramm explained. He noted the JetWave Ka-band system has significant brand—and band—recognition.
Meanwhile, newer, more compact systems have raised demand for installations on large-cabin business jets. AMAC has seen growing demand for maintenance work in the category since becoming a Bombardier-authorized service facility in 2018. Hangar 5, a dedicated large-cabin facility at AMAC's Basel headquarters, is slated for a March 2021 opening.