Advanced Cockpit Datalink Services Coming

ATLANTA, GA [NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention] – September 24, 2007 – Aircell announces that it is nearing completion of its Data Interface Unit (DIU), a new product that will allow Aircell customers to use their existing Aircell satellite communications system to obtain cockpit data information from compatible third-party providers. The new DIU, as well as service from two content providers, will be available to Aircell customers beginning at the end of 2007.

Cockpit data services are used to deliver a variety of textual and graphical information to and from the cockpit, including weather, forecasts, winds aloft and messaging. A complete cockpit data services package typically includes three elements – the onboard avionics equipment (the aircraft’s Flight Management System as an input/display device, plus a dedicated interface unit), the transmission mechanism (either VHF or Satcom), and a service provider (the originator of the content being communicated). Aircell’s new Data Interface Unit allows customers to use Iridium-based Aircell satcom systems to deliver cockpit data services to the aircraft.

“Cockpit data services are very popular among medium & heavy business jets,” said Bill Peltola, Aircell Senior Vice President, Business Aviation Solutions. “Using Aircell satcom systems as the delivery mechanism for those services is easy, reliable, and substantially less expensive than traditional transmission methods.” Aircell satcom customers will have access to two brands of cockpit data service programs:

  • Honeywell Global Data Center (GDC) . Through its Global Data Center (GDC), Honeywell has been providing datalink and flight support services to corporate aviation for more than 20 years with thousands of aircraft currently subscribed worldwide. The GDC offers access to essential pilot and aviation services, including flight plans, runway analysis, oceanic clearances, weather reports and forecasts, winds aloft, air traffic services, automatic position reporting and event triggers, and two-way messaging. Key services offered by Honeywell include OneLink, Flight Sentinel, a concierge-style service, WINN graphical weather, International Trip Services, and more. More information is available at www.mygdc.com.
  • FlightDeck Freedom from Satcom Direct . A new cockpit datalink service being launched at NBAA 2007, FlightDeck Freedom™ from Satcom Direct offers flight information such as Pre-Departure Clearances (PDC), Digital ATIS (DATIS), text and graphical weather, flight plans, and text message delivery from multiple content providers. Satcom Direct’s service partners for FlightDeck Freedom include Universal Weather, Skyplan, Air Routing International, and others. Multiple subscription levels are available, allowing a business aircraft operator to choose the level of service that best meets their needs. More information is available at www.satcomdirect.com.

Aircell’s DIU is very small and weighs less than 2 lbs. Compatible with all Aircell satcom systems – including Aircell Axxess and the ST 3100 – the DIU will be sold through Aircell’s worldwide network of dealers and distributors. Aircell-compatible cockpit data service packages will be available directly from Honeywell and Satcom Direct.

About Aircell
Aircell® is the leader in global airborne telecommunications for the Business Aviation market. Its products are offered by virtually every fixed- and rotor-wing airframe manufacturer in business aviation, and are installed aboard the world’s four largest fractional ownership fleets. A single-source, turnkey provider of equipment, service, and technical support, Aircell simplifies airborne communications and keeps you In Touch, In Flight®.

The 2006 winner of the FCC’s exclusive broadband frequency license, Aircell is also pioneering a revolutionary new wireless broadband system for North America. Available only from Aircell, it will include robust Wi-Fi hotspots that enable airline passengers to surf the Internet, use e-mail, and log on to their corporate VPN’s using their personal 802.11a/b/g-equipped Wi-Fi data devices. The system will also offer airline operational communications capabilities and provide a path to a wealth of future cabin services.

Set for introduction in 2008, the new broadband service will also be available to business aircraft operators, offering a similar set of features.

Aircell (www.aircell.com) has facilities in Louisville, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois, USA.

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