SITA has announced it will integrate the Iridium Certus satellite communication service into its Unified Aircraft Communications portfolio, which provides critical communications for SITA’s airline and Air Navigation Service Provider customers globally, and supports more than 19,000 aircraft in their daily operations.
Iridium Certus enables a dedicated native IP connection to the cockpit with global coverage and increased security via authentication and virtual private networking. The platform also increases the capacity of the overall aircraft communications ecosystem, easing the adoption of future air traffic management practices and applications that help optimize aircraft and airspace operations in general. These applications support the reduction of aviation’s environmental impact and help generate efficiencies for aircraft operators. For example, graphical weather services like SITA’s EFB Weather Awareness Services (eWAS Pilot) can be enhanced via satellite communications. Connecting such applications inflight allows pilots to access the most up-to-date multi-source weather reports for turbulence, thunderstorms, and lightning in real time, and consequently to avoid hazardous weather, generate fuel savings, reduce emissions, operational cost, and the cost of delays. At the same time, passengers experience a more comfortable service.
Iridium Certus redefines the capabilities of mobile satellite communications in a single, condensed platform. Designed to support critical connectivity needs regardless of location, terrain, and weather, it perfectly complements SITA’s global VHF network.
Tim Last, vice president and general manager of aviation at Iridium, said: “Iridium Certus provides airlines with a powerful and versatile satcom solution that opens up the possibilities of connected aircraft. We’re excited to be positioned alongside the SITA suite of solutions already servicing more than 19,000 aircraft and look forward to exploring the partnership’s potential. Iridium Certus is a flexible platform and will continue to evolve. It offers higher and lower data speeds through a wide variety of connected equipment to address customer needs and expand into new markets.”
SITA will support validating the Iridium Certus service and aircraft satellite communications systems for Future Air Navigation System (FANS) use on the SITA network to ensure suitability for the handling of Air Traffic Control communications. Evaluations are anticipated to commence before the end of 2022. Iridium Certus will become a line-fit on most major aircraft types and be retrofitted so existing aircraft can benefit from the latest satellite communications technology.
Yann Cabaret, vice president of strategy, product and marketing at SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, said: “We’re delighted to extend our successful long-term partnership with Iridium to offer Iridium Certus to the airlines. With our recent acquisition of Safety Line, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to innovation around the connected aircraft. Various applications in the market can benefit from being connected inflight to Iridium Certus. From helping airlines achieve greater efficiency and reduce carbon footprint and fuel expenditure, to increasing passenger comfort and safety, the connected aircraft signals a smarter, safer, and more sustainable aviation future for all.”