Inmarsat enters into commercial service with SB-S

Inmarsat has entered commercial service with SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), in an industry first and only global, secure broadband platform for operations and safety communications.

The next-generation satellite IP platform is designed to meet the needs of aviation data communications in the digital age and offers airlines a different view into their airline operations.

The SB-S platform enables a range of value-added applications, allowing airlines to utilise rich, real-time data to drive decision-making, improve operational efficiency and assure the highest levels of in-air safety.

The introduction of commercial service follows a successful in-flight evaluation on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft and installations on the airline’s entire Airbus A321neo fleet. SB-S is also in in-flight evaluations with United Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, and has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) solution on its A320 and A330 families.

The platform has undergone successful evaluation by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s Performance-Based Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC) as a platform to provide direct data link communication between pilots and air traffic control (ATC).

Inmarsat said SB-S reduces airlines’ fuel costs and CO2 emissions through enabling connected Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, including real-time weather reports, optimised profile descent and trajectory-based operations.

Flight tracking, real-time flight data streaming (Black Box in the Cloud) and interface with rescue co-ordination centres will assure safety by providing a solution to the imminent new Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS) requirements on flight tracking and data recoverability from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“With SB-S in commercial service, the aviation industry can now fully realise the benefits of the connected aircraft – driving greater efficiency in airline operations, while leading the way for the future of aviation safety,” said Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation vice-president of safety and operational services. “We are excited to see the real-world impact that SB-S will have on aviation efficiency and safety in the months and years to come.”

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