AirAsia selects Panasonic ‘connected aircraft’ applications

AirAsia is to equip its aircraft with Panasonic Avionics’ FlightLink aircraft tracking and flight deck communications system as well as Panasonic’s new AirMap suite of products enabling Aeronautical Operation Control (AOC) fleet communications, management, and aircraft tracking.

FlightLink will be initially installed on 90 Airbus A320s to ensure the aircraft will be connected to the airline’s ground operations 24 hours a day.

“Given our unique route structure, we needed a single supplier that could provide both the hardware and service needed to maintain constant contact with our aircraft everywhere we fly,” explained Anaz Tajuddin, group head of engineering for AirAsia. “Ensuring the highest level of safety and operational efficiency is our top priority and Panasonic’s FlightLink service was the best choice for ubiquitous communications and flight tracking our fleet of A320s.”

FlightLink uses Iridium’s global satellite-based communications system to support flight deck voice and data communication, as well as autonomous GPS-based flight tracking, in all the areas where AirAsia flies. Additionally, the system provides fully integrated data communications for the aircraft’s ACARS system and electronic flight bags (EFBs).

AirAsia is also installing Panasonic’s Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) atmospheric sensor, an airborne weather instrument which enables improved flight planning and situational display of atmospheric conditions, including icing and turbulence.

As part of the overall solution, Panasonic has partnered in this offering with UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), with the latter supplying key enabling components to the EFB installation on these aircraft, including the onboard Aircraft Interface Device (AID), Tablet Interface Modules (TIM), and associated EFB mounting hardware and brackets.

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