17 April 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Inmarsat, the global satellite operator, has rolled out SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) into commercial service.
The next-gen satellite IP platform has been created to meet
the demands of aviation data communications and offers
visibility into their airline operations.
"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. 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," said
Mary McMillan, vice president of safety and operational
services at Inmarsat Aviation.
SB-S also offers a range of additional value added
applications such as: allowing airlines to use rich, real-time
data to drive decision-making, improve operational efficiency
and assure the highest levels of flight safety.
In addition, SB-S reduces fuel costs for airlines and CO2
emissions using Electronic Flight Bag applications, which
includes 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 coordination centres will assure safety by
providing a solution to the International Civil Aviation
Organization’s new Global Aeronautical Distress
& Safety System requirements on flight tracking and data
recoverability. With SB-S, remote, secure access to on-board
data delivers aircraft health and performance information to
the ground in real time, improving predictive maintenance and
assisting in quick fault resolution for faster on-the-ground
The solution’s increased periodic position
reporting creates reduced separation minimum, unlocking
additional airspace capacity to match increased demand, while
digital SatVoice capabilities creates an alternative to crowded
VHF radio links. SB-S provides a secure communications and
surveillance solution for air traffic control requirements, and
Inmarsat says that its broadband capability is essential for
air traffic management modernisation.
Prior to the commercial launch of SB-S, in-flight tests were
carried out on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300
aircraft and installations on the airline’s entire
Airbus A321neo fleet. It was also included in in-flight
evaluations with United Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, as well
as being selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS)
solution on its A320 and A330 fleets.
The platform has been approved by the US Federal Aviation
Administration’s Performance-Based Aviation
Rulemaking Committee as a platform to provide direct data link
communication between pilots and air traffic control.