FLYHT Signs Actionable Intelligence Agreement with Coral Jet


FLYHT Aerospace Solutions and Bermuda Aviation Asset Management dba Coral Jet have announced the signing of an agreement to equip Coral Jet’s future fleet of seven A319/320 aircraft with AFIRS and to provide SaaS services from FLYHT’s Actionable Intelligence suite of applications.

Coral Jet is a start up airline that will serve the Caribbean, United States, and Canada with plans to increase its aircraft fleet over the coming years.

“Our team has used the AFIRS solution in previous operations and the flexibility of the hardware and software components, coupled with the reliability of the products and the professionalism of FLYHT staff, have always served us well,” Wes Gardner, director of Flight Operations for Coral Jet, said. “As a new operation, we have the ability to start with good habits. FLYHT’s Actionable Intelligence applications will reinforce the necessary fuel management practices we are striving for.”

Bill Tempany, FLYHT’s Chief Executive Officer, added, “Coral Jet is the latest upstart airline to adopt FLYHT’s solutions to help them gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive industry. Our team is committed to adding functionality to help Coral Jet, and our 80-plus customers, secure and maintain that market lead in their respective markets.”

Installations will start early in the second quarter of 2022. The contract is expected to generate revenue of approximately $760,000 over the five year contract term, with potential for increases as Coral Jet’s fleet grows.


Aptiv Announces the Acquisition of Wind River

Aptiv has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Wind River from TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative asset management firm TPG, for $4.3 billion in cash.

Wind River is maker of software for the intelligent edge. Used on more than two billion edge devices across more than 1,700 customers globally, Wind River’s software enables the secure development, deployment, operations and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems. This edge-to-cloud software portfolio spans the aerospace and defense, telecommunications, industrial and automotive markets and is anchored by Wind River Studio, a highly versatile, comprehensive cloud-native intelligent systems software platform that enables full product lifecycle management for edge-to-cloud use cases. Wind River generated approximately $400 million in revenues in 2021.

“The automotive industry is undergoing its largest transformation in over a century, as connected, software-defined vehicles increasingly become critical elements of the broader intelligent ecosystem,” said Kevin Clark, president and chief executive officer of Aptiv. “Fully capitalizing on this opportunity requires comprehensive solutions that enable software to be developed faster, deployed seamlessly and optimized throughout the vehicle lifecycle by leveraging data-driven insights. These same needs are driving the growth of the intelligent edge across multiple end markets. With Aptiv and Wind River’s synergistic technologies and decades of experience delivering safety-critical systems, we will accelerate this journey to a software-defined future of the automotive industry. In addition, we are committed to further strengthening Wind River’s competitive position in the multiple industries it serves. We look forward to welcoming the world class Wind River team to the Aptiv family as we continue to develop a safer, greener and more connected world.”    

“Wind River has established itself as a worldwide leader in cloud-native, intelligent edge software that delivers the highest levels of security, safety, reliability and performance,” said Kevin Dallas, president and chief executive officer of Wind River. “Combining Wind River’s industry-leading software, customer base and talent with Aptiv’s complementary technologies, global resources and scale will realize our vision of the new machine economy. Together we will accelerate the digital transformation of our customers across industries through best-in-class intelligent systems software. We look forward to working with the Aptiv team to reach even greater heights and provide further growth opportunities for our customers and partners.”

“It has been a privilege to partner with Kevin Dallas and the management team to transform Wind River into a leader in the intelligent systems market,” said Nehal Raj, co-managing partner, and Art Heidrich, principal at TPG Capital. “The mission-critical industries they serve are digitally transforming at a rapid pace, and we see significant opportunity ahead as companies look to adopt innovative software solutions that allow them to leverage data to make better and faster decisions. We are excited to see what Wind River and Aptiv will accomplish together.”

Aptiv says the acquisition allows them to execute against the large software-defined mobility opportunity and expand into multiple high-value industries with Wind River’s team and leading intelligent systems software platform. “The combination will enable multiple end-use innovations and applications, particularly as compute and processing continue to move closer to the edge and connected devices, including vehicles, expand in complexity and capabilities,” a press release says. Led by Kevin Dallas, Wind River will continue to operate as a stand-alone business within Aptiv as part of the Advanced Safety & User Experience (AS&UX) segment.

The FAA’s 5G Guidance Took the U. S. by Surprise—and Europe

By: Steffen Ring

Global 5G standards help speed next generation wireless network rollout; altimeter makers should consider coordination and publishing their technical standards. 

The November 2 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bulletin that 5G transmissions in the 3.7-3.98 MHz band could potentially interfere with flight systems (altimeters) in the 4.2-4.4 MHz band took the European telecom and aviation sectors by surprise. The FAA took this action in conflict with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the expert U.S. telecom regulator that studied this issues and designed the rules for 5G deployment in this band. European mobile operators are already using 5G in the same band without reported interference to aviation. Now European regulators must study a problem they did not have before. Had altimeter standards been public, a high school student could assess the compatibility between the highly standardized 5G system and flight systems. To resolve the matter quickly, altimeter makers must publish their product specifications and provide all of the testing data being used to support its position.  A mutual consultation might have mitigated this rift across the pond and an expensive and unnecessary delay in the rollout of 5G in the C-band. 

While Europe has not experienced flight interference from 5G, the FAA’s bulletin has stoked fear. As a result, the European Communications Committee (ECC) and European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) decided to issue an official report and address the aviation systems manufacturers and the European Commission with a view to get the most recent updates of altimeter specifications such that ECC spectrum engineers can investigate the US matter. Fortunately, European 5G systems in the C-band behave exactly as they do in the US because 5G is standardized globally through the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Transatlantic Cooperation and Standardization of Aeronautical Devices is needed

Ten years ago, the EU and US signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on the telecommunications sector. The MRA facilitates industry and authorities to recognize and approve technical parameters and measurement results developed by each other’s laboratories. This has helped to speed technology trust building and expedite regulatory measures on both sides of the Atlantic. We should push for an MRA on the aeronautical electronics sector to obtain much faster and more credible exchange of vital engineering parameters and a smooth resolution of conflicts.

The de jure standards for mobile wireless technologies are powerfully developed and promoted through 3GPP, where the technology experts from around the world come together to write the technical specifications for new products and services. The US is in 3GPP represented by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS); Europe by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). 3GPP is open for anyone to find the technical specifications for 5G and assess potential interference scenarios with 5G involved.  Had we had similar official technical standards for altimeters, this situation with alleged unknown device characteristics and the subsequently raised potential flight safety issues could have been resolved very fast—or perhaps avoided all together in the first place.

About the Author:

Steffen Ring is the CEO and owner of Ring Advocacy LLC, ( ), which he inaugurated in 2015 after retirement from Motorola Inc. (now Motorola Solutions Inc.). The corporation is registered in the European Union (Denmark) and serve clients globally.

Ring served for Motorola Inc. as spectrum, standards and regulatory expert for 39 years, the last 10 years as officer in the Global Government Affairs dept., Washington D.C. 

Ring is inter alia specializing in mission critical radio systems and one of the first chairmen in the ETSI Project TETRA, where the globally accepted TETRA standard was developed from the early ‘90. He also worked close with the NATO HQ in Brussels in order to promote a civil-military spectrum sharing agreement (signed in Ottawa 1994) for public safety authorities’ access to the band 380 – 400 MHz for TETRA in NATO Nations, except the US. Later the TETRA standard was also introduced in the US market, alongside the P25 standard for Public Safety.

Platform Aerospace Selects SKYTRAC to Provide Iridium Certus Connectivity Onboard Vanilla UAV

SKYTRAC Systems, a provider of intelligent connectivity solutions for aviation, announced that Platform Aerospace, an unmanned aircraft systems producer, used SKYTRAC’s Iridium Certus Satcom system, to enable Command and Control (C2), Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) communications, and telemetry streaming onboard their record-setting Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Vanilla Unmanned.

On September 24th, Platform Aerospace launched Vanilla Unmanned and recovered the UAV 8 days, 50 minutes, and 47 seconds later on October 2nd, breaking the FAI world record for unrefueled, internal combustion endurance of an unmanned aircraft. As a long endurance Group III Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) used for multi-day surveillance and inspection operations, this is a significant milestone for Vanilla Unmanned.

Vanilla Unmanned, contracted by NASA, successfully fielded the University of Kansas’ snow radar within the Arctic Circle to collect data on snow and ice thickness. Platform Aerospace selected and tested SKYTRAC’s Iridium Certus mid-band datalink, the DLS-100, to enable BVLOS Command and Control (C2) and telemetry capabilities for this mission.

“Maintaining aircraft C2 during BVLOS flight operations has been challenging since many datalink solutions are limited by range or geographic coverage,” mentions Dr. Dan Edwards, chief technology officer at Platform Aerospace. “This flight in the Arctic demonstrated SKYTRAC’s global coverage, resiliency to extreme weather, and provided a low SWaP solution for connectivity onboard our ultra-long high endurance UAV missions.”

The two copmanies say by leveraging Iridium’s global connectivity and low latency, the DLS-100 supported the polar mission by enabling pilots from Ground Control Stations (GCS) to have real-time C2 with the UAV while simultaneously sending commands and receiving flight telemetry that ensured safe BVLOS operations.

“Congratulations to the Platform Aerospace team for their record-breaking flight,” mentions Jeff Sherwood, director of Business Development at SKYTRAC. “We are proud that our solutions are being used to extend the boundaries of what is possible with UAVs.”

Brazilian Army to Address Communication Challenges in the Amazon with New HF System from Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace has been selected by the Brazilian Army to provide its High Frequency (HF) Cellular communications system as part of the Brazilian Army Border Surveillance and Monitoring Strategic Program (SISFRON) to improve communications capabilities for forces operating in the Amazon region.

By networking Collins Aerospace’s URG-IV HF fixed site radio stations with a Collins Aerospace HF Cellular server and integrating it with existing communication infrastructure, mobile HF users will experience a first-time point-to-point call connection rate estimated to be above 95 percent, even in the most challenging environments of the Amazon region. The system improves call reliability and quality of transmission, reaching distances of more than 2,400 kilometers.

“It can be demanding for soldiers to establish reliable and secure long-distance communications in remote jungle regions like the Amazon,” said Marcelo Vaz, managing director for Collins Aerospace in Brazil. “Our HF Cellular system is easy to use, allowing for quick connections and long distances even in tough communication environments for improved capabilities of the existing mobile HF assets.”

The HF Cellular system also provides the Brazilian Army with a way to gain real-time position reporting through HF and allows HF interoperability for ground, naval and airborne assets. The Collins Aerospace HF Cellular system is scalable with the capability to expand beyond the Amazon region to support coverage across the rest of the country of Brazil, especially in remote border areas.

SmartSky Networks and IdeaNova Technologies Move Forward with Secure Inflight Streaming Services

SmartSky Networks and IdeaNova Technologies, a provider of secure streaming and digital rights management technologies, plan to offer IdeaNova’s Intouch and Inplay services following successful in-flight testing of the applications and secure streaming of inflight entertainment and business productivity solutions on the SmartSky network.

Through scalable coding and encryption, Intouch and Inplay provide à la carte access to entertainment and web conferencing, tailored for an airborne environment, while maintaining both business and individual security. The Inplay platform offers a flexible portal that can be customized for the varied aircraft demands of airline, fleet, corporate, or individual operators. Additionally, live TV options are available for business aviation operators on the SmartSky network.

“Data is at the heart of everything we do at SmartSky,” David Claassen, SmartSky Networks chief technology officer, noted. “Integrating with technology providers like IdeaNova expands the capability and interoperability of the SmartSky connectivity platform, giving SmartSky customers more choices for using high-bandwidth applications at 35,000 ft with the same quality and security they would experience on the ground.”

Juraj Siska, IdeaNova Technologies CEO added: “Our collaboration with SmartSky allows us to offer premium services through their next-generation network. The dependable throughput to and from the aircraft, coupled with our encrypted and bandwidth optimized applications, provides a new level of connectedness and entertainment not yet experienced in aviation.”

The planned services combine SmartSky’s dependable, very low latency network and interoperable Skytelligence service layer with IdeaNova’s pioneering technologies for in-flight entertainment and business to provide flexible data solutions that meet aircraft mission and operator needs.

FLYHT’s AFIRS Edge Adds Iridium Certus Capability

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions has announced that it is extending its AFIRS Edge avionics product by adding IoT data capture and real-time connectivity for aircraft in-flight. The Iridium Certus 100 service, which was announced as commercially available by Iridium on November 10, 2021, will provide the Edge with real-time, global coverage for data transmissions.

The next generation AFIRS Edge is expected to be available to FLYHT customers in early 2022.

The AFIRS Edge is FLYHT’s industry leading 5G (3G/4G/LTE compatible) Wireless Quick Access Recorder (WQAR), Aircraft Interface Device (AID) and edge computing platform. This Iridium Certus Midband Internet Protocol (IP) satcom device bolsters FLYHT’s real-time Actionable Intelligence capabilities. With the addition of the Iridium Certus link, customers are expected to benefit from real-time, in-flight access to hundreds of aircraft parameters, IoT sensor data, and on-wing execution of machine learning models. The IP data link feature extends FLYHT’s cloud native capabilities to the aircraft and includes the ability to host third party data focused applications on-wing. The lightweight, small footprint AFIRS Edge is applicable to aircraft of all sizes, from regional aircraft to transcontinental jets.

Darrel Deane, Vice President, Solutions for FLYHT, commented, “We are proud to expand upon our longstanding satcom partnership with Iridium by developing this solution alongside Iridium using the licensed Iridium Certus core technology, enabling reliable IP coverage anywhere in the world. FLYHT currently has more than 2,800 aircraft equipped with the patented AFIRSTM system backed by Iridium® satcom technology and we are looking forward to extending this footprint further. Aircraft connectivity is a cornerstone of our SaaS offerings.”

“The AFIRS Edge is another great example of how FLYHT’s team identifies industry needs and develops solutions that provide increased safety and efficiency.” said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, Iridium, “Iridium is proud of our longtime partnership with FLYHT and is excited to see yet another innovative solution come to the market.”

Last year FLYHT introduced the Actionable Intelligence suite of SaaS applications to provide real-time insights to help the commercial aviation industry operate more efficiently and profitably as it recovers from the global pandemic. This solution set leverages the Company’s proven history of collecting, analyzing and reporting aircraft operational data in real-time. Throughout the pandemic FLYHT has been executing on this plan and continuing to support customers. FLYHT says the AFIRS Edge will provide customers with situational awareness and Actionable Intelligence solutions throughout the duration of all flights. For more information on the AFIRS Edge, visit FLYHT’s website.

World2Fly Offers Passengers High-Speed Inflight Broadband in Partnership with Inmarsat and SITA

Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available to passengers traveling with new Spanish airline World2Fly, in partnership with SITA as the service provider.

The long-haul carrier, founded by Spanish hotel group Iberostar, provides advanced, high-speed GX Aviation connectivity onboard its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Passengers can access the service thanks to SITA’s Internet ONAIR solution, allowing them to browse the internet, stream video and audio, shop online, or keep in touch with friends and loved ones. The seamless experience offers passengers the same broadband reliability and consistency in the air as they are used to on the ground.

World2fly’s A350-900s feature a modern and comfortable single-class cabin layout with 432 seats. The Mallorca-based airline will expand its fleet and operate flights from Madrid to leisure destinations such as Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and Cancún (Mexico).

“Our passengers expect fast, reliable, and uninterrupted connectivity as part of our onboard offering wherever we fly,” Bruno Claeys, managing director of World2Fly, said. “We are delighted that SITA’s Internet ONAIR solution using Inmarsat GX Aviation delivers this on our first Airbus A350. We have developed a modern, world-class flight experience, and we look forward to extending the solution to other aircraft as they are added to our fleet.”

Demand for inflight connectivity has soared as passengers start returning to the skies after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Inmarsat’s recently released 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, 41% of respondents believe that having Wi-Fi on their flights is even more important now than pre-COVID. Wi-Fi allows them to stay connected with friends and family and supports a touch-free environment.

“Despite being one of the world’s newest airlines, World2Fly has already established an impressive reputation amongst passengers,” Niels Steenstrup, senior vice president of Inflight Connectivity Business at Inmarsat Aviation said. “We are proud that GX Aviation is playing such an important role in the airline’s onboard experience. The response from passengers has been extremely positive and, together with our partner SITA, we look forward to supporting the airline’s ambitious growth plans.”

Sebastien Fabre, CEO of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, added: “SITA and Inmarsat have a hugely successful track record in providing airlines across the world with market-leading inflight connectivity. We are overjoyed to welcome World2Fly as our latest customer as demand for inflight connectivity reaches new heights. Our ready-made solution perfectly meets the current and future needs of the airline and its passengers for a digitalized onboard experience.”

BAE Systems’ New FireNet Transceiver Completes Successful Capability Demonstration for Rotary Wing Aircraft

BAE Systems successfully completed a capability demonstration of its FireNet software-defined communication transceiver. The demonstration displayed the FireNet system’s additional channel capabilities for rotary wing aircraft – providing our armed forces with a unified tactical network and enabling Joint All Domain Operations (JADO).

“Military operations will increasingly occur in network-centric environments that demand greater bandwidth and network diversity to manage the immense amount of information at hand,” said Alan Dewar, director of Integrated Communication Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our FireNet system delivers large volumes of accurate, reliable information exchanged in real-time, allowing warfighters to maintain situational awareness and stay connected.”

The FireNet system uniquely addresses the U.S. Army Aviation Branch’s channel capacity and waveform needs with low cost, size, weight, and power demands. The system’s additional narrow-band, wide-band, and Link-16 capabilities provide rotary wing aircraft with a unified tactical network that’s Crypto Modernization ready. Allied and coalition defense operators using Link 16 military tactical data link terminals are required to update those terminals to a new cryptographic subsystem by 2022.

Designed for current and future fleets, this modular open-system architecture solution also enables additional line-of-sight voice, data, and network communications from very high frequency to S-Band. The FireNet system maximizes flexibility with a small, standardized footprint, minimizing integration effort for existing aircraft. It augments existing radio installations with a concurrent four-channel capability in a two-channel configuration.

BAE Systems’ communications products span airborne, maritime, and ground applications in the high frequency to ultra-high frequency spectrums. The company’s battle-proven systems offer demonstrated reliability, lowering overall system cost. These systems also feature multi-band, secure anti-jam voice, data imagery transmission, and network-capable communications.

BAE Systems is a leader in narrowband and broadband communication technologies, with more than two decades of core expertise in the radio market. The company’s Common Datalink radio family of products merges the latest generation wideband, high speed hardware, and software technologies to provide warfighters with the communication solutions they need in the modern battlefield.

Work on the FireNet system will take place at the company’s Fort Wayne, Ind. site.

SAUDIA Reinforces New Inflight Broadband Partnership with Inmarsat

Inmarsat and SAUDIA reinforced their new inflight connectivity partnership at the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) EXPO 2021 in Long Beach, California. Inmarsat President Philippe Carette welcomed a senior delegation from SAUDIA, including the airline’s CEO Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy for a signing event at the show.

It follows the recent selection of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband solution and OneFi passenger experience platform for SAUDIA’s upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft, marking the Middle East’s first major airline connectivity agreement since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The combination of GX Aviation and OneFi will enable SAUDIA to provide a world-class digital experience for passengers onboard the aircraft, with the first installation expected in late 2022. 

“SAUDIA has ambitious plans to enhance its passenger experience and reinforce its status as one of the Middle East’s leading carriers, with digitalisation playing a fundamental role,” Philippe Carette, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said. “We are delighted to be selected as the airline’s inflight connectivity provider as part of this exciting journey, with an initial focus on its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. We are committed to meeting SAUDIA’s needs and it was a pleasure to reinforce that once again with Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy at APEX EXPO this week.”

SAUDIA will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia, with the service allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights using their own personal devices. In addition, the OneFi platform will serve as a catalyst for SAUDIA to monetise its inflight connectivity by bringing a host of real-time onboard services together within a single portal interface, such as ordering food, beverages and duty free items, enjoying e-books, newspapers and magazines, receiving flight updates, and signing into SAUDIA’s AlFursan frequent flyer program.

The aircraft will connect to GX Aviation using an ultra-high performance terminal by GDC Advanced Technology, a leader in engineering and technical services, modifications and electronic systems.


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