Skift Take

This is a bold move forward by Hawaiian, rather than waiting for ATTF to complete its review. While passengers don't need (and may not want) to know, how ACARS work, they'll appreciate knowing their aircraft is tracked and communicating--even when it's half-way across the Pacific.

Hawaiian airlines has selected Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Safety service to better track and communicate with its aircraft over water.

This service gives airlines global cockpit communications back to base of operations and to Air Traffic Control, via satellite.  The airline will use Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Safety for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data messages, live Electronic Flight Bag updates and Airline Operational Communication (AOC) voice and data.

“We fly from Hawaii to the US mainland, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific,” said Ken Rewick, Vice President of flight operations at Hawaiian Airlines. “We fly mostly oceanic routes so VHF is of limited use and satellite communications will help us achieve real-time data far more effectively than before.

“What is particularly important is that SwiftBroadband enables us to provide our pilots with real-time weather updates on their Electronic Flight Bags. It will make our flights even more efficient, because we can avoid the storms, inclement weather and turbulence, whilst also providing the most comfortable experience for our passengers.”

As airlines consider the various options available for flight tracking, and await recommendations from the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF), Hawaiian Airlines will serve as an effective case study for Inmarsat’s aircraft tracking solution. The airline will initially trial the service on its Boeing 767-300 aircraft, for an evaluation period.  Leo Mondale, President Aviation, Inmarsat is confident of a positive result. “ACARS over SwiftBroadband is already flying on an Airbus A319 Corporate Jet which flies internationally on a regular basis, Mondale says, “We fully expect to have FANS1/A approval by early 2016.”


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