First Flights Using Cobham SATCOM System Enabling Transmission of ACARS Data Over Swiftbroadband Mark ‘New Era’

LYNGBY, Denmark – Initial test results have been described as ‘extremely promising’ following the first flights of a commercial aircraft transmitting ACARS data over SwiftBroadband using a Cobham SATCOM system.

Two weeks of evaluation flights have now been analysed after Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 became the first commercial airline to fly with Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband safety service on June 3.

The Cobham AVIATOR 300D SwiftBroadband system was awarded the STC to allow for FANS 1/A+ and CPDLC communications as well as ATC voice over SwiftBroadband during the evaluation period.

“We are very happy with the performance of the Cobham SATCOM SB Safety service utilising the SwiftBroadband network – the results from the first two weeks of evaluation flights in scheduled service are extremely promising,” said Mary McMillan, VP, Safety and Operational Services, Inmarsat Aviation. “This marks a new era in oceanic ATC communications using small, lightweight Inmarsat satcom and proves that we are on track to meet our target for approvals in early 2016.”

Ken Rewick, vice president of flight operations for Hawaiian Airlines, stated: “We are very pleased with the results from our first evaluation flights using SwiftBroadband and look forward to building on the momentum of this industry-changing system. 

Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit, commented: "These first flights with enabled SBB ACARS data are a significant milestone on our journey to the e-enabled flight deck, and we are very encouraged by the results so far. We believe the significantly smaller, lighter and easier to install hardware associated with the SBB ACARS data services, represented by our AVIATOR S series product range, will provide aircraft manufacturers and airlines with a route towards significant changes in operational efficiencies and, not least, in flight situation awareness and safety. We are excited about the future! "

The multiple FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) STC for the Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR 300D was developed in conjunction with applicant L2 Consulting Services and secured following evaluations carried out in cooperation with Hawaiian Airlines (HAL), PARC CWG (FAA), ARINC/Rockwell Collins and Inmarsat. The certification is for its installation on Boeing 767-200, 300 and 300F aircraft.


The AVIATOR 200S airborne satcom features the exceptionally compact HELGA (combined HLD and Enhanced LGA) antenna which reduces the number of LRUs from three to two. This first Inmarsat Class 4 terminal by Cobham enables simultaneous transmission of safety and non-safety services over the same SwiftBroadband channel. The revolutionary new system will also afford space and weight savings.

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