Viasat's business aviation Ka-band in-flight connectivity system has been approved by the FAA for the Gulfstream G280 airframe. The FAA's approval of an STC allows Viasat and Gulfstream to offer high-speed, high-quality in-flight internet service on the super-midsize G280. Upon successful completion of an ongoing in-service evaluation (ISE), Viasat's Ka-band solution will be made available as a customer option. The connectivity will enable multi-site video conference calling, access to corporate VPN connections and email, streaming of bandwidth-intensive videos, TV, music and more during all stages of flight. Viasat is currently going through an ISE with a number of Gulfstream G280 operators through January 2020, and its Ka-band solution is expected to be available as a customer option in the first quarter of 2020.
“Achieving STC approval demonstrates the flight worthiness of our Ka-band in-flight connectivity equipment on super mid business jets,” states business area director Claudio D'Amico. “In working with Gulfstream we are now ready to bring faster internet speeds, more capacity for streaming and a forward-compatible connectivity solution to the skies. This system will allow any G280 owner to have an onboard internet access system with exceptional quality, performance and speed. Initial operator feedback from the ongoing evaluations has been positive, and we are excited to make Viasat's Ka-band solution available to all G280 customers in the first quarter of 2020.”
The Viasat business aviation in-flight connectivity solution uses Viasat's Global Aero Terminal 5510, which will tap into the Viasat-1, Viasat-2 and European Ka-band satellite platforms, and is expected to be forward-compatible with Viasat's future-generation satellite constellation, Viasat-3. The compact terminal offers speeds up to 16 Mbps on its entry level service plan. With three line-replaceable units, the Viasat Global Aero Terminal 5510 does not require space in the baggage compartment as it can be installed in the non-pressurised areas of the aircraft, and it lowers overall installed system weight compared to many competing offerings, which can potentially offer fuel savings.