Aircell's high-speed Internet unit attracts US business aviation

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US repair station Constant Aviation has begun the supplemental type certificate (STC) process to install Aircell's high-speed Internet system on five aircraft types - the Embraer Legacy, Gulfstream IV, Citation X, Beechjet and Piaggio Avanti aircraft.

Aircell's ATG 4000 high-speed Internet unit for business aviation operates over an air-to-ground (ATG) link in the United States. It interfaces with the company's network-neutral Axxess cabin system, which supports multiple channels of worldwide voice and narrowband data service via the Iridium satellite network.

"After completing the first Aircell Axxess installation with high-speed Internet on the Embraer Legacy 600 earlier this month, we demonstrated our commitment to providing our customers with access to cutting edge technology and are now ready to launch to a broader customer base," says Stephen Maiden, president of Constant Aviation, which has locations at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Birmingham International Airport.

Adds Maiden: "The capabilities of the Aircell system have been something that our customers have been asking for to allow for greater communication. We have continued to see growing desire from aircraft owners to be able to access a full-scale Internet connection during their flights."

Constant Aviation's announcement on the heels of several wins by Aircell in the business aviation community.

In September Dassault Falcon became the first business airframer to offer Aircell's in-flight high-speed internet system across its entire fleet of jets.

Last month Hawker Beechcraft selected two Aircell connectivity systems for its line of midsize Hawker business jets. Customers taking delivery of Hawker 750s and 900XPs in 2010 can install their choice of Aircell's high-speed Internet or SwiftBroadband solutions.

Also last month fractional ownership giant Flight Options announced plans to install the high-speed Internet system on the majority of its fleet, including its Embraer Phenom 300s. Installations will begin in late 2009 and be complete in 2011.

Separately, Aircell is bringing to market the so-called ATG 5000 system, which was designed specifically for business aircraft operators that do not require the integrated voice and narrowband data of the company's Axxess cabin system.

Aircell says it is looking at offering a lightweight in-flight broadband solution for regional jets that would springboard off the ATG 5000.