Singapore Airlines and Panasonic Avionics have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to research ways to use satellite connectivity to improve flight operations.
In addition to using wi-fi for passengers to connect to the internet, the flag carrier will use the Ku-band satellite links on its aircraft to send real-time data from aircraft to the ground. This data includes health monitoring of aircraft systems and possibly information about maintenance issues, allowing ground crews to prepare before the aircraft lands.
The airline will also use connectivity to gain real-time weather updates, including icing and turbulence information. Cabin crews will also be able to use wi-fi for electronic flight bags.
“Connectivity has the potential to change the airline industry in the same way the internet changed the way business is done everywhere on the ground,” says Paul Margis, Panasonic Avionics’ president and chief executive. “We salute Singapore Airlines for recognizing the enormous value a truly connected aircraft can bring to their operations.”
In September, Singapore announced it had installed Panasonic’s Ku-band wi-fi on its fleet of eight Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in addition to in-flight entertainment and mobile phone service.