Inmarsat has announced the commercial availability of its "Classic" aero services over the new generation Inmarsat-4 (I-4) satellites and ground infrastructure, following a series of successful test flights.

"The availability of the Classic services over the I-4 satellites will enable concurrent usage of Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband service and safety services through one antenna and a single installation on the aircraft," says Inmarsat in a statement.

Inmarsat's Classic services are used by over 8,000 airliners, business jets and military aircraft for operational and safety-critical services such as ACARS and CPDLC (controller-pilot datalink communication) communications between flight-deck and air traffic control. They are already embedded in long-haul and business jets across the globe.

"The ability to use one installation to provide safety services, operational communications and connectivity is one of the key benefits of an Inmarsat-based connectivity solution," says Inmarsat head of aeronautical marketing Lars Ringertz.

He adds: "Since all of the world's top 25 airlines with intercontinental traffic use Inmarsat services, this development will enable them to add global in-flight connectivity at an incremental cost, making the business case to airlines for in-flight connectivity stack up."

A growing list of operators in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are equipping aircraft with Inmarsat-supported mobile connectivity solutions for passengers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news