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Airservices Australia to Improve Aviation Safety with Inmarsat

By | March 7, 2018

Virgin Australia will demonstrate Inmarsat SatVoice on four of its Boeing 737 aircraft. Photo: Virgin Australia.

Inmarsat has partnered with Airservices Australia to initiate satellite voice (SatVoice) communications evaluations for air traffic services in Australia in areas beyond the reach of traditional Very High Frequency (VHF) voice coverage.

Through the partnership with Inmarsat, Airservices Australia will help airlines and operators to complement conventional voice communications equipment with modern digital technology. The evaluation is working toward two important customer benefits: more effective and ultimately safer aviation safety services over the oceans and remote areas, and lower weight for avionics, contributing toward reduced fuel burn and greenhouse emissions.

SatVoice communications is a two-way channel, satellite-based service that enhances accuracy in cockpit communications and therefore aircraft safety. The system enables faster and better quality voice communications between flight deck crew and designated contacts on the ground, including air traffic controllers and airline operations personnel, according to Inmarsat.

Currently, cockpit communications involves the aircraft calling a ground station, which then connects the flight deck crew to an air traffic control facility, in what is known as two-stage dialing. SatVoice communications will streamline this process, speeding up contact between air traffic control and the aircraft.

As part of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Saefty platform, which delivers IP connectivity to the flight deck, the company will offer upgraded SatVoice services.

SITAOnair, which currently provides datalink services to Airservices Australia, has a key role as the communications service provider, providing the connectivity infrastructure for these evaluations. Virgin Australia is also participating as the airline partner for the evaluation, demonstrating Inmarsat SatVoice on four of its Boeing 737 aircraft.