Cathay Pacific Airways has selected Avionica for e-enablement of its flight crew and operations. The system will be deployed across all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon 777s, 747s, A320s and A330s.
The Avionica solution includes satLINK MAX Iridium satellite communications, an aviONS Onboard Network Server, an avCM 4G cellular device and avSYNC Quick Access Recorder download. SatLINK MAX maximizes connectivity without restricting critical voice and safety services. aviONS is an open-platform network supporting airline and third-party solutions for connectivity by 4G cellular and Wi-Fi, and avSYNC provides automated data transfer between aircraft and Cathay’s operation center.
Sales VP Anthony Rios says Avionica e-enablement is already installed on Kalitta’s 747s and 767s, Eastern Airlines 737s, Flydubai 737s and Icelandair 757s. “Now, with Cathay Pacific’s fleet, there will be a total of about 220 aircraft.”
Rios attributes Avionica’s success to value of service and convenience. The product suite includes an Onboard Network Server, Quick Access Recorder, Aircraft Interface Device, Onboard Crew Wi-Fi, Terminal Aircraft Wi-Fi, 4G Cellular and worldwide Iridium satellite communications. Moreover, Avionica supports aircraft integration with its own Supplemental Type Certificate team. “Further, we complement these offerings with a global data network that supports seamless, automated transfer of digital data to airline operations centers from anywhere their aircraft fly.”
Only aircraft OEMs provide so complete an offer, Rios says. And Avionica does it at a fraction of catalogue cost. “The airline gains greater value through a unified hardware and data network, simplifying engineering, supply chain and inventory management, regardless of aircraft types operated.” He insists this is especially valuable to airlines taking A350s and 787s, “which produce terabytes of data on independent, incompatible data networks.”
Another advantage is that Iridium satLINK MAX is the only four-channel system meeting stringent Minimum Operational Performance Standards for voice and FANS-1/A operations. Four channels allow two to three channels for flight deck safety operations, leaving a channel free for airborne e-enablement communications.
Full e-Enablement installation can take up to four days. This includes preparation by opening panels and ground testing after installation. The time can be greatly reduced during heavy checks when panels are already open.
Parts of e-enablement can be installed much faster. For example, the Aircraft Interface Device and Quick Access Recorder can be installed in eight hours for immediate benefits. Airlines can thus quickly replace some obsolete systems while waiting on a heavy check to complete satellite communications and the onboard network server. Rios expects Cathay’s full installation to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.