Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aircell Receives FAA Approvals to Launch Inflight Broadband

Aircell received two critical FAA approvals, clearing the way to launch its in-flight mobile broadband service over the U.S.

Aircell is now the first and only communications operator to receive approvals from the FAA to provide air-to-ground (ATG) in-flight mobile broadband for U.S. domestic flights. The two FAA approvals received include a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), permitting installation and operation of the company's ATG network on commercially operated Boeing 767-200 aircraft.

The second FAA approval is a Parts Manufacture Approval (PMA). This approval authorizes the manufacture of aircraft parts at the company's Bensenville, IL facility. Aircell said it is now producing the equipment needed to bring its in-flight Internet service to American Airlines and Virgin America in 2008.http://www.aircell.com/.

  • In January 2008, Aircell completed its nationwide wireless Air-To-Ground (ATG) network. As part of this build-out, the company constructed cell sites throughout the country. Placement of cell sites ranged from windy, snow topped mountain peaks at 12,000 feet to remote desert terrain below sea level. The company said network completion was accomplished far ahead of time requirements set by the company's FCC license agreement. The first site was activated on August 25, 2007 and the final site, which finalized the nationwide network, went live on January 29th, just five months later.