Iridium moves toward full certification for air safety communication on transoceanic flights
Iridium recently passed an important milestone toward international certification for air safety communication services for commercial aircraft on transoceanic routes.
In April 2009, the Program Management Committee (PMC) of the RTCA (formerly known as the Radio-Technical Commission for Aeronautics) approved two key documents – DO-262 and DO-270 – establishing operational and system-specific performance standards for Iridium Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS[R]S).
The next step will be an in-service operational evaluation of Iridium datalink systems installed in nine Continental Airlines B737 aircraft in the South Pacific region.
The tests, which are expected to commence in August, will be conducted in cooperation with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Performance-Based Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (PARC) Communications Working Group (CWG), with ACARS over Iridium (AOI) datalink services provided by SITA.
The FAA has granted a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Iridium-based satLINK avionics suite supplied by Avionica, Inc from Miami, FL.
Participants of the South Pacific regional evaluations will share the results with air traffic control authorities in other service regions, clearing the way for rapid approval of Iridium AMS(R)S services around the world.