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SpaceX announces Starlink Aviation service for planes

SpaceX is launching Starlink Aviation, a new service that will make its satellite internet network available on planes. Elon Musk says it’ll make in-flight WiFi feel like home internet. Starlink can deliver up to 350 Mbps to each plane, enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time. With latency as low as 20 ms, passengers can engage in activities previously not functional in flight, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities, Starlink says.

A Starlink Aviation subscription costs between $12,500 and $25,000 per month, depending on an airline’s needs, plus a one-time hardware fee of $150,000. Customers will have to pay someone to install the system or do it themselves, as SpaceX doesn’t offer that service. SpaceX plans to begin hardware deliveries in mid-2023 and is currently taking reservations for $5,000. There are no long-term contracts or data limits for Starlink Aviation, and the hardware is under warranty for as long as a customer subscribes to the service. www.starlink.com

 

FAA, EASA, ANAC and TCCA to streamline certification

The Certification Management Team (CMT), comprised of leaders from four civil aviation authorities, has published a strategy to develop and implement policies that streamline certification. The team includes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) of Brazil, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). The FAA and EASA also have established a bilateral Validation Improvement Roadmap (VIR) that defines the specific bilateral initiatives. «The continued globalization of the aviation industry has prompted collaboration among the world’s civil aviation authorities to harmonize regulatory systems. Industry growth has increased the level of domestic certification activity, and validation projects from emerging States of Design are placing growing resource demands on other authorities. By maximizing the use of existing U.S. bilateral partnerships with our CMT partner countries, we can reduce the amount of effort all of the agencies currently expend on validation programs», the FAA stated. www.faa.gov

 

Bizjet demand foundering in Europe but growth holding in the US

Geopolitical instability, currency market turbulence and runaway inflation has undermined business and consumer confidence and in Europe this is feeding through to lower demand for business jet travel, well down on last year´s early Autumn peaks. In the US, the charter market continues to taper, but still holds at a higher level than in any period pre-pandemic. According to the latest WINGX Global Market Tracker, twenty-four days into October global business jet and prop activity is 1% behind the same October period last year, 11% above pre-pandemic October 2019. For business jets only, activity is 3% below October last year, 16% above three years ago. Global passenger airlines are 23% behind pre-pandemic October, although 8% above last year. The top global airlines – Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Ryanair, Delta Airlines and United airlines, are flying 15% above last year so far this month, 1% below three years ago. Dedicated freight activity is 8% behind last year, 5% behind three years ago.

So far this month business jets in North America are flying 1% less than last year, 15% above three years ago. Business jet activity in Europe is 16% below October last year, despite this drop, activity is 9% above pre-pandemic October. Outside of North America and Europe, business jet activity is 16% above last year, 50% above three years ago. Business jet flights in China have halved compared to three years ago, a 64% decrease compared to last year. www.wingx-advance.com

 

People: IBAC recognizes Steve Brown for contributions to business aviation

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) recently recognized retiring National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) COO Steve Brown with DG award for his exceptional contributions to the global business aviation community, particularly for his guidance to IBAC and its direction for more than a decade. Steve served on the IBAC Governing Board as an advisor and valuable confidant to IBAC and the Director General, Kurt Edwards.

Prior to joining NBAA on October 4, 2004, Brown served as a top official with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as vice president of operations planning. Brown also has previously served as associate administrator for air traffic services, managing the 35,000 air traffic controllers, maintenance and software technicians, flight inspection pilots and administrative personnel who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the nation’s airspace systems.

Before joining the FAA in 1998, Brown was president of the National Aeronautic Association and has served as senior vice president of government and technical affairs at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He also has taught a number of aviation-related courses at Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the faculty; has worked for the Texas Aeronautics Commission; and has been employed as an air taxi pilot and full-time flight instructor. Brown is a graduate of the executive management programs at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia and is a qualified aviation accident investigator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in industrial education. www.ibac.org

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