Going from "connected aircraft" to "connected aviation"

Gogo's connectivity is higher, more advanced and more useful.

Gogo Biz 4G is their latest ATG technology, launching July 2017. This hardware allows the aircraft to connect to the ATG network, which will deliver greater bandwidth and enhanced ca­pabilities to the bizav market.

When asked about the future of aviation and Gogo's role in the industry, Chari says it's all about bandwidth. The company is unique in that it not only invests heavily in research and development to produce the hardware required for airborne connectivity (antennas, modems, etc), but it also provides the network services used to transmit data, such as AXXESS and Gogo Biz.

With affordable advances in technology, the future of "connected aviation" and the capabilities of any given aircraft will eventually be driven primarily by available bandwidth. So with near-unlimited bandwidth, the possibilities are virtually infinite. Complex onboard systems will be able to communicate and decipher data controlled by ATC, FAA, EASA and an infinite number of other agencies to manage and control airspace around the globe, from the highest flight levels all the way down to landing, taxi and shutdown.

Other support industries and manufacturers are keenly aware of the benefits, too. It has already been shown that regular or continuous monitoring of an aircraft's systems and performance can detect issues early, increase safety and minimize downtime. Also, weather can be monitored and addressed in real time to provide the fastest, most comfortable trip possible, in addition to significantly reducing pilot workload.

Connectivity is changing pilot roles and informational capabilities

Along with the huge technological advancements achieved over the past decade, Gogo has also had to address the complex challenges that come with being an innovator. For instance, questions regarding data and network security are relevant in the air just as much as they are on the ground – maybe even more so.

What safeguards are in place to ensure command of the aircraft is not remotely attained? Who owns the data produced by the engine's sensors? How about the data being collected about the weather surrounding the aircraft? While safety and security of their clients are clearly something a company takes very seriously, the firewalls and security measures put in place – Gogo says – are largely up to those companies and agencies designing and developing the applications, namely like Cessna, Pratt & Whitney and other proprietary application developers. The FAA and other governing aviation bodies around the world will have their own set of security challenges, especially if robotized unmanned flight is ever going to be realized.

One thing is certain: while the conversation about connectivity today still largely concerns internet connectivity and productivity for passengers, tomorrow's conversation is likely to be more about the aircraft's capabilities and where it is approved to fly. At the heart of this futuristic certainty is Gogo's constant innovative drive, making antennas smaller and more efficient, developing modems to handle more data flowing from a plethora of aircraft sensors and other equipment, and a network service capable of handling the infinite amount of streaming data required to take us into the next era of aviation.

Kandi Spangler is an aircraft sales broker with Jet Quest and is based in Denver CO. An instrument-rated pilot, she has worked in the business av industry since 1999.


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