India’s international flag carrier, Air India, today
announced that it is joining over 180 other leading airlines around the world as a
user of SITA’s air ground communications services for both voice and data link. Air India Chairman and Managing Director, V. Thulasidas, said, “SITA’s worldwide
AIRCOM network is critically important to us as an international airline flying to
over 40 destinations. We can fly anywhere in the world knowing that our voice and
data communication needs will be covered by the most reliable VHF and Satellite
AIRCOM voice and data service available in aviation today.
“We will be using SITA’s AIRCOM Server which is a turnkey solution for airline
implementation of the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System known
as ACARS. In addition to straightforward communication between pilots and air
traffic controllers, ACARS also allows, for example, the uploading of weather and
flight plans and downloading of engine performance data which will help us to reduce
costs and maximise our IT investment.”
Globally, SITA operates over 850 VHF ground stations in over 160 countries making it
the world’s largest private data radio network.
Francesco Violante, SITA CEO said, “Air India has been a member of SITA since 1952
and we are very pleased to be part of a new chapter in the airline’s business
development. In addition to the global coverage we can provide, we are also
investing heavily in our AIRCOM network in India and will be adding another 13 VHF
ground stations to the ten which are already operational across the country.”
The Airports Authority of India has pioneered the use of SITA’s data link service
in its oceanic airspace that covers the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea which
delivers operational benefits enabled by remote airspace surveillance and data link
communications between air traffic controllers and pilots.
Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Sales Director, India and South Asia, said, “We are very
pleased to welcome Air India into the SITA AIRCOM family which already includes
three other main players in Indian aviation Jet Airways, JetLite and Kingfisher.
With the support of SITA, data link communications is becoming standard around the
world and the ability to depend on data rather than voice communications relieves
pressure on pilots. AIRCOM Server will also support cost savings in areas like
flight dispatch, maintenance and fuel control.”
More than 8,000 commercial aircraft operated by over 180 airlines, use the SITA
AIRCOM service. These aircraft all use the VHF AIRCOM data link service and 2,000 of
them also use the Satellite AIRCOM voice and data service.