Company and Lufthansa Technik
have received industry-leading aircraft certifications from the German aviation authorities (LBA) and the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that will enable the use of airborne wireless applications on select commercial flights using the Connexion by Boeing mobile information service.
These rulings pave the way for passengers to use their own IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi devices within the airline cabin environment.
“These collaborative authorizations for wireless communications in the cabin are a significant breakthrough for British Airways and Lufthansa and something that we`ve worked extremely hard to obtain,” said Connexion by Boeing Vice President of Global Network Sales Stan Deal. “Our technical teams have worked diligently to demonstrate that wireless applications comply with rigorous aviation standards and also to demonstrate the value-added benefits that wireless connectivity can bring to air travel worldwide.”
Receipt of the wireless authorizations is the result of unprecedented industry cooperation between Lufthansa German Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa Technik, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Connexion by Boeing. As the certification applicant, Lufthansa Technik designed the onboard Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and developed the certification plan.
Airline passengers will now have the ability to use their own wireless-enabled laptop or personal electronic devices (PEDs) for real-time, high-speed access to the full richness of the Internet including two-way e-mail, virtual private network access and streaming audio and video content, by accessing an open wireless local area network onboard a 747-400 airliner equipped with the Connexion by Boeing service.
The evolution of Wi-Fi technology into commercial airliners is expected to provide additional simplicity to the overall cabin environment and will help reduce wires associated with using a traditional hard-wired Ethernet connection.
Airline operations also are expected to benefit through potential customer service applications, enhanced crew communications and the reduction in overall cabin weight.
The Connexion by Boeing
team has worked closely with the global airlines and with leading mobile technology industry leaders such as Intel and others on the evolution of Wi-Fi technologies. With the CAA and LBA wireless approvals, Boeing continues to build momentum toward the full-scale introduction of the Connexion by Boeing service in early 2004.
“We continue to work closely with the aviation and government agencies around the world to demonstrate compliance with existing standards and to gain the necessary approvals to move forward,” said Connexion by Boeing Director of Programs and Services Donna Halker. “It is extremely pleasing to have the CAA and LBA authorities working with us to establish this important precedent. They`ve contributed to the achievement of a monumental leap forward in aviation passenger services by helping us bring wireless broadband connectivity to the skies.”
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