The Changing Value of Travel: Why the journey itself may be more important than speed

As the comedian Louis C.K. pointed out one night on ‘The Late Show,’ a trip across the United States used to take the best part of a year and might cost you your life. Now it can be done in a few hours in comfort and great safety.

Great advances in aviation transport have lowered the costs of air travel and increased its availability to more customers. But since the dawning of the jet age, the individual time spent on passenger air travel has not been significantly reduced and it really won’t be for some time to come.  

There were commercial efforts for supersonic flights on the Concorde in the early 2000’s as Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) capabilities were assessed, but by the end of May 2003 the last Concorde flights due to lack of traction in the industry. During that time, I was lucky enough to be a passenger on one of the Air France Concorde flights from JFK to Paris CDG… nearly 15 years ago.

James Hardie and Captain JF Michel on a Concorde supersonic transatlantic flight on August 16th, 2002.

The Sound Barrier is the Barrier

When it comes to the speed of aircraft, the sound barrier really is the barrier that’s not easily overcome in terms of economics, technology and regulations surrounding sonic booms produced. Most passenger aircraft are not going to go twice as fast any time soon because of that, although research is being done in partnership with NASA to make it possible in the future.

Sonic Boom Display-630x354
Example of a Sonic Boom flight display that’s currently under research and development by Rockwell Collins and NASA to help pilots reduce or mitigate sonic boom impacts in future supersonic flights.

Making the Most of the Journey


In the modern connected world, is time saved on travel now the most important factor in improving the journey? Or is time made by making the best use of the space you find yourself in?  What is the utility value of the space? To read, to write, to be entertained, to talk, to rest?

Today the world considers mobility as a service along the passenger journey, which is viewed as a continuous and easy to plan chain of events. This allows the connected traveler to bring their ‘desk’ or ‘leisure space’ with them along the way.

The challenge is to understand this and be part of the enablement that makes this all happen, a vision where travel has been so simplified that it will not matter that you are travelling. It will just another space to be in. You may not be able to compete easily on speed but you can compete on space and utility.

When that happens, what difference does it really make if time is not considered wasted while travelling? Instead it is put to good use, a useful transitioning of location rather than the lost journey time. The opportunity now exists to enable that journey space to be a better place to be for that period of time.

By: James Hardie

The top four things you need to know about Ka-band Connectivity

Click to enlarge image

No matter what conference you attend, publication you read or blog you follow – it seems like everyone is talking about on-board connectivity. Why? Because it’s clear that passengers want the ability to do the same thing they do on the ground (send and receive emails, check social media, watch movies, etc.) in the air. With so much information available and key technologies changing on just about a daily basis, it can be difficult to understand the benefits each type of connectivity technology has to offer.

With that being said, operators still need to cut through the clutter to understand the best solution for their aircraft. One of the top connectivity providers in this space is Inmarsat. In 2008, Inmarsat launched SwiftBroadband. At the time, it provided the fastest high-speed connectivity available in business aviation. And while it’s still one of the most effective means of cabin connectivity, a new generation has arrived – Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX (JX).

JX operates over the Ka-band satellite network, a major leap forward in terms of speed and reliability. Each of the network’s three I-5 satellites operate 89 highly efficient Ka-band spot beams. A foundation layer of global coverage is capable of providing up to 50 Mbps to fuselage mounted, and 33 Mbps to tail mounted, antennas. What does this mean? It means that JX provides passengers and crew with nearly the same connectivity experience in flight as they have in their homes and offices. A fourth I-5 satellite – when launched in the future – will provide even more capacity and redundancy.

If the possibility of high-speed, seamless connectivity is something you’re interested in, here are four things to keep in mind about Inmarsat’s JX and Ka-band technology:

1) It is backed by a fully redundant ground network.
The Inmarsat Ka-band network is supported by a fully redundant ground infrastructure, ensuring network availability of 95 percent or greater. What does that mean? This optimized ground network protects against outages from functional failures and fade events, meaning less service interference.

2) The service offers a consistent, reliable, high quality connection.
Because of the satellite network’s combination of spot and steerable beams, Ka-band provides operators with a more consistent, reliable and high quality connection. As noted previously, the three, I-5 satellites create a foundational layer of worldwide coverage. Capacity is supplemented by the network’s unique steerable beams, which means that the busiest flight routes are always covered, even during peak periods.

3) Users can expect higher throughput.
Ka-band operates at a higher frequency, which enables up to 10x more throughput. As a result, JX delivers higher bandwidth per aircraft, which means Ka-band has much more potential to support the ever-growing customer demand for bandwidth.

4) You can expect guaranteed Committed Information Rates (CIR).
JX is the only service with guaranteed CIRs. Each subscription has a defined CIR which is the minimum throughput guaranteed to each subscriber. JX is able to offer this guarantee due to its global coverage.

As the market continues to evolve, there will always be new and different offerings to consider. No matter what technology you choose, one of the most important decisions you make is about selecting the right service provider. If you’re thinking about adding on-board connectivity and have questions, ARINCDirectSM can help you determine the best solution for your needs.

Read more about author Audrey Ndengue.

A One/Two Punch: The 2 Hottest Topics for LABACE 2017

LABACE 2017 Aerial View

There’s a lot going on in the business aviation industry and LABACE is a great place to learn about the newest innovations in the market. While sales of new and used aircraft remains sluggish, the service side of business aviation continues to be quite strong with innovative technologies continuing to transform the market.

Some topics remain at the forefront of what’s happening (yes, yes connectivity). We are also seeing how new mandates are generating a lot of interest-and questions.

With that, I wanted to share what we see as the two biggest topics at LABACE 2017.

1) Connectivity is king. Study after study shows that travelers are demanding the always – available internet experience they enjoy at home be available in the sky too. And even though inflight Wi-Fi hasn’t been available for very long, the demand for the service is high so much so that many passengers say they are willing to choose an alternative to their preferred airline just to access in flight internet.

The good news is that there are many new connectivity options available that can satisfy not only the demand for access, but also access to high-quality service. From Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX to ViaSat’s mobile broadband via the Ku-band network to Iridium’s NEXT and others, reliable, high speed connectivity is here. The question now becomes – what’s the best choice and how can I work with a service provider to implement it in a cost-effective manner?

2) Mandates are driving ADS-B Out, FANS equipage. Regulatory agencies across the globe, including in the U.S. and Europe, are requiring the use of ADS-B Out in aircraft that are operating in controlled airspace by 2020. And that’s good, because ADS-B Out technology provides some significant benefits: it allows an aircraft to continuously broadcast its GPS position, heading, velocity and other surveillance information to Air Traffic Control (ATC). But, the new mandates are driving business aircraft operators worldwide to get equipped so that they can continue to access increasingly modernized airspace and creating an urgent need to plan for completing ADS-B Out installations by the end of 2019.

In addition to ADS-B Out, the FANS 1/A North Atlantic mandate will reach a significant milestone at the end of 2017, requiring all aircraft operating in the North Atlantic Region between Flight Levels 350 and 390 to be equipped with a FANS controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC) and automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) technologies. In 2020, the North Atlantic FANS mandate will expand to include all traffic at Flight Level 290, and above, throughout the North Atlantic Region. The trend that “prime” airspace is being reserved for those operators that are well equipped is not being lost on the industry as more operators seek to understand, implement and get trained on these new technologies.

These are some of what we see as hot topics for LABACE 2017, but we’d love to hear what you think. Comment below or if you’re attending LABACE 2017, please visit us at stand #2016. Our team will be on hand, waiting to talk with you.

Read more about author Ben Gambrell.

Worth the Wait — FAA’s New EFVS Rule FAR 91.176

The FAA has released the long-awaited Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) rule FAR 91.176 that will bring numerous benefits to aviation. More specifically, the rule will expand applicability of EFVS for business aircraft owners and operators and introduce, for the first time, similar benefits to the air transport industry.  Up until now, other than by exemption, the air transport sector has not been able to participate in the operational benefits EFVS affords. This has all changed.

The new rule is lengthy, so let’s  highlight some of the impacts of the rule change.

Main benefits to FAA’s new EFVS rule:

  • Enhances low-visibility flight and ground operations
  • Increases access, efficiency and throughput at many airports when low visibility is a factor
  • Reduces infrastructure necessary to support low visibility operations
  • Provides a real-time display of the outside world in low-visibility conditions using imaging sensors
  • Enables descent below Decision Altitude/Decision Height (DA/DH) or Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) in low visibilities on a greater number of approach procedure types (precision, approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV) and non-precision)

The comprehensive re-structuring and implementation of FAR 91.176 impacts numerous rules and guidance documents that provide a better cross reference. These cross reference materials make the review and learning of this material much easier than in the past. (The complete rule can be found on the Federal Register.)

The FAA 91.176 rule summary:

Establishes new landing minima

  • Permits operators to use an EFVS to touchdown and rollout 91.176(a)
  • Relocates EFVS to 100’ operations to 91.176(b)

Permits operators who conduct EFVS operations under parts 121, 125 or 135 to use EFVS-equipped aircraft

  • Dispatch/release under IFR
  • Allow those operators to initiate and continue an approach when destination weather is at or below authorized visibility minimums on the Instrument Approach Plate (IAP)

Establishes pilot training and recent flight experience requirements for EFVS operators

  • The pilot flight crew member or any other person who manipulates the controls of an aircraft during EFVS operation meets the training, recent flight experience and refresher training requirements in FAR 61.66 is applicable to EFVS operations
  • Provides EFVS training requirements for Part 121 and Part 135 operators   

Revises pilot compartment view certification requirements for vision systems

  • New airworthiness standards for certification of vision systems removes ‘special conditions’ that were required to certify vision systems which will speed up the certification process
  • The FAA issued Advisory Circular 90-106A, Enhanced Flight Vision Systems and Advisory Circular 20-167A, Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System and Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment.  This updates these documents to support the newly released regulations

The FAA established that these rules would be performance-based and not linked to specific sensor technology. This provides a means to allow for sensor development as new sensor capabilities emerge. The applicant will demonstrate sensor performance during the EFVS certification process. With this, the FAA will manage EFVS operational minimums and approval through its authorization process. This affords a more streamlined means to respond to new technology developments.  As one reads through this material, it is apparent the FAA sets standards that will carry this technology and its operations well into the future.

Presently, EFVS is required to be displayed on a conformal, flight-path-based Head-Up Display (HUD), which displays selectable flight path angle as well as lateral and vertical approach path deviation and command guidance as appropriate for the type of approach being flown. The FAA has provided a means for the development of new display types and sensor capabilities but they will need to be vetted through a certification process similar to the current HUD-based EFVS and meet the same safety and performance standards.

This approach to implementing the new EFVS rules will guide a global process to visual-equivalent operations and provide a means to standardize international-based operations and regulatory process. The application of this comprehensive approach to implementing EFVS will secure safety, airfield throughput and airline operational benefits in all takeoff and approach operations. The FAA’s consistent implementation of these changes supports the design concept implemented decades ago of placing more capability on the airplane rather than build additional ground infrastructure.

Stay tuned as this new rulemaking progresses and operators are approved for its use.  This rulemaking could be a real game changer.

Read more about author Dean Schwab.


ADS-B Equipage in Australia – Not “If” but “When”

If you currently fly in or plan to fly in Australian airspace, some recent changes to ADS-B Out mandate enforcement dates may impact you. If you don’t have ADS-B Out now, your compliance date may vary, but you’ll eventually need to equip to fly Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in Australian airspace.  On November 22nd, The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued two documents, CASA 113/16 and CASA 114/16, which provide temporary ADS-B Out equipage exemptions to certain aircraft operations.

Until recently, all aircraft, regardless of country of registration operating under IFR in Australian airspace, would have been required to have ADS-B Out effective February 2, 2017.  Now that’s changed slightly.  Here’s how the release of CASA 113/16 and CASA 114/16 impacts you:

Scenario 1:

I’m an Australian registered commercial transport, charter or aerial work aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  The February 2, 2017 ADS-B Out mandate still applies to you so make sure you’re equipped!  With only one month remaining, if you fit this scenario and are not equipped, talk to your avionics installer today!

Scenario 2:

I’m an Australian registered private aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  An exemption to ADS-B equipage is available to you from February 2, 2017 to January 1, 2020.  However, some conditions apply so you need to consider these before you delay your upgrade. From CASA 114/16:

  • The aircraft must be one that was manufactured before February 6, 2014;
  • The aircraft must be operated below 10,000 feet above MSL;
  • Any operation by the aircraft in Class C or Class E airspace is restricted to arrival at, or departure from, a Class D aerodrome;
  • For any operation in Class C or Class E airspace, the aircraft must be fitted with an SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar) transponder;
  • For any operation in Class C, D or E airspace, the pilot of the aircraft must have been given clearance for the flight by Air Traffic Control (ATC);
  • The flight plan for the operation must include the following details at item 18 of the plan: RMK/NIL ADSB AUTH.

Note: This authorisation instrument does not mean that appropriate ATC clearance to enter Class C, D or E airspace is automatic or guaranteed.  ATC makes clearance decisions subject to prevailing air traffic and operational conditions at the time of the flight.

This exemption is applicable in Class C CTA steps, Class D CTR and CTA steps, Class E CTA steps and Class G airspace under the conditions listed above.  For private aircraft operators seeking to fly in Class A and Class C CTR airspace, this exemption is not applicable and you’ll still need to equip with ADS-B Out by Feb. 2, 2017.

Scenario 3:  

I’m a foreign registered aircraft operating under IFR rules in Australian airspace.

Impact:  CASA 113/16 provides an exemption from ADS-B equipage from Feb. 2, 2017 through June 6, 2020 (the European mandate deadline).  There are also operational conditions which apply here, too.  From CASA 113/16:

  • The aircraft must be equipped with an SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar) transponder;
  • For operations in OCA (Oceanic Control Area) and Oceanic Class G Airspace — the operation must be planned but may be planned at any flight level or altitude;
  • For operations in Continental Airspace — the operation must be planned below FL290;
  • For operations in SSR surveillance airspace — the operation may proceed at or above FL290 only if the pilot of the aircraft is given clearance for the flight by ATC;
  • The flight plan for the operation must include the following details at item 18 of the plan: RMK/NIL ADSB AUTH.

Note: This authorisation instrument does not mean that appropriate ATC clearance at or above FL290 in SSR surveillance airspace is automatic or guaranteed. ATC makes clearance decisions subject to prevailing air traffic and operational conditions at the time of the flight. A foreign registered aircraft that is not carrying ADS-B transmitting equipment, and that does not have ATC clearance, must remain below FL290 in Continental Airspace. It is essential, therefore, that operators flight plan for the operation in accordance with this authorisation instrument.

We continue to encourage operators to equip with ADS-B Out sooner rather than later even if exemptions do exist. Given the significant volume of aircraft remaining to equip, those who wait may face longer lines and more expensive upgrades due to the higher demand.  Operators who equip now also help ensure they can continue to travel where they want, when they want without operational constraints. Also remember to consider what all areas you will be flying in. If you plan to fly in the United States or Europe, you’ll need DO-260B, the latest ADS-B Out standard.

Still have questions or want to learn more?

CASA 113/16:

CASA 114/16:

AirServices Australia:

Rockwell Collins ADS-B Out Products & Aircraft Certification Options:


Read more about author Rob Myhlhousen.

ADS-B Out upgrades: Think beyond the mandate

Like thousands of other operators, you are probably looking at ADS-B Out upgrade options for your aircraft.  With ADS-B Out mandates just three short years away, the clock is ticking to get your aircraft compliant.  While you need to get moving to meet the mandate, don’t rush so fast that you’ll overlook some important details.  Here are a couple things to think about when picking out the right solution for your aircraft.

What additional capabilities can my ADS-B Out equipment bring?  

Over the past few years we’ve seen regulatory agencies transitioning to more GPS-based procedures.  The United States has implemented more than 3,700 LPV approaches and is limiting investments in or decommissioning aging ground-based navigation systems like ILS and VOR.  The equipment required to navigate in the airspace is changing so keeping your aircraft up-to-date will help to maximize efficiency and airspace access.

What does all of this have to do with ADS-B Out?  

In the United States, you’ll need a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) GPS position source to meet ADS-B Out position requirements.  SBAS receivers utilize additional satellite broadcasts to provide higher accuracy position data to the end user. You may have heard of WAAS, EGNOS, GAGAN and MSAS.  These are SBAS systems developed for the United States, Europe, India and Japan.

When selecting your ADS-B Out upgrade, consider how the SBAS GPS unit will be utilized on your aircraft.  If it’s a standalone solution that doesn’t integrate with your Flight Management System (FMS), you won’t be able to take advantage of additional capabilities like LPV approaches or RNP that provide additional efficiencies in the airspace and are on most airspace modernization roadmaps.  In most cases you may need to upgrade your FMS to realize these capabilities but that upgrade can be made in parallel with your ADS-B Out upgrade or it can be accomplished later.  Be sure to consider what few incremental benefits and additional future upgrade costs bolt-on solutions will provide outside of just meeting ADS-B Out requirements.

How will my aircraft be supported after the upgrade?

While important to everyone, this is especially important for customers with newer aircraft with integrated avionics systems (i.e., Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4, Pro Line 21 and Pro Line Fusion®).  While we all hope you don’t have technical issues with your aircraft, we know problems can come up.  Maintaining your integrated cockpit is going to help ensure your avionics OEM will be able to support you in those times of need.  Adding new suppliers’ products into the mix of your current avionics system can be risky.  If your current avionics supplier isn’t involved with or hasn’t at least tested another supplier’s products, they are not going to be able to ensure long-term compatibility nor can they easily support your broader avionics system if issues do come up.

Some of our OEMs are also incorporating ADS-B into broader upgrade packages for your Pro Line avionics system.  These packages bring ADS-B Out upgrades along with additional capabilities such as display capability upgrades, navigation capability enhancements and other options.  Future avionics upgrades provided through the OEM may be predicated on having these packages installed.  We highly suggest contacting your OEM to discuss ADS-B upgrade options available for your aircraft and requirements for future upgrades.

Want to learn more?  Visit
Have ADS-B questions?  Email us at

Read more about author Rob Myhlhousen.

Is it really a business jet if it has no internet connection?

When traveling abroad, understanding a few basic foreign language phrases can go a long way in making it a better experience, versus not having any at all.

The same goes for internet in a business jet – even having a little bit of connectivity makes it a better experience, compared to not having it at all. In fact, many newcomers to a business jet – the very people who will drive future demand for aircraft – are a surprised to find that many aircraft don’t automatically come with some kind of internet connection.

So what is the range of your aircraft connectivity options? What’s the connectivity metaphor to knowing a few phrases, versus being a United Nations linguist? Here’s a quick breakdown of the options available today.

If you need the basics

Iridium SATCOM – Iridium is a constellation of Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites that give worldwide coverage for voice services but with lower bandwidth data rates. Most aircraft can take advantage of Iridium SATCOM using a blade-mounted antenna. While this solution is versatile and relatively low cost, the low bandwidth will limit connectivity options to telephone calls and text messaging only.

If you need a little more bandwidth

Inmarsat Swift Broadband – This is currently one of the more popular and capable systems. Using a geo-stationary constellation of Inmarsat’s I-4 satellites, this option is a versatile and higher-bandwidth solution that supports a variety of internet activities across a wide variety of aircraft. Depending on the antenna fit (blade or steerable dish), data rates can get from 200 to 432kbps, or nearly 0.5Mbps. Streaming media is possible, but some smart things have to be done in the router to bond channels together and increase available speed. Router management can also increase capabilities by enabling compression software to improve efficient throughput. Because it provides safety services, SBB is a complementary solution to the options below.

If you have more passengers on board

Yonder Ku and 2Ku – The Yonder Ku option leverages the same collection of geostationary high-bandwidth satellites used for broadcast television, allowing for “office in the sky” applications. The high bandwidth allows you to send and receive email, establish VPN connections, stream video and participate in video conferencing. The Yonder Ku antenna fits larger business aircraft with room to accommodate a 30cm antenna, while the fuselage-mounted 2Ku antenna solution is used almost exclusively in air transport. This is a capable solution to consider with some limitations when transiting oceans.

If you’re traveling globally with multiple passengers

Inmarsat Ka band – Branded as JX (or Jet ConneX) in business aviation, Ka-band is made available via a worldwide platform of recently launched I-5 satellites. JX offers The highest bandwidth quoted for the satellites is up to 50Mbps, and a typical business jet antenna can expected rates of up to 15Mbps. This high-speed connectivity will allow more devices to be in use on board an aircraft at the same time.

Let’s face it. Today the world – and your passengers – speak through and with the internet. Ask yourself: will your passengers want to fly in your aircraft if it doesn’t speak their language?

Read more about author James Hardie.

Connectivity: Point of no return

From visual signaling to the globally connected passenger, pilot and plane

Flying in the old days was a heroic adventure for the aircraft, pilot and passengers. From visual signaling, megaphone and long days in route, no one would dare then to dream about easy air-to-ground communication, up-linking flight plans, aircraft tracking, cabin entertainment systems or in-flight internet.

Although today we can all benefit from these available technologies that keep us connected, in Brazil the majority of the 800 business jets flying currently have no connectivity service. For those of you that believe there are better ways to connect today besides visual signaling, smoke signs, or handmade flight plans, read on.

By incorporating connectivity tools into operations you can expect:

Operational efficiency

Your safety and efficiency are improved by having accurate flight plans sent right from the ground to your Flight Management System (FMS) or iPad, receiving weather updates, real-time position data or just sending a simple message to your Fixed Base Operator (FBO) to request services before landing.

Onboard satellite connectivity is transforming communications in the cockpit and supporting communications between the aircraft and the Air Traffic Control.  Current satellite technologies allow a wide range of capabilities onboard the aircraft in comparison to legacy systems.

Meeting the cabin needs for passengers

Today, we are more connected than ever.  Our personal and business lives depend heavily on access to our devices. We often feel the need to be in touch with family and colleagues regardless of where we are.  This need to stay connected to our professional responsibilities make the “office in the sky” even more valuable.

Faster data connections with reliable service are key factors driving the market. Passengers not only want access to email and internet as in previous years, but also the ability to seamlessly continue their business in-flight using high-speed data. This may include applications such as uploading and downloading data, video conferences or high definition on-demand TV.  From the passenger perspective, the data connection should be seamless – indeed plug and play-connecting their device to the Wi-Fi aircraft network to fully enjoy the ride.

So while the days of visual signaling may be far behind us, countries like Brazil are just starting to catch up and take advantage of the new era of connectivity onboard.  The safety and efficiency added is undeniable. Making compromises for staying connected while you travel is over.

Are you ready to connect?

Read more about authors Vinicius Freitas.

Alphabet soup for pilots: FANS 1/A+ CPDLC and ADS-C

There’s a lot of talk lately about FANS 1/A+ CPDLC and ADS-C, but what does it really mean to operators? What is truly the value?

FANS 1/A, or Future Air Navigation Systems, is the suite of avionics upgrades that implement Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) and Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC).  When position reporting is established, ADS-C provides position, altitude, speed, intent and meteorological data direction to ATC with no crew intervention.  CPDLC is a data application that enables text-based message transmissions between the air traffic controller and the flight crew.

So, why use data link messaging instead of voice transmissions?

First, it reduces the chances of human error. Secondly, it increases the efficiency and volume of pilot requests that can be handled by ATC. As ATC moves towards best equipped, best served operation, FANS 1/A+ provides even more benefits for operators and pilots.  Top five benefits of FANS 1/A and CPDLC include:

  • Allows pilots to fly more optimal flight levels, consuming less fuel.
  • Allows ATC to reduce minimum separation requirements between aircraft
  • Minimizes language barrier issues and other communication errors through the use of a standard message set.
  • Reduces pilot  and air traffic controller workloads through the use of automated position reporting.
  • Replaces verbel air traffic control instructions and crew requests over radio frequencies, reducing frequency congestion.

Today, we offer upgrades to FANS 1/A+ for some Rockwell Collins-equipped aircraft types. After your aircraft is equipped to utilize FANS 1/A+, our ARINCDirect team can test your system and provide the required training for operation. We also offer FANS testing for all ARINCDirect customers for new FANS installations, refresher training for flight crews and troubleshooting assistance for any FANS issues that may be encountered.  In addition to our manual FANS testing stations, we also have automated FANS test stations which are available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.  

For more information regarding FANS testing or to schedule a testing session, please email or call +1 410-266-2990.

Read more about author Erin Santiago.

Flying to the 2016 Summer Games

First and foremost, Landing permits

As we inch closer to the long awaited Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, deadlines for necessary arrangements are approaching to ensure fluid travel into the lively city. While all destinations require a certain amount of pre-planning, Brazil’s unique systems require a bit of additional attention. While landing in Brazil can come with the typical slot challenges, the slot revision process can be troublesome if not handled correctly. These slots can be especially difficult to obtain during times of high flight traffic such as the Summer Games.  With such a highly anticipated event, it would be best to begin your arrangements as soon as possible.

Brazil’s airport system requires you to have your landing permit in hand prior to reserving a slot.  Travel schedules also need to be concrete and verified before landing permits can be secured. The Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC)  will only allow three changes before canceling a request, making you start the process over. So, when sending aircraft and crew documents along with the permit request, it is critical to present the most current and legible copies. Improper documentation will be returned and will be considered the first of the three permit changes.

Although landing permit approvals typically take 24 hours around the time of a large event, the wait can be significantly longer. During the Summer Games you should anticipate four business days for approvals, assuming that all documents are in order.

It is very important that clients arrive in Rio/SBGL during the approved times (0500-1100z, 0200-0800 lcl).

If a client wants to arrive outside of the authorized time it will be considered yellow zone air restriction time and there will be strict procedures in place. These are mandatory and will require entering via a predetermined HUB airport (Manaus/SBEG, Recife/SBRF, Salvador/SBSV) to clear customs and going through an extremely thorough special inspection by the Federal Police. This process will need to be requested well in advance as it will take quite some time, as well as incur extra fees. So, we strongly recommend avoiding yellow area air space restrictions.

Security throughout Rio, including at airports, is expected to be intense to maximize safety for all in attendance. ANAC has already clearly stated to all handlers that crew changes will be scrutinized rigorously leading up to the event. Primary pilots (a maximum of three) may be registered on the landing permit. Alternate crew members (a maximum of three), must also be specified and accounted for, however alternate aircraft will not be accepted on the request.  If multiple aircraft are heading to the event, separate crews are required for each tail.

Here’s a breakdown of some key facts about the documents required for travel to Brazil:

Crew |Three (3) legible and valid documents:

  • Pilot License – Front and back copy of most current license
  • Medical Certificate – Must be valid until after the final departure date. (1 yr. validity from exam date; 6 month validity if older than 60 years old)
  • Passport

Aircraft [Part 91] | Three (3) legible and valid documents:

  • Airworthiness Certificate
  • Registration Certificate
  • Worldwide Insurance – Indicate worldwide coverage, third-party coverage, third-party coverage amount, and full operator address

Aircraft [Part 135] | Five (5) legible and valid documents:

  • Airworthiness Certificate
  • Registration Certificate
  • Worldwide Insurance – Must indicate worldwide coverage, third-party coverage, third-party coverage amount, and full operator address
  • Air Operator Certificate (AOC)
  • Operations Specifications – Must include tail of aircraft that will be landing in Brazil


  • Private aircraft registered in charter companies fall under Part 135.
  • Some airports, customs will request chartering contracts, including a list of passengers.
  • All aircraft (Part 91 and Part 135) will need to provide a letter explaining the purpose of the trip as well as a letter of authorization for the SLOT request (template will be provided).
  • A letter of authorization will be required for each tail requesting a slot. If any changes need to be made, Brazil will cancel the existing slot and issue the new one as a new request, both of which will incur a charge.

Need someone to walk you through the logistics of traveling to Rio for the Summer Games?  Our International Trip Services team is waiting to help.  Contact them at +1-713-430-7200 or

Read more about author Michelle Torres.

*Rockwell Collins is not a sponsor or in any way affiliated with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.