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Panasonic Avionics links PenAir to advanced flight tracking and cockpit communications


September 29, 2015

Peninsula Airways (PenAir), one of the largest regional airlines in Alaska and the Northeast U.S., has selected Panasonic Avionics’ (Panasonic) FlightLink® for 18 SAAB SF340 and three SAAB 2000 aircraft. With FlightLink, PenAir adds aircraft operation center (AOC) voice, data, and aircraft positioning and tracking to its fleet of SAAB aircraft. 

Danny Seybert, Chief Executive Officer for PenAir said, “Given our location, and the unique routes we fly, we wanted a solution that would allow us to stay in constant contact with our aircraft. After reviewing all the options, only Panasonic could deliver the hardware and services that would help us run our airline even more safely and efficiently.” 

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Avionics said, “PenAir has been a valued customer for many years, and we are very happy to deepen that relationship with a connectivity service that is so critical to their operational efficiency. FlightLink gives PenAir a cost-effective way to improve their situational awareness, even in areas where traditional satellite solutions are not available. This is a perfect example of how an airline can look to Panasonic to satisfy their critical communications needs.” 

FlightLink lets airlines make better-informed operational decisions and track their aircraft during flight. It supports hundreds of commercial aircraft operated by over a dozen partner airlines with flight-deck voice and data communications over Iridium’s satellite network These connected aircraft benefit from a wide range of aviation applications that enhance the operations of partnering airlines, including automatic, global real-time aircraft position reports.  

It provides real-time non-transponder based aircraft position reports anywhere in the world. The system includes a dedicated Iridium satellite data link and operates automatically, requiring no crew involvement. Each FlightLink-equipped aircraft can be monitored in real time through a web-based tracking tool. Additionally, the system can independently capture and relay aircraft systems’ information, and the weather environment in which the aircraft is flying. 

FlightLink also includes the small and lightweight TAMDAR sensor, which collects thousands of highly detailed and accurate readings from the upper atmosphere each day. The atmospheric data being gathered off of these aircraft provides better situational awareness back to PenAir’s AOC. The data can also be used by Panasonic to develop future improved weather forecasts that would benefit the Alaska aviation community as a whole.