Gogo has realized an important milestone in its effort to bring more bandwidth to the skies. The Chicago-based company received certification from the US FAA for operation of the new antenna kit on Aeromexico’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
This is the final major regulatory step for the inflight connectivity system before it can enter commercial service.
Because 2Ku boasts enhanced equatorial coverage, the supplemental type certification (STC) secured by Gogo for Aeromexico’s 737-800s is well suited for the carrier, suggests Peter Lemme, who chairs the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) subcommittee that builds standards for Ku and Ka satcom systems.
— Peter Lemme (@Satcom_Guru) November 12, 2015
Mexican regulators will accept the FAA filings pending submission of documentation but that is mostly a perfunctory step; there is no reason to believe it will bring any problems.
And Gogo has been adding Ku satellite transponder capacity over recent months to prepare for the product launch. At this point it appears that the ball is in Aeromexico’s court to finalize testing of the commercial aspects of the service (portal, performance, etc.) and set a launch date.
These final few steps should be easily accomplished by the end of the year, allowing the product to fly on schedule. A Virgin Atlantic A340-600 is also equipped with the hardware, as evidenced below, and certification is expected soon.