Van Nuys Airport facility for Thornton Aviation

Press Release: Thornton Aviation hosts SmartSky Experience flights

SmartSky - Finally WifI that Wows

Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueSmartSky Networks, the innovative air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity provider, today completed a two-day SmartSky Experience Tour event with sales and installation partner Thornton Aviation.

The SmartSky Experience Tour, announced in late 2022, is designed to showcase partner facilities and give owners and operators interested in upgrading their connectivity the chance to experience SmartSky firsthand. The Thornton-hosted Experience Day, held at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in California on April 5-6, included a customer appreciation luncheon as well as multiple demonstration flights to provide opportunities for select Thornton customers to try the unparalleled performance of SmartSky’s ATG technology in the busy California airspace.

“As a premier MRO services provider, we are committed to giving our customers the best available technologies and support at a fair and competitive price. Customers expect to have a reliable, sustained connectivity experience and SmartSky’s air-to-ground 5G technology delivers in spades,” Vince Russo, Avionics Manager said. “Our track record of dependable services for business aircraft combined with SmartSky’s leading inflight connectivity technology is a game-changer for elevating customer experiences nationwide.”

Thornton, a California-based aircraft maintenance provider, became a seller and installer of SmartSky’s connectivity equipment in April 2022. The agreement expanded SmartSky’s leading technology to new markets at Thornton Aviation’s FAA Certified facilities. The company is qualified to install SmartSky Flagship and LITE products on nearly every available STC model including Bombardier Challenger 601/ 604/605 and 650, Dassault Falcon 900, Embraer 135/140/145, Gulfstream G350/G450/G550/GIV and GV-SP, among others. Customers can also apply to have their STC added to the roster of models available.

Thornton’s Experience Day included an open house with briefings and demonstration flights for aircraft operators considering installing SmartSky technology. Prospective customers flew routes from VNY with multiple passengers and crew actively utilizing the high-performance network on multiple personal devices with sustained connections during the flight.


“The Experience Day was extraordinarily successful with our fantastic partner Thornton Aviation rolling out the red carpet to their customers and several were able to fly with us for first-hand experience with SmartSky’s game changing connectivity,” said David Carter, SmartSky Manager of MRO Account Management.

“The power of this alliance was on full display at Van Nuys airport today and we are grateful for a spectacular event. Because of the efforts of Thornton Aviation, SmartSky will offer more business aviation customers from coast to coast an unmatched experience with unmatched connectivity.”

SmartSky has scheduled Experience Tour stops across the country throughout 2023, including another stop in Southern California at John Wayne Airport next week. The company will continue providing experience flights to business aircraft operators to showcase its nationwide, next-generation network with stable and secure connections. Operators and flight departments are invited to contact if they are interested in a demonstration flight. 

About SmartSky

SmartSky Networks was founded to transform aviation through disruptive communications technologies, services, and tools. Its innovative air-to-ground network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies, and 60 MHz of spectrum for significantly enhanced connectivity. SmartSky Networks uniquely enables an “enterprise in the sky” experience with unmatched capacity for data transmissions both to and from the aircraft. This real-time, very low latency, bidirectional data link makes SmartSky Networks the best inflight user experience and a key enabler for new and enhanced applications and services. For more information, visit

About Thornton Aviation

Since 1984, Thornton Aviation has provided a wide variety of services to the aircraft industry. As an FAA Certified Repair Station, we offer aircraft maintenance and avionics services for a wide range of corporate/business aircraft including those operating under FAA Part 91 Regulations & 135 Air Carrier Certificate requirements. Thornton Aviation was the first FAA Repair Station authorized to work on Experimental Aircraft.

Featured image credited to Thornton Aviation