787 Launch Customer ANA Selects SITA for Aircraft Communications Management

As the initial flight of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner approaches, launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) today announced that it has selected aviation IT specialist SITA to provide a message processing solution to manage the configuration and distribution of the higher traffic volume and variety of aircraft cockpit messages required for the new aircraft.

Takanori Yukishige, vice president of information technology services at ANA, said: “Traditionally, we have developed all our Datalink processing in-house; however, our existing mainframe system could not manage the requirements of the 787. We needed to be able to adapt to the new aircraft without major re-programming and to do so in time for its first commercial flight.

“SITA’s AIRCOM Server has provided this for us. In addition, we now have the versatility of the system acting as an ACARS gateway for air-to-ground messaging and a Type B gateway for the ground-to-ground communications used by our cargo division.”

Philip Clinch, vice president of aircraft communications and messaging at SITA, said: “The imminent arrival of the 787 at ANA has given them the opportunity to review their communication requirements and we, at SITA, are proud to deliver a system which matches their current and evolving requirements. AIRCOM Server has been selected by over 50 airlines ensuring that it will keep evolving to meet all their needs.

“AIRCOM Server will allow ANA to format messages without any software development; something which was not possible with their in-house system. Most importantly, by enabling simple message configuration and reducing the mainframe workload we are delivering significant cost savings to the airline.”

SITA’s AIRCOM Server is also evolving to manage data sent via IP link to the new generation of systems that will come as standard in the 787, equipment such as Electronic Flight Bags, which generate much higher data transfer requirements than ACARS systems. AIRCOM Server will make the management of the mixed fleet simple and transparent.

The 787 Dreamliner has more pre-production orders than any other completely new aircraft and ANA, which has ordered 50, is expected to take delivery of its first 787-8 derivative in the first quarter of 2010, with around 20 787s entering its fleet over the following two years.

SITA’s AIRCOM services support more than 180 contracted customer airlines with more than 8,500 individual aircraft in routine airline operation, and facilitates the exchange of more than one million ACARS messages per day.

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