Airservices is evaluating the use of satellite voice technology (SatVoice) for air traffic control communications between ground stations and pilots in partnership with Inmarsat, SITAONAIR and Virgin Australia.
The evaluation will take place over the next few months and focus on areas beyond the reach of traditional VHF voice coverage.
Four Virgin Australia Boeing 737s will demonstrate the Inmarsat SatVoice technology, while SITAONAIR will provide the connectivity infrastructure.
“Through the partnership with Inmarsat, Airservices Australia will help airlines and operators to complement conventional voice communications equipment with modern digital technology,” Inmarsat, SITAONAIR and Airservices said in a joint statement.
“The evaluation is working toward two important customer benefits: more effective and ultimately safer aviation safety services over the oceans and remote areas, and lower weight for avionics, contributing towards reduced fuel burn and greenhouse emissions.”
The statement said SatVoice technology aimed to speed up contact between air traffic control and the aircraft.
Further, enhanced voice communications would “support long-term efficiency and safety improvements that require these direct communications”.