back to article SpaceX's in-flight Wi-Fi, Starlink Aviation, takes to the skies

SpaceX's in-flight internet service for airplanes now has a name – Starlink Aviation. Hawaiian Airlines announced earlier this year that it would be the first major carrier to provide free Wi-Fi to passengers through the Starlink broadband satellite network. However, at the time, the airline-focused part of the business …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    REgulatory Approval

    No mention of any regulator approval. Its pretty much a non-starter unless FAA/CAA/EASA have approvals in train. Look how long it took them to update mobile phone advice.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: REgulatory Approval

      If the plane already has approved wifi then an external antennae that isn't safety critical is a lot easier to approve.

      Especially for a narrow beamed system like SpaceX

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Easier isn't easy, or fast

        But you are both correct, that the systems need to be flight rated before they can be rolled out, both for the system and for the different plane classes. But with the prospect of billing it back to the passengers, I suspect this will proceed as quickly as the in flight phones that most passengers wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.

        I remember seeing those on the seat backs on planes that still had tiny CRT screens that must have weighed 65lbs each instead flat screens that would have saved hundreds of pounds in flight weight across the cabin. Airlines calculated the costs and decided the extra fuel and lost cargo revenue was cheaper than the refits. But if even a couple of idle rich or middle class suckers swiped a CC for the Airphone, cha-ching! $$

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Easier isn't easy, or fast

          The planes already have in-flight wifi that you pay for (or get a points deal)

          But that normally uses links to ground cell networks, this works over the ocean or over desolate wastelands like Greenland/Canada/Lincolnshire

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: REgulatory Approval

      Cathay Pacific had in-flight wifi at least 8 years ago. Much slower than Starlink and it was a billiable extra, but still something that the regulators were presumably happy with. Obviously they will have to do their checks on this specific implementation, but I don't see it being too much of a problem.

  2. Alistair
    Windows

    ..... Was gonna say ....

    Starlink Aviation has a desk at the local small airport here, I was kinda wondering there......

    (And if you're thinking money counts, as small an operation as they are, they've got plenty of cash, so lawyers could come out)

    The kit is kinda pricey, but one would have to compare it to what the alternatives charge, both for the hardware and subscription and bandwidth. Would be an interesting comparison.

    1. redav

      Re: ..... Was gonna say ....

      At a quick glance, it's not clear to me that Starlink Aviation (the transport people) actually have a trademark. They appear to have abandoned their application in Canada back in 2006.

  3. Christoph
    Megaphone

    HELLO, I'M ON THE PLANE!

  4. Cuddles Silver badge

    Skynet

    "Oh c'mon! Was it too much to expect Skynet?"

    There is already a Skynet satellite communications system. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(satellite)

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Facepalm

    guest experience

    "guest experience"

    WTF? It's a bit of transportation. Mostly not comfortable. Mostly people just want to get where they are going. And they are PASSENGERS. It's not a fucking hotel or a theme park "experience".

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