Star Navigation grows ISMS customer base in India
Mary Kirby, Philadelphia (23Mar05, 21:07 GMT, 355 words)
Canada’s Star Navigation Systems is attracting growing interest from Indian carriers for its inflight safety monitoring system (ISMS).
The Toronto-based company yesterday announced it has been selected to equip Indian startup SpiceJet‘s entire fleet of Boeing 737-800s with ISMS units. Installations will begin next month.
The deal brings to three the number of airline users of ISMS, a system that provides real-time flight analysis from cockpit to ground for the duration of a flight.
Since last year, Star Navigation has been testing the system on a Boeing 737-700 operated by India’s Air Sahara.
The US firm had hoped the trial would have already resulted in a contract to equip 15 of Air Sahara’s aircraft with ISMS units. But Star Navigation chairman and CEO Viraf Kapadia tells ATI that recent changes in management at Air Sahara has stalled this process.
He says the company is still hopeful Air Sahara will opt for wider installations of ISMS, but admits it must now “resell” the product to the new management.
Despite this setback, Kapadia says Star Navigation is in talks with potential new airline customers from India. He notes that the Indian government has endorsed ISMS, certifying that the system “exceeds the current mandatory regulations for aircraft data monitoring and analysis”.
Star Navigation is also in talks with other Asian carriers as well as airlines in the Middle East. It recently signed an agreement with UAE carrier Etihad Airways to trial ISMS onboard a single Airbus A340.
The company has already received supplemental type certification (STC) from Transport Canada and the US FAA on the 737-700 as well as the Boeing 727-200.
Star Navigation is working on an STC for the 737-800 to support its SpiceJet contract.
Middle East overhaul firm Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO) is handling the ISMS installations for Etihad and SpiceJet.
ISMS units continually relay information from more than 256 aircraft parameters including air pressure, altitude and speed, to a ground station automatically. If any of the tolerance levels are exceeded, ground staff are notified to allow a quick response.
Kapadia says its ISMS is distinctive because it conducts “real-time analysis on board” aircraft.