Viasat has achieved the first type certification for its in-flight connectivity system in China on the Airbus A320.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) to the satellite operator for the installation of Ka-band satellite systems on Airbus A320s. Under the new VSTC, A320 operators based in China can modify their aircraft with Viasat’s antenna, radome, modem, server, and wireless access points (WAPs).
According to Viasat, the new VSTC was issued based on an Airbus A320 STC previously certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Xinhua, a Chinese media outlet managed by China’s government, in February published an update noting that Airbus plans to deliver the 600th A320 family aircraft assembled at its final assembly line in north China’s Tianjin Municipality this year.
Don Buchman, Viasat’s vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, called their first Chinese type certification “significant because Chinese-based airlines, using our best-in-class equipment, are now a step closer to delivering an on-the-ground internet experience to their passengers while in-flight. We’re grateful to our partners in China for their support and are committed to continuing to invest in this important market—where we have operated since 1994—for the long run.”
Viasat’s CAAC A320 type certification comes following a November agreement established with China Satellite Communications (China Satcom) that will allow the satellite operator to offer its Ka-band service to domestic and international airlines via the Ka-band ChinaSat-16 satellite system.