Clay Lacy Aviation, headquartered in Van Nuys, California, and Aircell, the world’s leading provider of airborne communications, announce that Clay Lacy Aviation will install Aircell High Speed Internet service throughout its fleet of charter and managed aircraft. It is the world’s first fleet selection of the Aircell High Speed Internet system by a Part 135 charter operator. System installations begin this month with the retrofit program expected to be complete by mid-2010.
Brian Kirkdoffer, President of Clay Lacy Aviation, said, With the Aircell High Speed Internet system, Clay Lacy will deliver the most frequently-requested onboard service and become the first Part 135 charter operator in the world to do so. The system allows travelers to use personal laptops, PDAs and Smartphones to surf the web, send & receive e-mail with attachments, transfer large files, stream video, use a corporate VPN, and access other Internet-based services in flight. We recognize that business aircraft are an important tool for increasing productivity and full Internet connectivity is a crucial element of that. Everyone we’ve spoken to about this new system has reacted positively and we believe it is yet another example of Clay Lacy’s commitment to providing the highest level of safety, service and value to its owners and charter customers.
Aviation legend Clay Lacy pioneered jet charter when he brought the first Learjet to the West coast over 40 years ago. Today, Clay Lacy Aviation operates one of the largest fleets of jet charter aircraft in the world, with over 20 different types of aircraft “ including Gulfstreams, Challengers, Falcons, Hawkers, Embraers, Citations and Learjets.
Ed Hogan, a Clay Lacy customer and owner of the two Gulfstream 450s that will be first to receive the new system, stated, This is the same fundamental service that has become so popular with commercial airlines and their passengers. Its reliability and functionality has been tested and proven by literally thousands of consumers. Being fully functional with a laptop and BlackBerry® turns the aircraft into a 500+ mph office. This service will significantly enhance productivity and should be extremely popular with owners and charter customers alike.
John Wade, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Aircell, said, Being in an airplane with limited or no connectivity is quickly becoming as frustrating as being in a hotel without those services. Clay Lacy Aviation’s program to make the Aircell High Speed Internet system available to passengers will set a new standard in the charter and aircraft management industry. We’re very proud to have our system selected by such a well-known and respected organization.
As part of each installation, the aircraft will receive an Aircell Axxess® cabin system with an ATG 4000 High Speed Internet unit. This integrated, open architecture communications suite provides high speed Internet service via the Aircell® Network, as well as multiple channels of worldwide voice and narrowband data service via the Iridium satellite network.
The proprietary Aircell High Speed Internet system is the only solution in business aviation that provides a true high speed Internet experience that equals what passengers are accustomed to on the ground, while being small and light enough to fit on virtually any business aircraft. It is up to 56 times faster than a traditional dial-up connection. Aircell’s High Speed Internet unit for business aviation (the ATG 4000) weighs just 11 pounds and its two belly-mounted antennae weigh just 1.25 pounds each.