Publicly-traded ViaSat Inc., a global broadband services and technology firm, has signed a multi-year agreement with Dassault Aviation to deliver and equip the company’s luxury jets with in-flight internet and complete corporate network platforms.
Installation of the system will begin mid-calendar year 2016 on Falcon 8X luxury jets, which are outfitted at Dassault’s new 250,000 square foot hanger facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Little Rock. ViaSat officials said the first aircraft delivered with the system will occur before the end of calendar year 2016 at the Little Rock facility.
“There is a strong complement between Dassault Aviation’s Falcon brand, which is known for advanced technology and premier cabin amenities, and the ViaSat global connectivity system, which is recognized as an advanced broadband services platform delivering premier in-cabin connectivity experiences,” said Ken Peterman, ViaSat’s senior vice president and general manager. “By pairing our two organizations, we can deliver on a shared vision: making office-in-the-sky capabilities – with access to the real internet – a reality that will benefit Falcon operators well into the future.”
Earlier this year at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Dassault’s new $60 million completion facility, called Hanger 14, company Chairman and CEO Chairman Eric Trappier said the debut of the newly unveiled flagship 8X aircraft enhances the French aviation giant’s luxury line of business jets.
According to company officials, the Paris-based aerospace company’s total facility footprint at the Little Rock airport complex is now 1.25 million square feet. At the sprawling hanger operations, more than 1,800 worker install cabinets, upholstery and complete other interior work on the company’s Falcon 8X ultra long range trijet and the Falcon 5X very large body twin.
Viasat, based in Carlsbad, Calif., said the end-to-end broadband system for Dassault’s new luxury jet has been optimized for mobile applications with the ability to grow with future bandwidth demands, as well providing in-cabin network equipment and in-flight connectivity service for the company’s corporate and business customers.