How To Install Wi-Fi On A Private Jet
Nowadays the Wi-Fi is pretty much everywhere. Even your fridge probably has Wi-Fi if you bought it in the last couple of years. Everything connects to everything. But what about planes and private jets? How do you get a Wi-Fi router on board? Let’s find that out and see what options we have!
Different surveys show that the number one feature frequent flyers want to have on board is Wi-Fi. We get it! Today, you want to stay connected all the time, even if you are in the middle of transatlantic flight.
The first companies that started to offer Wi-Fi services to passengers were Broomfield and Aircell, which was later bought by Gogo and named as Gogo Business Aviation.
The number of airplanes that offer internet services onboard keeps growing every year. Most US airlines offer Wi-Fi to every passenger at a reasonable price or even for free. According to Aircell’s data, over 1000 American airlines offer internet on board.
To add Wi-Fi capability to an aircraft you must install a forearm-sized external antenna. The system weights a little less than 125 pounds, so it won’t really affect the aircraft’s performance or fuel consumption. It will take approximately 8 hours to install everything and get it ready for the next flight.
The Cost Of Installation
Dassault Falcon Jet, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and a couple of other manufacturers offer Wi-Fi system installed right “out of the box”, so if you are purchasing a brand-new jet, you shouldn’t have any problems with that. But for older models there may be some extra costs involved to get it installed properly.
The approximate cost of airborne Wi-Fi is almost $100,000 per aircraft. Most airlines recoup the expenses through revenue sharing with Aircell, but for a single private jet owner this might be a big number to cover alone.
Airborne Cell Calls
We might be getting closer and closer to a 100% Wi-Fi coverage, but there are still some technical issues with making cellular calls on board of an airplane. The FAA and FCC still stand in the way of carriers applying for on board cellular service establishment. They are concerned about passengers safety, because cellular calls interfere with data and metrics that pilots and dispatchers work with. That’s why flight attendants always ask you to turn your phones off during a take-off and landing.