FAA approves Viasat system onboard Gulfstream G650 and G650ER aircraft


Gulfstream G650ER - 'The Globetrotter'

Gulfstream Aerospace has received approval from the FAA to install a highspeed, dual internet system on its Gulfstream G650 and Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.

Supplied by connectivity provider, Viasat, the system gives customers access to internet speeds that are some of the fastest in the industry, according to Gulfstream. A streaming video service is also available.

“We are pleased to offer this as a retrofit to our current G650 and G650ER customers,” said Derek Zimmerman, President, Gulfstream Customer Support. “With the use of Viasat’s Ku/Ka dual band terminal that seamlessly switches between satellites, we can provide customers with fast and consistent coverage across the world.”

To accommodate the option, Gulfstream aircraft are outfitted with what the company calls a “space-saving radome”. This service can be performed at Gulfstream service centres in Savannah; St. Louis; Appleton, Wisconsin; Dallas; Long Beach, California; Westfield, Massachusetts; and Farnborough, England, with additional facilities becoming available as needed.

The step sees the expansion of the dual-connection internet service across the Gulfstream fleet, after it was first made available for retrofit on the Gulfstream G550 and the Gulfstream GV in 2019.

One of Gulfstream’s facilities capable of installing the system is its recently-opened Farnborough base. The new customer support service centre opened at Farnborough Airport in late July.

The facility is 225,000-square feet (20,903-sqm), accommodating up to 13 large-cabin aircraft, including the Gulfstream G650, G650ER and the Gulfstream G700. Named Gulfstream Farnborough, the operation offers maintenance, repair and overhaul services, as well as interior refurbishments and after-market modifications.