Southwest Airlines And Flightcom Announce Agreement For Wireless Aviation Ground Support Systems

Dec. 6, 2011
Flightcom’s systems will be deployed at all of Southwest’s gates at its 73 destinations across the United States by the first quarter of 2012.

December 5, 2011, Portland, OR – Flightcom, a leader in innovative team communication solutions for aviation environments, today announced an agreement with Southwest Airlines to deploy Flightcom’s wireless aviation ground support communication systems at all of Southwest’s gates at its 73 destinations across the United States. Deployment of all systems is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

“Southwest Airlines continues its commitment to use innovation to provide the highest level of Customer and Employee safety,” said Marc Stank, Senior Manager Safety, Standards, and Regulatory Compliance, Ground Operations at Southwest Airlines. “We are the first major airline to widely deploy this type of wireless system, and we expect it will strengthen our team communications and operational efficiency.”

“The hands-free full-duplex communications capability in Flightcom’s wireless solution was highly attractive,” said Stank. “Flightcom was highly responsive to our specific requirements during rigorous testing and evaluation over the last year. We are excited about the additional margin of safety and efficiency that the system will add to our ground push-back operations.”

“We are extremely pleased to work with Southwest Airlines on this initiative to increase safety and efficiency,” said Reed Stager, executive vice president of Flightcom. “We have worked extensively with Southwest to incorporate their ramp operations requirements in the development of our latest wireless ground support solutions, and this deployment validates the advantages of our systems and our total customer support.”

 The Flightcom hands-free wireless aircraft pushback system continuously connects one or more wing walkers with the tractor operator during aircraft movement, allowing the operator to concentrate on correct and efficient maneuvering. The system enables instant voice communication between team members in the case of danger or a change in movement so ground teams are not dependent only on traditional visual hand signals or wands. The tractor operator wirelessly communicates with the aircraft pilot through a portable system, which also permits all team members to hear the pilot. The rugged and completely wireless headsets do not require a wired belt pack, have a 1600 foot range and offer 26dB of hearing protection to reduce the risk of hearing damage and to ensure personal safety.