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COMSAT COMMISSIONS 100TH AIRCRAFT IN INMARSAT SYSTEM

 COMSAT COMMISSIONS 100TH AIRCRAFT IN INMARSAT SYSTEM
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifteen months ago, COMSAT


Aeronautical Services commissioned the first aircraft with satellite data communications capability into the global Inmarsat system. On Jan. 31, COMSAT commissioned the 100th aircraft into the system. In both cases, the aircraft have belonged to United Airlines. United uses satellite communications to extend the ARINC Aircraft Communications Addressing Reporting System (ACARS) service on international flights. COMSAT provides space and ground segment to ARINC as part of the GLOBALink team.
 Recently, the FAA awarded United Airlines a supplemental type certificate (STC) enabling 747-400 crews flying Pacific routes to send routine waypoint reports by satellite datalink. Further developments are clearing the way for full data dialogue between pilots and controllers, starting in February on South Pacific routes. This makes United the first airline to gain operational use of satellite-assisted communications for air traffic control.
 "We began service to ARINC for one United plane, flying in the Pacific region," noted Dr. Elizabeth L. Young, vice president, COMSAT Aeronautical Services. "Today, we have more than 30 aircraft flying worldwide using COMSAT and the Inmarsat system not only for ARINC's data services to the cockpit, but for two-way voice. We are seeing the major U.S. carriers and others commit to satcom systems because the quality, reliability and efficiency of communications are vastly improved. We plan to commission the 1,000th aircraft in the not too distant future."
 COMSAT Aeronautical Services currently offers satellite communications services including telephony, two-way data messaging compatible with the ARINC ACARS system, as a part of the GLOBALink team. It plans to offer passenger communications through an agreement with GTE Airfone and FlightNews, a satellite news service, developed in conjunction with Sony Trans Com, that offers real time news, weather, financial information and special feature updates to aircraft with suitable cabin display equipment.
 "COMSAT's aeronautical services will be growing in the coming months to include facsimile, secure communications and news broadcasts," according to Young. "COMSAT and Inmarsat are poised to meet the needs of the aviation community as we approach the 21st century. Inmarsat has successfully put the third of its new generation of satellites into operation this month. COMSAT has expanded its earth stations to provide for the many services our aeronautical customers will require."
 COMSAT Aeronautical Services provides aeronautical satellite communications services to customers around the world through its Inmarsat ground earth stations at Southbury, Conn., and Santa Paula, Calif., serving the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions respectively. Indian Ocean region coverage is provided through an agreement with KDD, the Japanese signatory to Inmarsat.
 COMSAT Aeronautical Services is a business unit of the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT Corp.), headquartered in Washington. COMSAT Corp. (NYSE: CQ) provides international fixed and mobile communications (including maritime, aeronautical and international land mobile) and entertainment services and conducts research on advanced communication techniques. In addition to being the largest owner and U.S. participant in the global Inmarsat system, COMSAT also represents the United States in the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT).
 -0- 2/5/92
 /NOTE: GLOBALink is a service mark of ARINC, and FlightNews is a service mark of COMSAT./
 /CONTACT: Judith Del Zoppo, 202-863-6841, or Patricia Whalen, 202-863-6157, both of COMSAT/
 (CQ) CO: COMSAT Aeronautical Services; COMSAT Corp. ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


DC-MH -- DC020 -- 7264 02/05/92 14:03 EST
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Date:Feb 5, 1992
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