27 January 2015
South African Airways (SAA) will this week become the first airline globally to install the Satellite Authorisation System (SatAuth), which will allow secure credit card transactions anywhere in the skies.
The system, first installed on the airline’s cabin trainer for testing in May, would not only allow secure credit card transactions anywhere in the skies, but would also provide pin-point accurate aircraft tracking services for operational purposes, SAA said.
SAA installed the device on one of its Airbus A340-300 aircraft at the South African Airways Technical (SAAT) maintenance facility in Kempton Park, Johannesburg on 26 January. “SAAT engineers worked closely with the developers of the solution to ensure certification and engineering procedures, ultimately realising the usability of the product within an aviation environment,” said chief executive, Musa Zwane.
SAAT, the driving force behind the innovation, develops testing and engineering procedures for airline maintenance facilities around the world.
The system will allow secure credit card transactions to take place at any point and real-time positioning of any flight, anywhere, affecting fuel saving interventions in- flight as well as providing full visibility of actual flight paths versus planned routing at any time. SatAuth is the first product of its kind, and was developed in South Africa.
SAAT will manufacture all major aircraft components required for installation of SatAuth in accordance with the international Aviation Certification standards required for installation.
“This provides SAAT with substantial commercial impetus with a new revenue stream. The installation is the first of its kind in the world and marks a new milestone in South African avionics engineering. It’s another affirmation of the quality, skill and expertise that SAAT offers in terms of its aircraft maintenance and overhaul facilities,” Zwane said.
Installation of the solution can be done during a standard A-Check – a regular overnight maintenance procedure that occurs every 200 to 400 cycles (take offs and landings).
“SatAuth will provide an economical and secure transaction environment. As a truly South African innovation, the solution would not have reached this milestone without the dedicated support of the SAA Avionics engineers who took it upon themselves to assist us in guiding the SatAuth solution through the numerous certification requirements so endemic to the aviation industry,” said Paul Roux, the founder and chief executive of the SatAuth solution.