Cabin Electronics for Private Planes

See the latest articles, fast facts, FAQs and more on the AvBuyer Cabin Electronics for Private Planes Hub.

Latest Articles

Which Cabin Connectivity System? Questions to Help Narrow the Choices

What's most important to your passengers?
Fast Facts

What do the passengers need to do in-flight?

  • Do your passengers need to send simple SMS and emails in-flight, have access to full office capabilities (including livestreaming meetings), or something in between?
  • Speak to the regular passengers on your jet to map out each of their connectivity needs.
Consider the number of passengers regularly flying on the jet

How many passengers will be flying at once?

  • Are all passenger seats regularly filled for flights on your aircraft, or are there usually only three or four passengers aboard?
  • On average, how many carry-on devices (phone, iPad, laptop) does each passenger use in-flight?
  • The more passengers and devices you anticipate being present on your business jet, the greater the bandwidth you are likely to need to maintain a fast, reliable connection.

Where do you need to be connected?

Where does your jet usually fly, and will this change in the foreseeable future?

  • Does your mission need encompass mostly domestic flights, or overseas and intercontinental flying too?
  • Business jet operators flying within the US can choose air-to-ground connectivity that works via a network of ground-based towers.
  • Once operators fly beyond the range of those air-to-ground towers, they will need to utilize one of the many satellite-based connectivity systems. These can differ greatly in terms of coverage areas and bandwidth, so be sure to explore which solutions cover the regions you need to fly in.

Don't just think about your short-term needs

Looking for a good connectivity solution for right now? Think longer-term…

  • Don’t just think about your immediate connectivity needs – think about the mid-term, too…
  • Mission needs change. As corporations grow, so the demands on a business jet can change. Avoid outgrowing your in-flight connectivity system too quickly by planning for possible changes ahead. Pick a system that can keep apace with that changing need…

Is the system just for you, or charter passengers as well?

Will you make your business jet available for charter?

  • If the plan includes chartering your business jet out when it's not in use, it is worth a discussion with prospective charter operators about what their clients typically need from cabin connectivity – as well as how to avoid receiving a nasty surprise when the connectivity bill comes each month.
  • Also, consider which in-flight entertainment system (perhaps with music and movies uploaded to an onboard library) would make sense to run alongside the connectivity system, helping avoid the need for charter passengers to stream movies and TV shows.

FAQ: Cabin Electronics for Private Planes

Your frequently asked questions about private plane cabin electronics answered...
  • Can I enhance my business jet’s cabin lighting?

    Enhancing your aircraft’s cabin lighting system can provide a whole new ambiance to the cabin. For example, old incandescent and fluorescent lamps generating unwanted heat and premature failure are replaced. New LED lighting has no external power supplies and incorporates 100% dimming capabilities. The intensity and color of the LED lighting can be designed to fit any mood. It is easy to replace and is controlled by a single source or PED.

  • How can I tell if my Cabin Management System is obsolete (and can I modify it)?

    Determining if your Cabin Management System (CMS) is obsolete, and whether it can be upgraded or needs replacement is usually based on the following questions: 

    • Is the aircraft more than 15 years old, with the original CMS installed? 
    • Does the CMS have indiscreet switches that do not control the entire system? 
    • Do you find that every time you need a unit repaired it must be sent out and takes weeks to return? 
    • Is it difficult or impossible to interface the system with new In-Flight Entertainment technology and passenger phones, iPads and laptops? 

    If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then it’s likely an upgrade is due.

  • What is the best Wi-Fi connectivity for my aircraft?

    The best Wi-Fi connectivity for your business jet's cabin depends on several individual elements. Start by defining the needs of your passengers.

    • Is the aircraft primarily used for business, pleasure, or both?
    • Will passengers need streaming capabilities for movies or video conferencing, or primarily email and text capabilities?
    • Does the aircraft fly domestically or internationally?
    • What is the budget, both for installation and monthly service costs?

    Answer these questions before reaching out to three MRO centers for consultation.

  • How Does the aviation industry define in-flight entertainment?

    Defining the In-Flight Entertainment system on a business jet evolves around the passenger experience. The use of Personal Electronic Devices (phones, iPads and laptops) has replaced traditional monitors and media sources.

    Today, passengers want the same experience they have when they’re at home. Therefore, streaming movies, TV shows, live sports and news, and social media have become the new norm.

  • What are the key elements of cabin electronics?

    The main areas encompassing Cabin Electronics in the Business Aviation industry start with In Flight Entertainment (IFE) and Wi-Fi connectivity. These two systems serve as the heart and backbone of today’s Cabin Electronics environment. The Cabin Management System (CMS), Cabin Lighting, and peripherals like espresso machines complete the ensemble.

Service Providers

Elliott Aviation

Elliott Aviation has been providing aircraft sales, aviation services and innovative solutions since 1936. We’re big enough to handle all of your aircraft needs but small enough to give you the personal touch you deserve. Paint and interior is one ...


Gogo Business Aviation is the inflight internet company and is the leading provider of broadband connectivity products and services for commercial and business aviation around the globe. Our mission is to enable planes to fly smarter so passengers travel happier. ...

Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation’s many innovative interior solutions enhance the overall cabin aesthetics as well as your on-board experience, comfort, convenience and enjoyment. We hand-craft nearly every aspect of an aircraft interior, right down to the stitching on the seats. See ...

Industry Experts

  • Brian Wilson

    Brian has more than 40 years’ experience in the aviation field, and is the Director of Key Accounts ...

  • Gerrard Cowan

    Gerrard Cowan is an experienced aviation journalist whose areas of expertise include cabin electroni...

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