Richmond antenna would provide high-speed wifi for passing aeroplanes

Photo: Sarah Meyer

A planning application has been submitted for an antenna to provide internet for aeroplanes flying overhead.

The equipment would be installed on existing a telecommunications mast in Borough Road, Richmond.

Three small antennas and one larger antenna would be installed on the mast 31m up.

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The application has been submitted by communications company T-Systems Ltd.

Documents submitted with the plans state: “T-Systems Ltd is rolling out a network that will provide a mobile broadband service to aircraft passengers flying in the EU.

“A combination of satellite and ground based components ( including this proposal at Richmond) is part of an integrated system called the European Aviation Network.

“It plans to provide broadband connectivity to aircraft passengers.”

It adds: “Passengers on the plane will use their own devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop etc) to access broadband services via a standard wifi connection to the terminal on the underside of the aircraft which in turn links to the ground-based installations as part of the wider network in order to provide a contiguous network.”

Internet is already available on some aeroplanes but it is claimed the European Aviation Network will provide much faster more reliable connections.

The company said: “EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience to Europe’s aviation industry and the millions of passengers cut off from reliable broadband access when flying within Europe until now.

“The Inmarsat S-band satellite component will grant Europe-wide, multi-beam coverage, seamlessly combined with a powerful, ground-based mobile broadband network, covering approximately 300 sites, built and managed by Deutsche Telekom.”

The application has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council.