Ever since Wireless Internet became commonplace throughout the world it was only a matter of time until it penetrated the commercial airline market. Wi-fi access is slowly transitioning from a premium luxury amenity to a necessary service. While it is currently a pay service on available flights, it is only a matter of time before wi-fi becomes free on some airlines and is used as a method to entice customers. In the last few years it has gone from being very rare to find a commercial flight with access to wi-fi, to being fairly routine. One company that is currently providing the equipment and services needed for broadband on commercial flights is Aircell LLC, with their brand “Gogo Inflight Internet”.
With the combined forces of Aircell and Gogo Inflight Internet it will soon be very rare to be on a flight that doesn’t have wi-fi access. This service works based upon using the signal from cell towers on the ground and does not work over open water where there are no towers. Aircell is responsible for the infrastructure in the form of towers on the ground that basically work in reverse of how normal cell towers work, sending the signal skyward instead of towards the ground.
Gogo’s equipment on-board the jets pick up the signal and transfer it to the individual customer’s wireless enabled devices. Gogo offers several different packages that all work the same way, you pick which package you want, pay the fee and they send the password to your computer, enabling you to get online. There are currently 1077 aircraft that are using Aircell and Gogo to provide customers with in-flight broadband. Some of the airlines using Gogo are: Air Canada, Air Tran, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier, America, Delta, United, and US Airways. Providing WI-fi access on intercontinental flights, especially those that travel largely over open water, takes a totally different type of technology than what Aircell provides with Gogo Inflight Internet.
The PPL may be issued by any country that is compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (“ICAO”); in practice almost any PPL worldwide. In choosing where to complete your PPL, cost is obviously a consideration, and you should also be concerned about the quality of training. The first few flying lessons should teach you the foundations of flying, on which many later skills are based. However, sometimes this training is delivered very poorly. There is an old adage; you can have it quick, high quality, or cheap. You may even be able to achieve two of these attributes, but you cannot have all three. So, if you are offered a PPL course that seems comparatively cheap and will take only a few weeks, beware about the quality!
Another idea to be aware of is that there is a difference in training philosophies between US-based training systems and European based systems. Most Commonwealth counties follow the European model. Therefore it can be challenging for a pilot who has completed their PPL and initial training in the USA to continue their training in Europe, perhaps resulting in greater cost later.
Many aviation courses offers PPL training in the UK with a "nothing hidden" philosphy. You also have the added benefits of learning to fly at an international airport with our full ops team taking care of all your booking and refuelling needs.