A great deal of thought, consideration and customer input goes into the design of a business aircraft cabin interior. Tim Guest gets the lowdown on the coolest cabin environments in the sky.

For both airframe makers and interior specialists alike, customer feedback and project-specific instructions are key inputs they rely on when it comes to designing and completing the typically state of-the-art, luxurious and, often, home-from home spaces of the business jet cabin interior. Customer habits, requirements and expectations together drive the design and composition of a business aircraft’s interior. Cabin interiors need to offer the business and VIP traveller a level of comfort, quality and functionality they might expect of a five star hotel or the swankiest of office environments, as well as an ambience that makes them feel at home and relaxed in the air. For the owner/operator, all those parameters apply…and some, because any interior for which an owner has paid handsomely must also be durable, reliable and have longevity built into its features – and it must also meet stringent aviation safety requirements. Accoutrements that will future-proof an
interior, as far as is practical and possible, must be able to withstand this age of fast changing technological advances and a travelling business/VIP passenger-base hungry and restless for a full range of creature comforts. From the latest in-flight connectivity solutions and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems, lighting, climate control, seating and sleeping areas; all these parts of a sophisticated cabin interior will come together as a cohesive whole and help attract and retain a paying clientele that an owner/operator will want to remain loyal for the long-term. Let a cabin interior become outdated at your peril.

To meet such expectations, today’s interiors require designers and completion centres to be aware of, and incorporate, latest ideas and advances in all areas of a cabin interior. They must understand a customer’s brand and expectations for its individual aircraft or fleet of aircraft, and they must keep ahead of the curve when it comes to following technological innovation in every sector relevant. Value for money will also be expected of any interior package. That’s one of the reasons making the most efficient use of available real estate onboard is crucial, particularly when it comes to meeting the widest range of stowage and usage requirements for passengers who seem to have an ever-increasing inventory of carry-on items and personal devices. Designers are finding new ways of maximising space by incorporating useful surfaces and stowage ideas like recesses, mini-shelves, pockets and more in various parts of the cabin. And for the many personal electronic devices not only are traditional charging points an obvious need, but in some new interiors the latest in wireless charging is being incorporated into furnishings. In-flight communications and connectivity are high on the agenda for interiors; it is a key driver of customer loyalty in today’s skies. Owner/operators need to install the latest high-speed, high-capacity satellite systems in order to deliver latest services; accordingly, they keep close ties with satellite service providers like Inmarsat, Collins Aerospace and Honeywell to ensure they are aware when new technologies and systems become available. For example, there are now over 400 business jets (including: Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream) fitted with Inmarsat’s Jet Connex system; Inmarsat is currently working with Deutsche Telekom on its European Aviation Network to deliver latest 4G LTE connectivity for business aircraft sometime this year. This will enable a level of service inside the cabin that will keep the most demanding VIP customer connected and satisfied. Jet Connex looks set to have a major impact on communications/ connectivity installations across the European business jet community.

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