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The paper discusses various aspects of aeronautical broadband satellite communications (AirCom). Market issues are addressed, and a range of relevant services is identified and classified. A structured overview of key issues and respective steps for the system design of an AirCom system is given. It is intended to provide a generalized baseline for a systematic AirCom design process and reflect some recent, ongoing and planned R&D activities in the field. This overview focuses on geographic coverage, constellation candidates and crucial terminal antenna issues.