ArincDirect is now certified to assist business aviation flight departments in need of help gaining FAA/CAA letters of authorization approval for both the hardware installation and crew training required to fly using pilot controller data link communications (CPDLC).
VHF Data Link
The FAA has issued a request for offers to provide data communications services under the agency’s Data Comm effort, considered one of the “transformational” programs leading to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
While the FAA has decided to postpone the introduction of controller/pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) in the NAS, Eurocontrol has stated its intent to move forward with an ambitious datalink-implementation program.
A recent FAA briefing note concluded, “The future of ATC is all about data communications,” and government and industry officials, both in the U.S. and overseas, are in complete agreement with this view. The problem facing aviation is that these same officials seem to be in agreement on precious little else.
Despite recent events, the FAA is continuing its modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS), and controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC) remains a key building block in its Operational Evolution Plan.
Maneuvering over Southern Florida and through busy Miami airspace on a classically warm and convective Thursday in March, an FAA test airplane spent several hours aloft exchanging more than 100 routine messages with ATC–all without the pilots or controllers having to utter a single word.
The FAA has awarded an initial $20.5 million contract to ITT Industries aerospace/communications division to provide the agency with multimode VHF digital air-to-ground radios as part of its next-generation air/ground communications system (Nexcom). If all options are exercised, it could be worth as much as $580 million.
Although a new VHF digital datalink communication system could quadruple channel capacity while retaining 25-kHz spacing, the FAA needs to ascertain if the technology is sound, if it can be certified for use in the National Airspace System and whether it is cost effective for users and the agency.
Citing budget constraints, senior FAA management has apparently postponed the planned expansion of controller/pilot data link communications (CPDLC) trials beyond the present activity at the Miami ARTCC, AIN has learned. Industry sources report that the decision was based on the high costs of controller manpower.
Sharp rises in the number of airline flights originating from airports in the U.S. and Europe are presenting FAA and Eurocontrol officials with some daunting challenges. Chief among these is the question of how to squeeze more capacity from airports and ATC route systems that in some places already seem stretched to the breaking point.
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