View Full Version : The advantages of ACARS/ATSU etc.

23rd Mar 2008, 14:19
Sorry to keep hounding you with questions, this is the final one:

ACARS. I don't understand how:

1) you can get an entire loadsheet printed out on the A320, when the only options given in the ACARS section of the FMGS are for flight reports, weather reports or take off data.

2) I have heard that some Ops directors are slapping the wrists of some pilots for sending rude messages over ACARS on the A320/30. How?? How can you use ACARS to send pilot-edited messages? Is it possible??

3) Why would getting an ACARS loadsheet be so beneficial? Why are so many airlines raving about it, when the load controller just has to pop up with the printed loadsheet?



Dream Land
23rd Mar 2008, 17:10
Hi, I'm not an expert but what some major airlines do is to finish the load sheet after the aircraft pushes, the important bits, like weights, CG are sent to the aircraft while it taxis out. You can send a message to anyone as long as you have a SITA address, you should have one for your dispatch in your COM. Hope this helps.

23rd Mar 2008, 17:55
ACARS is the greatest thing since sliced bread.......

1. Yes, we get the entire loadsheet printed out in the cockpit. There is no selection for it. It is sent by the AOC(Airlines operations center) to the plane and it just arrives.....much the same way an SMS just arrives at your phone.

2. You can send a free text message.......once again just like sending an sms. No big deal and an essential part of any communications system.

3. There are huge time savings involved in using ACARS loadsheets......the loadsheet is compiled at the AOC electronically before being sent to the plane. This saves time and reduces the chances of errors. Think about it.....where would the dispatcher get the loadsheet from? Why send it to him first?

I can't comment on other airlines, but we don't get the weights and that after push.....that is a tad late. There is just too much that depends on the verification of the final loadsheet, that it can't be done on the taxi.

Hope it helps..........

24th Mar 2008, 13:29
An obvious point maybe, but it isn't free :) Airlines will typically be billed per character sent and received.

Also, I don't believe there is a standard ACARS fit. On the Boeing at least, the 'application' is designed by the airline (etc.) so you might have a button here for getting weather, or a screen there for submitting defects, and perhaps another page for sending a list of the crew members on the flight.

Re the loadsheet - if you're working for an airline which does the final loadsheet before you close up, it's great having sight of it before the dispactcher brings it up (they may well be busy doing bags, pax, cargo, etc.) - you can get on and do the performance (for example) and then just check the figures are correct when the LS arrives.

As far as getting confirmation of the figures after push goes, you work out your performance based on an estimated loadsheet, and then simply check the figures are roughly correct once the doors have shut and you're on your way. If you're out by more than, say, half a tonne (on a large jet), it's not really a massive deal. A tonne will probably change your V speeds by a knot, and in any case, do you really think the DOM of the aircraft is correct to the nearest kg? On a deep maint check, you can easily get a tonne of water out of the insulation cladding!


26th Mar 2008, 03:10
My airline uses ACARS to the fullest extent possible, to the point that we are almost self sufficent on the flight deck. We get all weather, notams and full flight plans from our ACARS.

We also have loadsheets produced and sent via ACARS from one central loadcontrol office for our world wide operation.

Our crewing management also use ACARS for crewing signals and roster changes, our airport traffic officers also use ACARS for parking, catering and passenger information.

All our fleets have FAX and SITA send capability, plus direct mailbox access to publications, fleet management, Pax coordination, training management, engineering, flight despatch etc.

The early generation ACARS are not very adaptable to changing formats, however the A320 B777 and B787 ACARS options are fully re configurable.