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Revolutionising European ATC

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Revolutionising European ATC

Old 20th Feb 2007, 16:09
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Revolutionising European ATC

Major step taken towards revolutionizing air traffic control in Europe
19-February-07 : Sita
Maastricht – 14 February 2007 - SOFREAVIA/SITA consortium chosen to develop safety critical next-generation data link system gateway
The drive to reduce the dependence of air traffic control on voice communications gained fresh impetus today with the announcement that EUROCONTROL and the German Air Navigation Service provider, DFS, have contracted the SOFREAVIA/SITA consortium to supply the next generation of data link gateway systems known as the Data Link Front End Processor or DL-FEP.
The DL-FEP will contribute to the ultimate goal of the EUROCONTROL LINK2000+ Programme of supporting the majority of all aircraft movements in European air space as pilots of data link equipped aircraft will be able to conduct the majority of their routine communications with air traffic controllers via data link.
The EUROCONTROL Link2000+ Programme is coordinating the implementation of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) across Europe and the equipage of airlines operating in European airspace.
Philip Clinch, SITA’s Director, Aircraft Cockpit Communications Services, said, “The award follows an extremely competitive tendering process that lasted well over a year and demonstrates EUROCONTROL/DFS confidence in the SOFREAVIA/SITA consortium to develop the DL-FEP in accordance with the stringent software development requirements applicable to systems of this type.”
DL-FEP will be integrated with the Air Traffic Management Systems installed at the EUROCONTROL Maastricht Upper Airspace Control Centre (MUACC) and the DFS En-Route centre at Karlsruhe in order to enable air traffic controllers to exchange data link messages with pilots on data link equipped aircraft. The DL-FEP will be capable of handling both the legacy ACARS based “FANS 1/A” and ICAO-compliant ATN -equipped aircraft.
Francis Brangier, SOFREAVIA’s Director of Operations, said, “With the expected Data Link Implementation Rule to be adopted by the European Commission under the Single European Sky initiative’s Interoperability Regulation by the end of this year, all Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Europe will need to upgrade and/or complement their ATM infrastructures with DL-FEP equivalent functionality by circa 2010.
“With this new contract, the SOFREAVIA/SITA Consortium confirms its lead position in the provision of complete end-to-end data link communication solutions to answer the stringent requirements of EUROCONTROL, the European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative and all European ANSPs committed to the LINK2000+ program. SITA is already providing the air/ground service to the vast majority of airlines using CPDLC today while SOFREAVIA is the European leader for the provision of operational ATN data link systems.”
The Link2000+ Programme business case estimates that, within 10 years, over three quarters of all movements, i.e. circa 16,000 per day, in European airspace will be made by data link equipped aircraft. This will enable an airspace capacity increase of about 11% allowing air navigation service providers to handle the growing volumes of traffic at lower cost than would otherwise have been possible. Across Europe, the Link2000+ programme is forecast to realise savings of US$180m per year by 2013 and this will continue to grow in line with aircraft equipage.
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Old 20th Feb 2007, 17:36
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Not a revolution, but an evolution, and above all nothing new.

Data link is not going to replace R/T, but initially become another communication means, when available.
Because it is not tomorrow, as the press release says, that 100% of aircraft will be equipped.
In Oceanic airspace , equipage makes a lot of sense, much less in dense continental airspace.
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