Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) has selected air transport communications provider SITAONAIR to provide the data link service required to comply with the EU Data Link Regulations for the Single European Sky. (Photo – Air Traffic Controllers in radar room. Image courtesy of SITA and copyright Monty Rakusen)
The regulation mandates that European air navigation service providers and airlines implement Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC). This enables the exchange of text messages between pilots and air traffic controllers, supplementing voice with the more reliable datalink. CPDLC is the first air/ground data link application mandated in the context of the European Single Sky and a key enabler for the future European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system defined by the Single European Sky Advanced Research (SESAR) program. Future ATM concepts such 4D Trajectory will depend heavily on efficient and reliable air/ground data links. ATM programs in other regions of the world, notably NextGen in the United States, include similar data link developments.
Under the agreement, SITAONAIR will provide the air/ground data link communication service to enable CPDLC service in PANSA’s upper airspace. It will use VHF Data Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) and Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) technology as mandated by the European regulation. The infrastructure includes the deployment of six VHF ground stations and the ATN routing service.
Magdalena Jaworska, Acting President, Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, said: “PANSA is undertaking an ambitious data link program to fulfill its obligations under the European Mandate for CPDLC. We selected SITAONAIR to provide the Air/Ground Communications service required to support CPDLC because of its well-established track of ATN and VDLm2 service provision throughout Europe. SITAONAIR is providing us an end-to-end service from the aircraft antenna to the interface with the ground air traffic control systems, ensuring consistent and integrated services.”
François Bardin, Director, Air Traffic Solutions, SITAONAIR, said: “PANSA is a key agency in Europe, managing a strategic airspace at the hinge between Western and Eastern Europe. SITAONAIR will provide the ATN/VDLm2 data link communication service to PANSA and contribute to its successful implementation of CPDLC in Polish airspace. With the addition of PANSA more than 80% of Europe’s ATN data link services are now supplied by SITA.”
CPDLC enables pilots and air traffic controllers to exchange certain routine air traffic control messages via data link supplementing the traditional means of communication over radio that have been used in the industry for more than 50 years. With CPDLC safety will be enhanced thanks to the replacement of congested, bad-quality voice channels by data channels where messages are unambiguous and available on screen in the cockpit.
SITAONAIR enables CPDLC for more than 14 air navigations service providers in Europe which together manage 90% of air traffic across the EU.