About Data Comm

Data Communications (Data Comm) will assume an ever increasing role in controller to flight crew communication, contributing significantly to increased efficiency, capacity, and safety of the National Airspace (NAS). The evolution of Data Comm in the operational environment will be based upon the incremental implementation of advanced communication capabilities. Data Comm represents the first phase of the transition from the current analog voice system to an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant system in which digital communication becomes an alternate and eventually predominant mode of communication.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) permits a crucial operational shift from workload-intensive tactical control to automation-assisted strategic traffic management. Completion of this shift in the air traffic control paradigm by 2025 is necessary to handle the projected increases in traffic over the next two decades. To achieve a major part of this goal, NextGen envisions the introduction of air/ground trajectory automation capabilities. This capability, as well as other components of NextGen, depends on efficient data communications between aircraft and air traffic management. The Data Communication (Data Comm) program is a key element in the implementation of NextGen.