Controllers at Memphis International Airport started sending text messages to FedEx Express pilots in mid-January under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Data Communications (data comm) effort to eventually replace voice communications for routine ATC instructions. Testers plan to expand the data comm trial to include United Airlines, FedEx and UPS aircraft at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey this summer.
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Oshkosh, WI--The FAA NextGen Data Communications (Data Comm) program demonstrated its time, money, fuel saving and environmentally friendly technologies to the aviation industry at Oshkosh AirVenture 2010. At the huge general aviation air show that is Oshkosh, Data Comm was one of the FAA’s key NextGen exhibits.
The Data Comm program introduced its new Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Boeing 737 cockpit simulators at Oshkosh. Both simulators demonstrate the emerging digital data communication technologies being developed for ATC and aircrew.
Data Comm represents a key phase of the transition from the current decades old voice communication system to a predominantly digital textual mode of communication. Data Comm is necessary to fully realize the NextGen vision of trajectory based operation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Data Comm will improve controller and air crew productivity by enabling more efficient operations, faster revised departure clearances, trajectory-based routing, optimized profile descents and automation of repetitive tasks. This results in fewer communication errors and reduces: ground delays, taxi time, fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions and operational costs.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt were two of the first Oshkosh AirVenture participants to fly the new Data Comm B737 cockpit flight simulator. The Administrator is a life-long aviation enthusiast and former airline pilot. Babbitt again demonstrated his piloting skills at the controls of the Data Comm flight simulator by easily taking off, flying and landing on a simulated flight between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, FL., aided by the simulator’s new Data Comm technology.
Data Comm will evolve air traffic from short-term tactical control to managing flights strategically gate-to-gate. Once implemented, Data Comm will provide data transmissions directly to pilots, who can autoload the messages into their flight management systems. This will result in increased air traffic efficiency, capacity and throughput. Data Comm technologies are scheduled to begin being used in the NAS in 2014.
For more information regarding the FAA NextGen Data Communications program, contact Sandra Anderson, Manager, Air/Ground Data Communications Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data communications is a key transformational program within FAA�s NextGen effort. To meet future demands and avoid gridlock in the sky and at airports, the agency�s NextGen Data Communications Program is designed to advance today�s analog voice-only air-to-ground communications system to one in which digital communications become an alternate and eventual predominant mode of communication.
Read the rest of the article: Data Comm in Avionics Magazine (PDF, 11.53 MB)
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