[Avionics Today May 30, 2014] A government-industry team including Airbus, Air France, Boeing and Easyjet has completed a series of flight trials demonstrating Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) in European airspace, a demonstration project under the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) program.
Map showing paths of CPDLC flight trials. Photo, courtesy of SESAR JU.
According to the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) the demonstration trials were completed across Italian and U.K. airspace with commercial flights operated by EasyJet, Air France and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). There were a total of 95 target flights operated with a team of 30 Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs).
The initial results of the demonstration show that "involved actors are increasingly confident about the use of data link communications in most operational conditions where Radio Telephony (R/T) messages can be replaced," SESAR JU said in a statement.
Similar trials are occurring in the United States under the FAA's NextGen program, evaluating the effectiveness of giving ATCs the ability to send revised clearances and other flight procedure information directly to an aircraft's cockpit avionics system.
The total results of the flight trials will be delivered in a final report to SESAR JU in July.