ATM Modernization, Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Air Traffic Communication Modernization Under Way in Hungary

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | August 28, 2014
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[Avionics Today 08-28-2014] Hungary’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) HungaroControl announced the launch of the Central European country’s implementation of Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) under the Single European Sky (SES) Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization project. HungaroControl will finance 80 percent of the $9 million CPDLC deployment, and European Union’s (EU) Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) will finance the remaining 20 percent. 
Air Traffic Controllers in Hungary. Photo: HungaroControl.
CPDLC is a next generation data communications protocol that enables text-messaging capabilities between Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) and pilots. Very High Frequency (VHF) data link Mode 2 (VDL2) avionics enable an aircraft’s Flight Management System (FMS) to receive data communications messages from ATCs regarding route clearances, re-routing and other messages. This reduces the reliance on voice communications, helping controllers get more planes into the air, a huge benefit as air traffic volume continues to increase throughout the current segmented European airspace.
“HungaroControl is also in the vanguard of developing the CPDLC technology in Europe, and we are convinced that using data link communication may considerably improve flight safety and the capacity of air navigation service providers,” said Kornél Szepessy, chief executive of HungaroControl.
HungaroControl also states that the introduction of CPDLC will reduce misunderstandings caused by “interferences” and “errors due to aircrew fatigue. The ANSP said the Magyar Automated and Integrated Air Traffic System (MATIAS) Build 10.1 air navigation software can also prevent accidental posting of messages as a result of “misclicking.”
According to the Hungarian ANSP, CPDLC services in Hungarian airspace will be functional by February 2015, as a function of the upgraded version of MATIAS. The European Union has mandated CPDLC equipage for all aircraft flying in throughout European airspace above 28,500 feet by February 2015. 
“HungaroControl has always been a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies,” stated the service provider. “It was the first in the world to process and display complex data downloaded directly from aircraft for controllers (Mode S technology), and in the Central European region the Hungarian air navigation service provider’s system was the first that was capable of the new, call signal-based identification, which will be mandatorily used all over Europe by 2020,” HungaroControl said.

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