FAA’s Data Comm Lands at LAX

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | June 27, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 06-27-2016] The FAA's NextGen air transportation modernization program has brought its Data Comm initiative to Los Angeles International Airport. Data Comm is part of the FAA's NextGen effort to replace some of the traditional voice communications performed between air traffic controllers and pilots with digital text information exchanges between Flight Management Systems (FMS) and air traffic automation systems. By exchanging digital messages, air traffic controllers, pilots and airline operations centers can communicate more clearly and efficiently. 
An American Airlines plane ready for takeoff at LAX. Photo: LAX. 
In a recent interview with Avionics Magazine, Universal Avionics explained the benefits Data Comm is providing to airspace users after demonstrating the system on its flight test aircraft at Kentucky International Airport back in April.
The FAA began testing Data Comm capabilities and benefits in 2014 at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx and United Airlines along with select international operators. The FAA started deploying Data Comm in air traffic control towers in the fall of 2015 and plans to be using it in more than 50 towers by the end of 2016. The technology will be installed in air traffic control facilities that manage high altitude traffic beginning in 2019.

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