Airtel ATN, dedicated to the development of communications software for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN), has announced that over the last year it has signed four new European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP).
The number of flights above Europe is 10 million per annum and is expected to double in the next 20 years. In order to free up the voice airways the European Commission issued a regulation that states that all ANSPs must have implemented Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) by 5 February 2015. CPDLC is a type of text message service between pilot and Air Traffic Controllers that covers some of the non-urgent commands that would normally be communicated via radio such as flight level and microphone check.
The February 2015 date is currently being reviewed and will be extended to February 2018 with systems starting to go live this year. CPDLC will improve flight safety and increase the capacity of air navigation by optimising the use of the increasingly congested radio frequencies.
ANS CR has deployed Airtel ATN’s Air/Ground Data Link Server (AGDLS) together with Airtel ATN Routers to provide the CPDLC service.
“Airtel ATN was easily able to integrate its AGDLS with our existing Air Traffic Control systems thanks to the flexible architecture,” said Vladimir Cizek, CPDLC Project Manager, ANS CR. “Customisation and implementation was complete in a very short timeframe.”
HungaroControl has purchased Airtel ATN’s Ground/Ground Router to connect their Thales system to SITA’s ATN Network.
ANS CR, HungaroControl, LFV and Naviair are using Airtel ATN’s Air Manual Tool (AMT-ATN) and Ground Validation Suite (GVS) to run acceptance and regression tests to validate their CPDLC implementation. Some of these companies will also use the Air Manual Tool and Ground Validation Suite as part of their training platform.
In this scenario, the GVS simulates traffic from one or many aircraft so that Air Traffic Controllers can gain CPDLC experience. Simulated CPDLC traffic can be associated with real flight plans for use on the test system which will provide authentic data. Students on the training platform will be able to perform simulated CPDLC exchanges while shadowing what real Air Traffic Controllers are doing, and have done, making the training much more effective.
“We now have 11 European ANSPs using our systems,” said Frank O’Connor, CEO, Airtel ATN. “We also have over 2,000 aircraft equipped with Airtel ATN technology. A lot of organisations are now at the final Data Link testing stages before going live with CPDLC in 2015.”